Jamie Franks completed his second season as Denver's head men's soccer coach and his fifth with the program overall in 2016 after being named the program's 10th head coach in January of 2015.
In two seasons, the head coach of the 2016 National Coaching Staff of the Year has put together a record of 35-2-6, improving Denver's record since Franks joined the staff as an assistant in 2012 to 70-19-14. Combined as a player and coach, Franks is 169-46-31 in college soccer, having reached five of the last 10 College Cups and winning a national championship at Wake Forest as a player in that span.
In just his second season in charge, Franks led the Pioneers to their first College Cup appearance in program history after picking up multiple wins (three) in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and earning their first postseason victory since 1970.
The two-time Summit League Coach of the Year and the head coach of the 2016 NSCAA West Regional Staff of the Year was the youngest head coach in Division I in 2015 and the second youngest in 2016, earning the promotion from his assistant coaching roll following the departure of Bobby Muuss to Wake Forest.
Franks ended his second season in charge at 35-2-6, having not lost in the regular season and having not suffered a defeat in regulation in his coaching tenure. Under the Wake Forest alum, the Pioneers became the first program since Clemson in 1977-78 to finish consecutive regular seasons unbeaten.
The last unbeaten team in the country for the second-straight year tied a program record with 20 wins (20-1-3) in 2016, matching the 1988 (NAIA) Pioneers that ended the campaign 20-2-2. Prior to its extra time defeat to No. 2 Wake Forest in the College Cup Semifinals, Denver (35-2-6) and Wake Forest (36-5-6) were tied for the most wins in the country over the last two years since the programs made coaching changes ahead of the 2015 season.
Franks managed two-time All-American right back and two-time MAC Hermann Semifinalist Reagan Dunk, Denver’s first Division I All-America selection in program history. Franks, Dunk, two-time captain Sam Hamilton and the rest of the 2016 Denver senior class combined for a 59-13-11 mark over the last four years, the third best record in the country during that span.
Denver earned its fourth-straight Summit League Regular Season and Tournament titles in 2016, entering the 2016 NCAA Tournament with a record of 17-0-3. The Pioneers’ earned a No. 6 seed in the tournament and reached rankings as high as third in the final NSCAA Poll and third in the College Soccer News Poll, all three program bests.
The Pioneers played 12 teams in 2016 that were either ranked or receiving votes in one of the two polls, including five at CIBER Field. In the NCAA Tournament, Denver earned home wins over UNLV (3-0) and No. 11 Washington (2-1) before a Kortne Ford 89th minute header sent Denver to the College Cup after a 1-0 win at No. 3 Clemson.
The 2016 season saw the Pioneers set new DI school marks for the second-consecutive season in shutouts (14) and consecutive unbeaten matches (23).
In Franks first season in charge, the program reached new heights. The Pioneers were the only undefeated team in the country heading into the NCAA Tournament with a 15-0-3 mark, earned an NCAA First Round bye for the first time in program history, booked the program's first trip into the second round and hosted its first-ever NCAA Tournament home game in 2015.
Prior to the final poll released on December 15, Denver spent seven-straight weeks in the top-10 of the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America poll, including two weeks spent at No. 7, the highest ranking in the program's history.
With a focus on the team's defensive shape in his first year in charge, Franks' squad allowed just eight goals in 2015, producing the second-best goals against average in the country (0.400), and had the second-best clean sheet rate in the country at 0.63. Denver's defense allowed just 2.5 shots on goal in 2015. The only upperclassman in Denver's starting back four, Reagan Dunk became Denver's first NSCAA All-American (second team) and its first MAC Hermann Semifinalist. Dunk finished 30th in the country in assists with eight from his right back position.
In addition to what Denver has accomplished on the field under Franks, the Pioneers earned the top grade point average in the country in 2015, and continued their dominance of the Gold Vest Award at the University of Denver in 2015-16.
The 2015 season saw the Pioneers set new DI school marks in shutouts (12), consecutive shutouts (7), consecutive scoreless minutes (797) and consecutive unbeaten matches (18).
In his three years as an assistant at DU, Franks primarily worked with the midfielders and forwards who amassed 110 goals in three seasons, ranking in the top 15 in the country in 2012 & 2013. His roles and responsibilities at the University of Denver included recruiting coordinator, budget manager, post game analysis of film, scouting, and assists in fundraising efforts. In addition, he worked closely with the implementation of all soccer related matters.
Franks joined the Pioneers after two years on staff with the Wake Forest men's soccer team. Being a part of the Wake Forest soccer program both as a player and a coach from 2005-2009 and 2011-2012, Franks was a part of one of the most decorated classes in college soccer history. He most recently played with the Rochester Rhinos in the USSF Division 2 Professional League before joining his alma mater to begin his coaching career.
Franks ranks fifth all time for games played (95) for the Demon Deacons from 2005-08, the first two of which Muuss served as assistant coach. Franks scored seven goals and 20 assists, helping lead Wake Forest to two ACC championships, three College Cups, including the 2007 national championship. After leaving Wake, Franks was selected by Chivas USA in the fourth round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Prior to college, Franks played on the US U-18 National Team.
After his first season of professional soccer in 2009, Franks joined the Wake Forest staff as the Director of Soccer Operations where he worked with media and film applications. During the 2009 season at Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons advanced to their fourth-consecutive College Cup. After a brief hiatus on staff at Wake Forest, he rejoined the in 2011 as the Volunteer Coach. His responsibilities focused on travel budget, alumni relations, social media, academic liaison, and alumni outreach.
Franks graduated from Wake Forest in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in communication and successfully completed the Business Management Program at the Calloway School of Business. He also completed his Masters in Organizational Leadership here at the University of Denver in 2015.
Ryan Hopkins joined the Pioneers in January of 2013 after serving for one season at Wisconsin, four seasons at Cal Poly and four seasons at Concordia University (Irvine, Calif.). Hopkins enters his fourth season with the program in 2016.
In 2015, the Pioneers set new DI school marks in shutouts (12), consecutive shutouts (7), consecutive scoreless minutes (797) and consecutive unbeaten matches (18). Hopkins' main focus is with the Denver goalkeeping corps. Redshirt-senior Dan Jackson played every minute for the Pioneers in 2015, allowing just eight goals, keeping a 0.400 goals against-average (second in the country) and a 0.63 clean sheet rate (second in the country).
Denver has captured Summit League regular season and tournament titles and earned berths into the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons with Hopkins on the coaching staff. Since his arrival in 2013, Denver is 39-12-8.
DU reached new heights in 2015, finishing the regular season as the only unbeaten team in the country at 15-0-3, and earned a first round bye and postseason home game for the first time in the program's history. Hopkins was named the NSCAA Regional Assistant Coach of the Year in 2015 and was recognized by College Soccer News as one of the top-assistant coaches in the country.
The Pioneers spent seven-straight weeks in the top-10 of the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America poll, including two at No. 7, the highest ranking in the program's history.
In addition, with the Pioneers, Hopkins helped Oliver Brown to Summit League Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2013 as he set a school record with five consecutive shutouts and 584 straight scoreless minutes. In 2014, with Brown missing most of the season due to injury, Hopkins guided a pair of inexperienced goalkeepers, Nick Gardner and Ryan Massey, to new heights. Gardner allowed just three goals in five games, recordeda pair of shutouts and won his two starts in the Summit League tournament. Massey posted four victories on the season including a pair of shutouts.
With Cal Poly, Hopkins mentored former Mustang and current Chivas USA goalkeeper Patrick McLain to three All-Big West selections. Under the watch of Hopkins, McLain recorded the two highest save percentage figures in program history by leading all Big West goalkeepers in 2009 (.830) and 2010 (.835). McLain's conference-leading 0.92 goals against average in 2011 highlighted a history-making fall during which the Mustangs also set program records for fewest goals conceded (17, in 18 games) and fewest goals allowed per game (0.94) and led the Big West with a 0.90 team goals against average.
Hopkins also made his mark on the recruiting trail. Cal Poly featured a top-40 recruiting class during each of his 4 seasons, pulling the No. 33 class for 2009, the No. 38 class in 2010, the No. 27 class in 2011 and the No.12 class in 2012 (as graded by CollegeSoccerNews.com).
Prior to Cal Poly Hopkins served as the lead assistant coach at Concordia (2004-08) and helped transform the Eagles into an NAIA powerhouse. Concordia advanced to the NAIA National Championship tournament for three-straight seasons during his time with the Eagles, finishing as National Runners-Up in 2007 after falling in the title match against top-seeded Azusa Pacific. Concordia also spent five weeks atop the NAIA national rankings in 2007 while capturing Golden State Athletic Conference titles in 2005 and 2006. At Concordia, Hopkins coached 10 NAIA All-America selections, eight NAIA All-Far West Region picks and 20 All-GSAC players. With Hopkins, the Eagles were also ranked among the NAIA's top 25 teams for a 33-week period.
A four-year starter in goal for Concordia (2000-04), Hopkins was twice named as an NAIA All-American and helped lead the program to its first appearance in the NAIA National Championship tournament in 2003. Hopkins departed Concordia as the program's career leader in victories, ranked second in goals-against average and shutouts and fourth in saves. In 2010, Hopkins was inducted into the Concordia Athletics Hall of Fame.
Hopkins graduated from Concordia in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in political science and obtained a master's degree in athletic administration in 2008. Hopkins also holds a USSF A license and a USSF National Goalkeeping License.
Levi Rossi enters his second season as the Denver's men's soccer program's second assistant in 2016. Rossi was promoted from his volunteer roll in March of 2015.
In 2015, the Pioneers set new DI school marks in shutouts (12), consecutive shutouts (7), consecutive scoreless minutes (797) and consecutive unbeaten matches (18).
DU reached new heights in 2015, finishing the regular season as the only unbeaten team in the country at 15-0-3, and earned a first round bye and postseason home game for the first time in the program's history. The Pioneers spent seven-straight weeks in the top-10 of the National Soccer Coaches' Association of America poll, including two at No. 7, the highest ranking in the program's history.
Rossi spent the 2014 season as the team's volunteer assistant coach, a campaign that saw the Pioneers win their second-straight regular season and league tournament titles, booking the program's second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Levi Rossi came to Denver in 2014 after a standout career at the University of New Mexico where he played both forward and midfield. He was one of the most durable Lobos during his career as well as one of the most academically decorated players in New Mexico soccer history. A Denver native, Rossi played his high school soccer at Regis Jesuit, helping leading the Red Raiders to the state finals in 2008.