FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franklin College has appointed alumnus Alan Hensell as its new head football coach, it was announced today by director of athletics Kerry Prather.
A 2005 graduate, Hensell returns to campus after spending the last five seasons on staff at the University at Buffalo. Since graduating from Franklin the New Carlisle, Indiana-native's 15-year journey to the head position at his alma mater has included successful stints across Divisions I and III.
"I want to thank Dr. Minar, Coach Prather and everyone involved with the search process for the opportunity to lead the Franklin football program," Hensell said. "I'm thrilled to come back to campus and continue the program's winning tradition. Franklin is a place I hold dear to my heart and it's even more exciting to come back as an alum to build relationships with current and past players. Since I graduated from Franklin, my goal has been to put myself in a position to come back and be the head coach one day and I feel like the past 15 years have prepared me for this challenge. First and foremost, my goal is to help these young men to earn their degree from Franklin College and to provide them a first-class college football experience."
"Since his graduation from Franklin, Alan has prepared diligently and successfully to become a head football coach," Prather noted. "Through every step in that journey, he has earned accolades from his superiors, his colleagues and his players for his integrity, his genuine care for the student-athletes, his relentless recruiting, his knowledge of the game and his skill as a teacher on the field. I am excited to entrust the future of our football program to such a first-class person who is so clearly ready for that opportunity."
"I am pleased to welcome Coach Hensell back home to Franklin College," Franklin College president Dr. Thomas Minar added. "His breadth of experience has prepared him well, and I know he shares this institution's commitment to the scholar-athlete. Our Grizzlies will be well-served by his leadership, and the future of the program is in very capable hands."
Hensell joined head coach Lance Leipold's Buffalo coaching staff in 2015 as its tight ends coach, assistant recruiting coordinator and NFL liaison. Since landing in western New York, he assisted in turning around the Buffalo football program by helping guide the Bulls to three straight bowl appearances from 2017 to 2019, the first three-year stretch of bowl games since their move to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The best of those seasons came in 2018, when the Bulls won a program record 10 games and advanced to the Mid-American Conference (MAC) MAC title game for the second time since joining the league.
Before jumping to Buffalo, Hensell was brought on to Leipold's staff at Division III powerhouse University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2013 as the wide receivers coach. In his two years spent in Whitewater, the Warhawks won all 30 games en route to back-to-back national championships. In 2014, he helped guide the Warhawks to the top passing offense in the highly-competitive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). Four pass-catchers earned All-WIAC honors with Jake Kumerow going on to be Division III Offensive Player of the Year.
The 2012 season saw Hensell take over as the offensive line coach at Gardner-Webb University where he coached one All-American and three linemen to the FCS Senior Bowl. Prior to that, he spent five years coaching in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) that included two stints at the University of Mississippi (2007-09, 2011) and one at the University of Tennessee (2010).
Hensell began his collegiate coaching career while still enrolled at Franklin, joining former head coach Mike Leonard's staff in 2004 as an outside linebackers coach and video coordinator. In addition to helping out on the football staff, he was also a two-year student coach for the Grizzly baseball team. After leaving Franklin, he headed to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he was the quarterbacks coach from 2005-06.
He lettered in both football and baseball as a student-athlete at Franklin before an injury early in his sophomore year ended his playing career. His entry into the coaching profession came in 2003, when he was an assistant coach at Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis.
Hensell earned a Bachelor of Arts in physical education (K-12) with a minor in health education from Franklin. He would go on to earn a master's degree in science and education from UW-Whitewater in 2015.