Hofstra welcomes back Franco as head wrestling coach

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Hofstra wrestling alumnus and former associate head coach Jamie Franco returns to the University as he was named the program's 13th head wrestling coach on July 1, 2024, it was announced by Hofstra Vice President and Director of Athletics Rick Cole Jr. Franco, a three-time NCAA Championship qualifier, served on the staff from 2016 to 2023, including the final two seasons as the associate head coach.

"It is with great excitement that we welcome Jamie back to the Hofstra family," said Cole Jr. "Jamie was a decorated student-athlete and valued member of our staff for many years, and his knowledge of the sport is exceptional. He is well-respected in the wrestling community and we look forward to him leading our program to great heights."

"I am tremendously excited to return to Hofstra as head wrestling coach," said Franco. "This has been home to me for more than a decade and I could not envision a better place for me to start my head coaching career. I want to thank President Poser, Rick Cole Jr., and members of the search committee for placing their trust in me to lead this great program. I cannot wait to get started."

Franco spent the 2023-24 season on the Columbia University staff and helped the Lions to a fourth-place finish at the EIWA Championships with two champions and three NCAA qualifiers.

A native of Monroe, New York, Franco wrestled at Hofstra from 2009 through 2014, was part of three Colonial Athletic Association championship teams, and served as team captain. He was a one-time CAA champion, a two-time CAA finalist, and recorded 75 victories during his collegiate career. After posting 21 wins and advancing to the CAA Championships finals as a sophomore, Franco recorded a 19-win season as a junior and went 3-0 at the CAA Championships to capture the 133-pound title. Franco wrapped up his collegiate career at 125 pounds with 21 victories, including a 6-1 mark in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association, and a New York State Collegiate Championship title in 2013-14. He was an NCAA qualifier in each of his final three seasons.

Following his graduation, Franco served as operations manager of the Longo and Weidman MMA Training Center in Garden City, New York. In that capacity he controlled marketing and advertising campaigns, managed accounts payable, controlled inventory and supervised the non-fighting staff at the facility. Shortly after starting at Longo and Weidman MMA, Franco added the double duty of owner and head coach at the LAW Wrestling Academy, also in Garden City, handling scheduling, coaching, and conducting practices for wrestlers and fighters from the ages of 5 through 30 while also implementing the marketing and advertising campaign for the Academy.

Franco, who also served as a youth wrestling coach for the Garden City Grapplers Wrestling Club between 2009 and 2015, returned to Hofstra in 2016 as a volunteer assistant coach and served in that capacity until the end of the 2017-18 season. In October 2018 he was promoted to assistant coach and was elevated to associate head coach in September 2021. He was part of 44 dual match victories during his tenure and helped 13 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Franco graduated from Hofstra with a degree in business marketing in 2014.