Gabe Franklin joined the UTEP staff as cornerbacks coach in July of 2011. He is in his third year coaching the defensive backs and was elevated to recruiting coordinator in 2014.
In 2014, UTEP increased its interception total from three to 11, and its pass break-up tally from 30 to 40. Seven different Miner DB's picked off a pass and senior Wesley Miller, paced the team in tackles (80). Miller signed a free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills over the summer. UTEP yielded under 200 yards passing in five of eight Conference USA games, including 32 to UTSA and 99 to Middle Tennessee.
The Miners' top two tacklers in 2013 were both freshman defensive backs. Free safety Devin Cockrell, a true freshman, was credited with 76 stops. Weak safety Dashone Smith, a redshirt freshman, made 69 tackles.
In the season opener versus New Mexico, all five starters in the secondary (Cockrell, Ishmael Harrison, Leon Hayes, Adrian James, Traun Roberson) were making their first start for UTEP. By season's end, a total of 13 different players made starts in the secondary for the Miners.
During the 2012 season, Franklin helped Drew Thomas pile up the second-most tackles (81) on the squad while fellow cornerback Darren Woodard recorded 44 stops and tied for the team lead with two interceptions. The Miners finished with 47 pass break-ups on the campaign. Woodard later signed with the St. Louis Rams and is currently with the Arizona Cardinals.
In 2011 Franklin served as a mentor to Antwon Blake, who started all 12 games at left corner and led the team with seven pass break-ups. Blake also posted 46 tackles, an interception and two blocked kicks. He is on the Pittsburgh Steelers' 2015 roster. The starter at right corner during the 2011 season, Thomas, contributed 49 tackles and six pass deflections.
Franklin served as cornerbacks coach for the University of San Diego during the 2010 season. He helped the Toreros forge a mark of 5-6, including a winning record (5-3) in the Pioneer Football League. He mentored Al-Rilwan Adeyemi to an appearance on the 2010 All-PFL Defensive First Team. Adeyemi was second on the squad with 48 tackles, including 32 solo, while registering a team-high six interceptions. He also contributed four pass breakups.
Prior to his time at USD, Franklin spent two years on the Cal football staff (2008-09) as an administrative assistant on the defensive side of the football. Prominent players coached at Cal include 2011 NFL third-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, Chris Conte, and two-time first team All Pac-10 and 2010 NFL seventh-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos Syd'Quan Thompson.
His start in coaching came at his high school alma mater, Bishop O'Dowd, in 2007. He aided the squad to a second-place finish in the league and a spot in the first round of the playoffs.
Franklin was an outstanding player in his own right before entering the coaching ranks. From 2001-04 he was a member of a Boise State team that compiled a 44-7 record and won a pair of bowl games. He finished as the NCAA's career leader in passes defended (72), and was a three-time All-WAC selection. He rates among the Boise State and WAC all-time leaders with 18 interceptions. Additionally he started every game of his collegiate career.
In 2004 he posted a team-high 17 pass breakups to go along with 61 tackles and four picks on the way to securing first team All-Conference accolades. He reaped second team All-League honors after tallying eight interceptions as a junior in 2003.
After Boise State, Franklin was a free agent signee with the San Diego Chargers in 2005. He was also a member of the New York Giants that year. Franklin remained in the NFL through 2007, enjoying stints with the Chargers (2006, 2007) and San Francisco 49ers (2006) while also competing for the Cologne Centurions of NFL Europe in 2007.
The native of Oakland, Calif., graduated from BSU with a bachelor of science degree in psychology in 2004. Franklin and his wife, Kelly, have two children - Addison and Aiden.