April 15, 2011
DALLAS (SMU) - Frank Gansz, Jr., has been hired as SMU's new Special Teams Coach, Head Coach June Jones announced today. Gansz, Jr., is the son of Frank Gansz, Sr., who served as Special Teams Coach at SMU in 2008 before passing away on April 27, 2009.
Gansz, Jr., was set to begin his fourth season in charge of special teams at UCLA before he got the call to come to the Hilltop. Gansz, who has an extensive background at the professional and collegiate levels, was the special teams coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2006 and 2007, prior to his time in Los Angeles.
In 2010, UCLA ranked second in the nation in net punting and redshirt sophomore punter Jeff Locke ranked fifth in the nation and first in the Pac-10 with an average of 45.8 yards per kick. Placekicker Kai Forbath tied the school record for field goals and was invited to the Senior Bowl along with long-snapper Christian Yount.
In 2009, Gansz led Forbath to the Lou Groza Award and consensus first-team All-America honors, as he made 28 of 31 field goal attempts. UCLA also blocked five kicks and scored a touchdown and two safeties on special teams. In 2008, Aaron Perez led the Pacific-10 in punting, Forbath tied for the league lead in field goals and Austin set UCLA marks for all-purpose yards and kickoff return yards. UCLA also blocked two punts for touchdowns and one extra point for a defensive conversion.
In 2007, Baltimore placed ninth in the NFL in punt returns and 10th in the league in kickoff returns. In addition, place kicker Matt Stover made 27 of 32 field goals and all 26 PATs. His 27 field goals tied for 10th in the league. In 2006, Stover led NFL kickers with a 93.3% conversion mark, making 28 of 30 field goals, and ranked fourth among all kickers with 121 points. He was named a first alternate for the Pro Bowl. In addition, linebacker Gary Stills led the NFL with 44 special teams tackles, the second most in NFL history, and was also named a Pro Bowl first alternate. Rookie punter Sam Koch produced just three touchbacks, and downed 30 punts inside the 20 (fifth in NFL). He was second in the league with 12 punts inside the 10.
Gansz, spent the previous five seasons (2001-05) as special teams coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. During that span, Dante Hall was named to the Pro Bowl in both 2002 and '03 as a kick returner and also led the NFL in most kicks for touchdowns (10, six on kickoffs and four on punts). Gansz-led units excelled in blocking punts and kicks, recording four blocked punts from 2001-02 and Kansas City batted away three field goals in two seasons (2002-03).
In 2003, Gansz's units excelled, leading the NFL with four special teams touchdowns, as Hall scored two kickoff returns and two punt returns for scores, en route to his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance. Hall became the first player in NFL history to record a score on a kickoff return in four straight games. His touchdown in the divisional playoff game vs. Indianapolis gave him five overall returns on the season. Hall also broke a single-season franchise record with 2,446 combined net yards. Kansas City led the league in both punt return average (16.4) and kick return average (25.4), the first team to do so since Washington in 1995. The 16.4 punt return average broke a 43-year-old team record. In Gansz' second season with the Chiefs (2002), Hall scored on three kick returns (two punts and one kickoff) to earn his first pro bowl berth. In 2001, the Chiefs blocked two punts and partially blocked a third.
Prior to his tenure in Kansas City, he coached special teams for the Oakland Raiders for two seasons (1998 and 1999), tutoring standouts Desmond Howard, Darrien Gordon and Napoleon Kaufman. He was also coached in the 1999 Senior Bowl.
Gansz spent five seasons (1993-97) as tight ends and special teams coach at the University of Houston, setting a school record for kickoff return average in 1996. His units set another school record with an 87-yard punt return vs. SMU en route to the Conference-USA championship and a trip to the Liberty Bowl vs. Syracuse. He spent one season (1992) with the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League (NFL Europa). The Knights led the league in punt returns, kickoff returns, kickoff coverage and special team touchdowns (four).
Gansz spent two years (1990-91) as tight ends/special teams coach at West Point, two years at the University of Pittsburgh, coaching special teams and the offensive line in 1988 and special teams and the secondary in 1989, and one season (1987) as a graduate assistant at Kansas, working with the wide receivers.
Gansz was a four-year defensive back at The Citadel, graduating with a B.A. in history in 1985.