American Football Database
Frank Gansz
Biographical details
Born(1938-11-22)November 22, 1938
Altoona, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 27, 2009(2009-04-27) (aged 70)
Dallas, Texas
Playing career
Position(s)Center, linebacker
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
* 2x NFL Special Teams Coach of the Year (1989, 1999)

Frank Gansz (November 22, 1938 – April 27, 2009) was an American football coach whose career spanned nearly 40 years.

At the college level, Gansz served as an assistant at Colgate, Oklahoma State, SMU, Army, UCLA, Air Force and Navy, his alma mater (1960).

In January 1986, Gansz was named assistant head coach and special teams coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. He took over as head coach of the Chiefs in January 1987 after John Mackovic was fired. In his first year, a strike-shortened season, he finished 4–11. The following year, he went 4–11–1. In January 1989, Gansz was fired and replaced by Marty Schottenheimer.

Once called "the best special teams coach ever" by former NFL head coach Dick Vermeil, Gansz twice earned special teams coach of the year honors, including 1999 when he helped the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory.

A native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, Gansz served as an Air Force pilot after graduating from the Naval Academy.[1] He retired as an NFL coach in 2001 after coaching in the league for 24 seasons, including stops in San Francisco, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta and Jacksonville. After retirement, he lived in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Barbara, though he continued to speak at colleges and clinics around the country.

On February 20, 2008, Gansz came out of retirement to join SMU as its special teams coach under head coach June Jones, with whom he had worked in Atlanta and Detroit.

Gansz was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was an assistant coach at Navy from 1969 to 1972. In 2009 the United States Naval Academy and Southern Methodist University jointly created the Gansz Trophy which is to be awarded to the winner of any football game between the two institutions. Navy won the first four trophies, winning from 2009–11 and again in 2015. The teams are currently scheduled to play every year from 2015 onwards as members of the American Athletic Conference West Division.[2]

Gansz died in Dallas on April 27, 2009, from complications following knee replacement surgery. He is interred at the United States Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Maryland.[3]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
KC 1987 4 11 0 .267 5th in AFC West
KC 1988 4 11 1 .281 5th in AFC West
KC Total 8 22 1 .274
Total 8 22 1 .274


His son, Frank Gansz, Jr. is a special teams coach with the SMU Mustangs