Full circle moment: Ryan Franzinger making his debut as head coach at his alma mater

Ryan Franzinger will make his debut as Saint Ignatius head football coach on Friday, August 18...
Ryan Franzinger will make his debut as Saint Ignatius head football coach on Friday, August 18 against Springfield.(Saint Ignatius Athletic Department)
Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 4:34 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ryan Franzinger has spent a lot of time on the football field representing Saint Ignatius.

First it was as a player, winning state championships in 1999 and 2001. Franzinger then returned to his Alma Mater in 2007 as a linebackers coach.

He will start his 17th season coaching at Ignatius with a new title, head coach.

Franzinger takes over the reigns following legendary coach Chuck Kyle’s retirement at the end of the 2022 football season.

Kyle had been the head coach at Ignatius since 1983 and finished with a final record of 377-108-1.

“Coach Kyle set up the tradition for me,” Franzinger said. “He put it in my hands and I’m a firm believer in it. I’m a disciple of Coach Kyle and that was always hard work and have great faith in what you’re doing and really attack your challenges.”

This is Franzinger’s first head coaching position, and he said he wants to preserve the tradition and legacy Coach Kyle left behind, while also putting his own stamp on things.

“I have to be myself,” Franzinger said. “What that exactly will be yet I’m not sure, I don’t want to have empty words but we’ll find out as we go through the season.”

With all the anticipation surrounding this new era of Wildcat football led by Coach Franzinger, he’s just ready to start playing.

“Let’s see what we can do,” Franzinger said. “The players have prepared really hard, the coaches have prepared really hard, so now we hope that translates to really good football.”

Saint Ignatius will open up their season against Springfield at Springfield Wildcat Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.