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Dennis Franchione retiring from coaching

Dennis Franchione is retiring from coaching, Texas State announced on Tuesday.

Franchione coached Texas State for the past five seasons. Among his other stops were five seasons at Texas A&M, two at Alabama, three at TCU and six at New Mexico. He also was the head coach at Southwestern College and Pittsburg State during his career.

"My heart and appreciation goes out to our football players at Texas State, and all of those I have been fortunate enough to coach during my career,'' Franchione said. "I feel very strongly about what this game does for young people.''

Among the players whom Franchione helped launch successful /careers were Brian Urlacher and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Franchione coached for 40 years in total; this season, he was one of only four active coaches with 200 victories. He has a 210-126-2 overall record, including 39-43 at Texas State.

"I have been blessed for 40 years in coaching the game I love - football! I have deep respect for the game and appreciate what it does for the development of young people," he said in a statement.

Known throughout his career as an offensive innovator, Franchione led nine teams to conference championships and bowl games.

Texas State will immediately begin a national search for a new coach, the school said in the statement.

Franchione's career took off after he left New Mexico for TCU in 1998 and led the Horned Frogs from a 1-10 record before he arrived to a 7-5 mark that included a breakthrough win over USC in the Sun Bowl.

Two years later, Franchione took the job at Alabama but stayed for just two seasons. He left for Texas A&M after going 10-3 and finishing first in the SEC West when the Crimson Tide were ineligible to play in a bowl or the conference championship game.

The Aggies had high expectations after winning nine games in 2006, but the 2007 season soured when Franchione acknowledged reports that his personal assistant was sending inside information to boosters who paid $1,200 a year to get the emails.

While athletic director Bill Byrne essentially cleared Franchione of any wrongdoing, the coach told reporters he was resigning after a 38-30 victory over the Longhorns that gave the Aggies a 7-5 record. He took a buyout.

After three years in broadcasting, Franchione returned to Texas State in 2011 with the Bobcats preparing for the jump from the FCS to FBS. He had first coached at Texas State in 1990-91 after five years at Division II Pittsburg State.

Texas State went 6-6 in two of the first three seasons after Franchione's return before going 7-5 last year. The Bobcats fell back to 3-9 this season.

"We all knew this would be a challenging task,'' Texas State president Denise Trauth said. "His knowledge of the game and his respect on the national level showed other universities and conference commissioners we were committed to our football program.''

Information from ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press was used in this report.