EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Franklin head football coach Daren Walker, who was placed on medical leave ahead of the 2021 season, has returned to the sidelines at Franklin Stadium. Walker will coach the Cougars in their District 1-6A opener against Montwood on Friday night.
“I’ve been out for a while, but I’m sure glad to be back,” said Walker. “It’s good to see the coaches and the players, it’s good to be back out on the field and I’m excited about that.”
Walker took over the Franklin program in 2007 after winning 47 games at Chapin from 2000-2006. He has posted a record of 95-57 in 14 seasons as the Cougars head coach, including a 68-28 mark in District 1-6A play. Franklin posted two 10-win seasons (2011, 2012) under his guidance, four district championships, and three bi-district titles in his tenure.
“You miss it — the coaches, the players, the locker room, the office — just, everything that has to do with football,” said Walker.
Leigh McWhorter has severed as the acting head coach for Franklin in Walker’s absence, leading the Cougars to a 1-2 start after a difficult non-district schedule. McWhorter previously coached with Walker at Chapin and Franklin before taking his coaching career to San Antonio and Los Fresnos. He returned to Franklin’s staff this past offseason.
“Coach Walker gave me my first high school job, and we have a long history together,” said McWhorter. “I’m excited that’s he back and going to be on the sidelines. It takes a little bit off my plate, so yeah, I’m happy he’s back.”
Franklin will host Montwood in the 9 Overtime Game of the Week on Friday night at Franklin Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. MT.