Dixie State football head coach Shay McClure has announced the addition of three assistant coaches to the staff, including Junior Tanuvasa, Famika Anae and Carl Franke.
In addition to the new coaches joining the staff, assistant coach Willie Mack Garza has been promoted to defensive coordinator following the departure of Shawn Howe. Garza oversaw the coaching of the defensive backs during the 2017 season.
Tanuvasa, who will serve as linebackers coach, comes to Dixie State from Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California, where he served as co-defensive coordinator and coached the linebackers for four years. Tanuvasa played one season (2003) for the Mounties and earned All-Mission Conference honors. Tanuvasa also spent time at San Jose State (2004-05) and later played one season (2007) at New Mexico Highlands where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
“I’ve gotten to know Junior really well over the last 10 years,” McClure said. “I’ve had my eye on him as a young coach for a long time. He coaches his players really well and is a positive influence on the field. He’s very instinctual in understanding what a player needs to get better. He’ll bring a great presence to our program.”
Anae, who will coach the tight ends, comes to DSU after three seasons as a graduate assistant at Virginia, where his father, Robert, currently serves as offensive coordinator. Anae played three seasons at BYU (2010-12) before his career was cut short due to injuries. Afterward, Anae stayed involved with the program as an undergraduate assistant and graduated from BYU in 2015.
“Famika will help bring a more local feel into our program,” McClure said. “He knows the state of Utah and the coaches in this state really well. He comes from a great family, and he’ll be a big addition to our coaching staff.”
Franke, who will coach the running backs, joins the Trailblazer coaching staff after nine seasons at Desert Hills High School in St. George, serving as an assistant for three seasons before taking over as head coach in 2012. Franke recorded a 50-20 record as head coach at DHHS, leading the Thunder to state championships in 2013 and 2016. Prior to his time at DHHS, Franke served as an assistant coach at Dixie High School (2000-05, 2008) and Snow Canyon High School (2007). Franke played college football at Wagner College from 1994-97, where he was a four-year starter. Franke earned All-Conference and All-American honors as a placekicker at Wagner. He later graduated with a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate from Southern Utah University.
“Coach Franke will be a great addition to our coaching staff,” McClure said. “He did a great job at Desert Hills and won two state championships. He’s got a true passion for coaching and is excited about being in the college game. We’re excited to have him at Dixie State.”
Dixie State football is set to enter its third season as a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in 2018. The Trailblazers will open the season on Sept. 1.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at [email protected].