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Franklin Road Academy shared Monday that Bill Whittemore will step down as its head football coach. 

Whittemore’s head coaching career spanned 10 years including an undefeated regular season in 2015 and an 11-1 record and a run to the state semifinals in 2019.

During his tenure, he developed numerous NCAA Division I football players including Tymon Mitchell who currently plays for the National Champion Georgia Bulldogs and several players who continued their football careers at Oregon, Oklahoma, Cornell, Columbia University, Tennessee State and other top programs across the country, per a release. 

 

“It has been a privilege to lead these young men and this program for the past 10 years. The journey has been filled with countless joyful interactions with all involved in the FRA community,” said Whittemore. “I am grateful for the opportunity and excited to watch the program grow as FRA continues to live out its mission.” 

Recognized for his days as a standout quarterback and his coaching acumen, the school says Whittemore is best known for his commitment to the development of his student-athletes’ character and growth as young men who understand they are more than football players.  

“Bill has been instrumental in the development of our program and a mentor to so many on our campus,” said Head of School Sean Casey. “He has had a huge impact on the lives of our students, including my own son. I am grateful for how he has represented FRA, and I look forward to his continued involvement with our school community. He is a man of integrity and faith, and I am thankful for his dedication to our community and the mission of our school.” 

Whittemore plans to continue his work as a member of the FRA admission office, per the school. Associate Head Coach Ed Sanders will take on the role of interim head coach as Franklin Road Academy begins the search process. Coach Sanders graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Tennessee State University where he was a standout defensive back for four seasons and was named Ohio Valley All-Conference and All-American.

Following graduation, he played in the Canadian Football League before beginning his college coaching career at Delaware State University as special teams coordinator for four seasons. Sanders then went on to serve as defensive coordinator for his alma mater Tennessee State for seven seasons. Sanders joined the FRA staff last year as defensive coordinator.  

The school says Athletic Director Kris Palmerton will lead the search for Franklin Road Academy’s next head coach. He will be assisted by an advisory group led by former NFL players Matt Cassel and Chris Spencer as well as Assistant Head for External Affairs Ryan Harris. FRA says the group will consist of several individuals with extensive professional football experience and a clear understanding of the school's mission. 

The Panthers went 4-7 (1-4) this past season and will graduate standout running back Jeffery Vercher in the spring. 

Three-star offensive tackle Joe Crocker will return in the fall. He has offers from schools like Cincinnati, Duke, Florida State and Boston College, per 247 Sports.