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Franklin Road Academy has hired former Tennessee Titans and Vanderbilt offensive lineman Justin Geisinger new head coach of the Panther football program, per a press release.

“This is a special opportunity for my family and two boys to become immediately entrenched into the FRA community, and I am excited to be joining the school as the head football coach," Geisinger said in the release.

"The school’s faith-based mission aligns well with my beliefs in building a program around a strong school community, and I look forward to the new challenges ahead. Together, we will continue to organically build a strong culture through the game of football. Developing strong relationships will always be a priority in our program, and I look forward to advancing the strong foundations that have been established as the FRA football program pushes into the future." 

Geisinger earned his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees from Vanderbilt University, where he was also a member of the football team. He was a four-year starter at left tackle, a two-year captain and an All-SEC selection and Outland Trophy nominee his senior year for the Commodores, per the release. 

He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL draft.

His professional career spanned five years playing for the Bills, Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders and Carolina Panthers. For the last seven years, Justin has been the head football coach at Pope John Paul II High School, leading the Knights to multiple state playoff appearances including a TSSAA DII Class AAA State semifinals appearance in 2021 and increasing the school’s season win totals each year.

“Justin is the epitome of an education-based athletics educator and coach. He understands the rigors of building a program from the ground up and energizing a school community,” said Franklin Road Academy Athletic Director Kris Palmerton. “His faith and passion for education, football and developing young men into future leaders is insurmountable. I am excited to walk alongside Justin on the journey of continuing to build the Panther football program.”

Geisinger’s appointment is the culmination of an extensive search process led by Palmerton and an advisory group led by former NFL players former Titan Matt Cassel, Jared Allen, former Titan Chris Spencer and former Titan Derrick Morgan as well as Assistant Head for External Affairs Ryan Harris.

“We are extremely excited for the hiring of Coach Geisinger as the new head football coach at FRA. He has a great coaching background and is dedicated to serving our mission for not only our football program but also our community,” said Cassel.

“I want to thank Head of School Sean Casey and Athletic Director Kris Palmerton for their belief and trust in me as a leader for the future of the football program at FRA,” shared Geisinger of his hiring.

“I look forward to working with the leadership team, faculty and staff to continue developing our program into something that will make the entire school community proud. Lastly, I am eager to begin building new relationships between our coaching staff, players, and families. It’s a great day to be a Panther.”

Geisinger’s appointment officially begins June 1. He will succeed long-time coach Bill Whittemore, who coached the Panthers for 10 years.

Geisinger will visit campus later this spring to meet with players, coaches and families as he prepares for his arrival in June, per the release.