Francis to Lead Men’s Basketball

June 12, 2024

Tyler FrancisҴý athletics is pleased to announce the appointment of Tyler Francis as head coach of the men’s basketball team. Francis succeeds John Ritzdorf, who stepped down last month to take the same role at Santa Fe College in Florida.

"I am very excited to become the head men’s basketball coach at Ҵý,” said Francis. “I would like to thank (Ҵý-Columbus President) Dr. Kathy Fuchser and athletic director Mary Young for this opportunity. Throughout the interview process, it was clear to me how invested the athletic department and school are in their student-athletes in all aspects of the student-athlete experience. This program has experienced a lot of success in recent years, and I am eager to build on that success and continue to grow the Raider men’s basketball program.”

Francis comes to Ҵý from Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, where he served as an assistant coach with the men’s basketball team for the last five years. During that span, the Eagles won Iowa Community College Athletic Conference titles in 2020 and 2022 while amassing 111 wins. Francis assisted in the development of 21 All-Region 11 and five All-American players, 19 of which moved on to NCAA Division I and II programs. He also served as Kirkwood’s assistant sports information director.

During the 2018-19 season, Francis served as an assistant coach at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Ill. The Golden Eagles finished the season with a record of 25-7, won Region 4 and NJCAA District 2 Championships and were runners-up at the NJCAA DIII National Tournament.

“Tyler Francis is an exceptional hire for Ҵý and has a strong track record of success,” said Young. “His ability to develop talent and build upon our winning culture will be invaluable to our men’s basketball program. We are excited to see the positive impact he will have on our student-athletes and the entire community.”

Prior to Rock Valley, Francis was a graduate assistant for the women’s basketball team at Wichita (Kan.) State University. His duties included video operations, scouting, player skill development and graphic design for recruits and social media.

Born and raised in Manhattan, Kan., Francis played basketball at Dodge City (Kan.) Community College from 2011 to 2013 before transferring to Wichita State. There he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master of education in sport management.

Francis and his wife, Maggie, are the parents of a daughter, Charlie, who will turn one in November.