Director of football operations Fran Foley joined the Maryland staff with 23 years of football experience at the collegiate and professional levels. His experiences also include foundation and development. This is the third staff that Maryland head football coach Randy Edsall and Foley have worked on together.
Foley, who is in his fifth year, handles the day-to-day operation of the Maryland football program.
Prior to his arrival in College Park, Foley was a development director with the Baptist Health Foundation of Jacksonville, Fla. His main focus was major gift solicitation and special projects that included working with professional athletes and major corporations.
Foley's previous job in football was at the professional level. Foley joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 as vice president, player personnel with over a decade of proven NFL success in San Diego and Jacksonville. Foley held pro scouting and personnel positions in both NFL franchises and both teams quickly elevated to the playoffs and built a foundation for long-term success in the salary cap era. Foley's responsibilities in Minnesota included oversight of the Vikings' pro and college scouting departments and player selection in the draft and free agency.
During his three seasons in San Diego (2003-05), Foley helped the Chargers make one of the most impressive turnarounds in recent NFL memory. In his debut season, the team struggled to a 4-12 mark, but the 2004 Chargers reversed their record, going 12-4 and winning the AFC West for the first time since 1992. Having worked for former Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith and with current Maryland defensive coordinator Brian Stewart and current Maryland wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell, who was a player at the time, Foley took part in advance scouting of opponents and player acquisitions.
Foley's start in the NFL came with Jacksonville in 1994 as the expansion Jaguars prepared to begin play, where he worked with McCardell as well. The team turned around from a 4-12 mark in 1995 to a 9-7 record in its second season and put together an unexpected run to the AFC Championship game with road wins at Buffalo in the Wild Card round and at Denver in the Divisional round before falling at New England in the AFC Championship game. The Jaguars became the only second-year expansion team in NFL history to advance to the playoffs.
Maryland head football coach Randy Edsall was also a member of the inaugural staff. From 1996-99, the Jaguars amassed a 45-19 record in the regular season, advanced to the playoffs each season and won the 1996 and '99 AFC Central titles. The 1999 Jaguars set a modern NFL record for scoring in a post-season game with a 62-7 win over the visiting Miami Dolphins in an AFC Divisional Playoff game.
Following the 1997 season, Foley was promoted from assistant director of pro personnel to director of pro scouting. The Jaguars were able to find talent that immediately fit the team through free agency early in the history of the franchise.
Foley got his start in college coaching as a part time assistant with Colgate in 1984 before moving as a graduate assistant at The Citadel in 1985 and Rutgers in 1986. From 1987-90 Foley worked in football operations at Rutgers.
Foley moved back to the sideline in 1991 at Boston College working with tight ends/ kickers before working with the Eagles' recruiting and operations in 1992-93. Edsall was a member of the Boston College coaching staff. It was during his three-season stint with Boston College that Foley began working with current New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. Foley and Coughlin would go on to work 12 years together. The Eagles posted a remarkable turnaround during the Coughlin era, going from 4-7 in 1991 to breaking into the top 10 in the polls, peaking at No. 9 in 1992. The 1993 Eagles went 9-3 and upset No. 1 Notre Dame 41-39 for one of the biggest wins in school history. During that span, many Boston College recruits went on to play in the NFL, including present NFL QB Matt Hasselbeck.
Foley earned his undergraduate degree in English literature from Framingham State College in 1984 where he played offensive tackle from 1980-81 before suffering a career-ending injury. A native of Worcester, Mass., Foley attended Worcester Academy where he was coached by former Green Bay Packers and Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman and current University of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, and was classmates with current Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. Foley and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter, Paige, and a son, Sean.