UPDATE: Mizzou has issued a release with a Statement from Head Coach Eli Drinkwitz:
Drinkwitz Announces Coaching Staff Change
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou defensive line coach Jethro Franklin has been relieved of his duties, football head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced Sunday.
“After a careful review, I believe a change in direction at the defensive line coach was needed,” Drinkwitz said. “Jethro is a professional and man of high character, and we wish him all the best moving forward.”
Defensive analyst Al Davis will move into a full-time coaching role with the defensive line for the rest of the 2021 season.
Davis joined the Tigers staff in 2021 after coaching the defensive tackles at Illinois in 2020 and serving as the associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Hutchinson CC from 2018-20. The College Park, Georgia native played defensive tackle at Arkansas from 2008-12 and was a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 2014-16.
The Tigers continue a three-game homestand on Saturday against North Texas at Faurot Field. It is Mizzou’s 110th Homecoming with a 3 p.m. CT kickoff on SEC Network.
That didn’t take long, did it?
Less than a day after the final whistle blew on Mizzou’s embarrassing 62-24 loss to Tennessee, proverbial heads are rolling. The Missourian’s Emily Leiker reports that defensive line coach Jethro Franklin has been fired only five games into his tenure on staff.
BREAKING: Missouri defensive line coach Jethro Franklin has been fired, a source confirmed to the Columbia Missourian Sunday.— Emily Leiker (@emleiker) October 3, 2021
A spokesperson from MU has not yet responded to a request for comment. @CoMoSports https://t.co/cbxIk8BgiP
The report, which has since been confirmed by PowerMizzou’s Gabe DeArmond and the Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter, signals that Eli Drinkwitz is indeed feeling the effects of a disastrous two-game slide that has all but tanked the Tigers hopes at a bowl game in his second year as Mizzou’s head coach.
Franklin was hired in January 2021 with a decades-long resume as a defensive line coach at both the college and professional levels. Most notably, he served as DL coach for the Oakland Raiders when Khalil Mack emerged onto the NFL scene.
Despite his long track record, Franklin struggled to get any traction with a Mizzou defensive line that has looked outclassed in each of Mizzou’s three games against FBS opponents. The Tigers have the worst run defense in all of Division I football and were gashed on Saturday for upwards of 450 yards against Tennessee. The line has dealt with some depth injuries (Ky Montgomery and Jonathan Jones), but has failed to produce any impact with returners such as Trajan Jeffcoat, Kobie Whiteside or Chris Turner.
Mizzou Football has not yet confirmed the firing.