Franklin, entering his seventh season in the NFL, previously coached Tampa Bay's defensive line during the 2006 season. Tampa Bay signed Franklin after he coached the Southern California defensive line to the National Championship game in 2005. Before his time at USC, Franklin coached the Green Bay Packers' defensive line for five years (2000-04). The Packers made playoff appearances four of those five years.
A product the NFL's minority coaching fellowship program, Franklin worked with the Buffalo Bills the summer of 1994 and with the Cleveland Browns in 1995.
Franklin returns to the city where he had his first taste of the NFL. In 1988, he was an 11th-round draft pick of the Houston Oilers. Franklin also played professionally for the Seattle Seahawks in 1989. He then was the No. 1 draft choice of the San Antonio Rough Riders of the World League of American Football in 1991, but instead opted to begin his coaching career.
Franklin will replace Bob Karmelowicz who, after 31 years of coaching, will remain with the Texans in a different capacity.
Kirksey, entering his 11th NFL season, previously coached as assistant head coach and running backs coach at Middle Tennessee State (2006). During his years in the NFL, Kirksey was an assistant coach at San Francisco (1994-99), Detroit (2001-02), Jacksonville (2003), and volunteered in Denver (2004).
In 2000, Kirksey was an assistant head coach in charge of the wide receivers at Texas A&M. That year, he helped lead the Aggies to a berth in the Independence Bowl while injecting hints of the West Coast offense.