Franklin Road Academy is proud to announce the hiring of Justin Geisinger as the new head coach of the Panther football program. 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. 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 Semi-Finals 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 Matt Cassel, Jared Allen, Chris Spencer, and 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.
"Coach Geisinger has a great understanding of this community and our programming and I’m excited to see the growth of our athletic program under his leadership. I know he’s focused on bringing our athletics to a new level while simultaneously seeing the development of our student athletes’ character. He will be a great resource in realizing FRA’s mission of developing leaders of integrity and purpose. Under Coach Geisinger, I believe we’ll see tremendous growth both in our athletes and this program," shared Spencer.
“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. 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,” said Geisinger.
“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. “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 this spring to meet with players, coaches, and families as he prepares for his arrival in June.