June 28, 2021

Leadership Gift Names Denver Men’s Soccer Head Coaching Position

DENVER – The University of Denver Division of Athletics and Recreation has launched its third head coaching endowment, the Jack and Sheila Weinberg Men’s Soccer Head Coach Endowed Fund, made possible by Jack and Sheila Weinberg.

This leadership gift is the third head coaching endowment at the University of Denver. In February of 2018, DU established the Richard and Kitzia Goodman Head Hockey Coach endowment. In February of 2020, a group of players, parents, alums and friends of the program kick-started the William G. Tierney Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach endowment.

“I’m so grateful for Jack and Sheila, and their commitment to making this head coaching endowment possible,” Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations Karlton Creech said. “Our student-athletes and future Pioneers benefit greatly from their generosity, as our men’s soccer program continues to represent this University at a championship level on the field, in the classroom and in their community. Coaching endowments play such an important role in helping the University recruit and retain top level talent as our program continues its pursuit of a men’s soccer national championship.”

Jack and Sheila Weinberg have been married for more than 38 years and were college sweethearts at DU. Jack was a goalkeeper for the Crimson and Gold through his final season in 1978. After receiving his B.S.B.A. in finance, Jack went on to work for Columbia Pictures. He eventually returned to Chicago where he owned and operated various television production and post-production facilities and other ventures. After graduating from DU with a degree in accounting, Sheila worked for regional accounting firms and as a consultant throughout her career. Sheila, a CPA, founded Truth in Accounting, a not-for-profit, whose mission is to educate and empower citizens with understandable and reliable government financial information. The couple lives in Glencoe, Ill., where they have resided since their nuptials. Jack and Sheila have two sons, and their families including two granddaughters, live in the area. Jack is a director of two family charitable foundations and chairs the Gottlieb Memorial Foundation. He continues to be involved with amateur sports and be an advocate as a director of the Positive Coaching Alliance in Chicago.

“Playing a sport provides experiences that can transform a young player into an industrious, disciplined person who, while enjoying the pure exhilaration of the game, learns to appreciate the talents of their teammates and respect the competition,” Jack says. “These life skills lead to the development of confident, capable and responsible adults. I began coaching kids when I was just a high school kid myself. I learned the responsibility of being a teacher and mentor to a group of young players over a period of 50 years. I have come to appreciate the incredible impact a superior coach can have on an athlete. I have seen all of the finest elements of an extraordinary coach and human being in Jamie Franks. It is Sheila’s and my great honor to create the Men’s Soccer Head Coaching Endowment Fund at the University of Denver in order to recognize and support the great work being done.”

Franks completed his sixth season as the head coach in the spring of 2021 (delayed 2020 season), running his head coaching record to 73-26-13 and improving Denver’s record in his nine years on campus as an assistant and head coach to 108-43-21. Combined as a player and coach, the 2016 National Coach of the Year has reached the College Cup five times including taking the Pioneers to their first College Cup in his second season at the helm in 2016. Franks has led the Pioneers to the NCAA Tournament in five of his first six seasons including receiving byes as one of the 16 national seeds three times.

“We are incredibly honored by the Weinberg family’s generous support and mentorship,” said Franks. “I would like to sincerely thank Jack and Sheila for their continued support of Denver Athletics and this tremendous contribution to the soccer program. This endowment will go a long way in strengthening the future of Denver soccer and sustaining our tradition of excellence, integrity, passion and grit. We look forward to continuing to develop people to be the best versions of themselves. We take pride in leaving the community better than the day before.

“The Weinbergs’ commitment will have an immense impact on our program and our pursuit of excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The Weinbergs’ energy and love for this university is truly inspiring, and we cannot thank them enough for their continued support.”  

Denver will begin its 2021 season in late August, Franks seventh as head coach of the program and his 10th overall with the Pioneers.