Pima Community College Athletic Director Edgar Soto confirmed the addition of Canyon del Oro baseball coach Keith Francis to the staff of first-year head coach Ken Jacome. Soto calls Francis a, “true gem of Southern Arizona” for good reason – Francis has been a baseball mainstay in the Tucson area since his arrival from Kansas City some 18 years ago where he coached Albert Pujols at Maple Woods Community College.
Francis started coaching at Canyon del Oro when he got to the Old Pueblo and he picked up a state championship while coaching the likes of former University of Arizona and Chicago White Sox standout Brian Anderson and possible future MLB Hall of Famer Ian Kinsler.
Francis joined Soto at Pima after a few years with the Dorados and he joined the Arizona staff in 2007. “Ken Jacome has known Francis for a while and he did a great job for me back when I was the head coach,” Soto said. “Then Andy Lopez took him to Arizona.”
Francis built a 115-32 record in his first stint at CDO and he returned to the Dorados in 2015 and quickly picked up another state title at the school while adding 98 more wins to his record and he recently saw another one of his players get drafted when the Detroit Tigers took Nick Ames in June.
“His record speaks for itself,” Soto added. “Our players are lucky to have him.”
Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com