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Fran Curci was an All-American American football quarterback at the University of Miami in 1959. He served as head coach at the University of Tampamarker from 1968 to 1970, the University of Miami from 1971 to 1972 and the University of Kentucky from 1973 to 1981.

Curci lead the University of Tampa Spartans to a 25-6 record in three seasons (1968-1970). After his team defeated the Miami Hurricanes at the Orange Bowl in 1970, and Tampa finished that season 10-1, he was hired by the University of Miami.

Curci's record at Miami was 9-13. He was head coach at Miami during the infamous Gator Flop in 1971, when the University of Floridamarker's defensive players allowed Miami to score a touchdown late in the fourth quarter by dropping to the ground mid-play so that University of Florida quarterback John Reaves could get the ball back and set an NCAA career passing record. Florida won the game 45-16. Curci refused to shake hands with Florida coach Doug Dickey after the game, and was quoted as saying, "I lost all respect for [Dickey] as a coach and as a man. What he did shows no class... I think he made a fool of himself."

During his tenure at the University of Kentucky, Curci compiled a record of 46-52-2.He led the team to a Southeastern Conference co-championship in 1976. The 1976 Kentucky Wildcats finished 8-4, 5-1 in conference play, and defeated North Carolina in the Peach Bowl 21-0, finishing ranked #18 in the final Associated Press poll. The 1977 Wildcats finished 10-1, including a win at #4 Penn State and an undefeated record in conference play. The 1977 squad did not go to a bowl game due to NCAA sanctions, but finished the season ranked #6 in the final Associated Press poll.

Curci's tenure as Kentucky's coach ended after problems continued to erupt in the program, including NCAA sanctions that were imposed for recruiting violations. In his final game as Kentucky's coach, Curci led the Wildcats to a 21-10 victory over Tennessee on November 21, 1981.

Curci later coached in arena football with the Tampa Bay Storm (1991) and did radio broadcasts for college football games.

After leaving coaching, Curci served as Parks Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Kentuckymarker. Curci now lives in Tampa and volunteers at the VA hospital. [316494] [316495]

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