NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has named University of New Mexico head track and field coach Joe Franklin Mountain Region Men’s and Women's Coach of the Year.
Franklin, in his seventh year with the Lobos, coached the New Mexico to a sweep of the team titles at the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships last month, where the Lobos earned a program-record 29 all-conference selections.
The men won their second straight championship and the women claimed their first such title at the Cadet Field House on the grounds of the U.S. Air Force Academy. It is the first sweep of the indoor championships in school history and the first such sweep in the conference since 2011.
The Lobos produced six event championships on the men’s side, including two medal sweeps in the 3,000- and 5,000-meter runs. New Mexico also claimed victories in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 4x400 meter relay en route to defeating Colorado State 166.5-133.
UNM parlayed that performance in a program-record-tying 15 All-Mountain West plaudits.
The New Mexico women won their first-ever indoor conference championship behind individual titles in the mile, pole vault and long jump. The Lobos set two new school records at the meet, and won the team title over Wyoming, 148.5-84, which is the largest margin in three years.
The women earned 14 all-conference nods, which eclipses the program’s highest total indoors of 11 selections set in 2012
Franklin, a native of Greencastle, Ind., is no stranger to accolades, having been selected as the MW cross-country coach of the year 10 times while at New Mexico. He has also been named NCAA regional cross-country coach three times at UNM.
These two selections are his second and third regional track & field coach honor in his career. He has also earned MW Men’s Track & Field Coach of the Year the past two years, as well as MW Women’s Track & Field Coach of the Year this year.
Franklin will look to continue his success this weekend, as he coaches four athletes at the Albuquerque- and UNM-hosted 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday.