Open Announce

Franklin named USTFCCCA Mountain Region Coach of the Year

by Evan O'Kelly

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Three days after leading New Mexico’s women’s cross country team to a runner-up finish at the 2022 NCAA Championships, head coach Joe Franklin has been named the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Mountain Region Coach of the Year.

Franklin, in his 16th season in charge of the cross country program, piloted the Lobo women to their 15th consecutive Mountain West Championships title earlier this fall. The favorites to win the NCAA Mountain Regional Championship, being ranked No. 2 nationally all season long, the Lobos delivered as expected with a victory on their home course on Nov. 11.

To cap the year off, UNM had five All-Americans at Saturday’s NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla., finishing behind only national champion North Carolina State. It was UNM’s 13th consecutive top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships, and their fifth top-five finish in the last six seasons. It was just the second time in program history UNM had five All-Americans at a single championship.

The USTFCCCA regional coach of the year awards are determined by the members of the coaches association. Franklin has now won the women’s regional coach of the year award five times, with this marking his first honor since the 2018 season. He also won the 2010 men’s regional coach of the year award, giving him six total in his tenure in charge of the Lobos.