Lobos track coach Franklin looks to this week and beyond - Albuquerque Journal

Lobos track coach Franklin looks to this week and beyond

When Joe Franklin arrived at the University of New Mexico in 2007 to coach cross country and track and field, he said the opportunity was like a blank canvas.

Franklin saw great potential at UNM after leaving Butler, where he coached in the same role for 13 years, he told a small group that included community members, boosters and Bernalillo County Sheriff Manny Gonzales at the Letterman’s Lounge in the Pit on Tuesday morning.

Franklin spoke at the informal, yet intimate event, and Gonzales followed.

Ray Birmingham, the former UNM baseball coach who is in a director role for the event, asked Franklin what brought him to New Mexico.

Franklin saw that blank canvas, which has featured several Mountain West Conference team and individual championships, two national championships in women’s cross country (2015, 2017), as well as helping bring premier events to Albuquerque.

Franklin talked mostly about the events, including this week’s Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships and next year’s NCAA Indoor Championships, both to take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The Lobos coach said he expects multiple individual champions for UNM at the league meet Thursday through Saturday and several who will advance to the NCAA Championships March 10-12 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Franklin proudly told the group that there have been 4,000 rooms booked at area hotels January through February, which has included five meets at ACC. He wants UNM to provide more impact to the city’s economy with the 2023 NCAA Indoor Championships that will be hosted by UNM and the city of Albuquerque as its partner.

This is the third time that the city of Albuquerque and UNM will have been awarded the NCAA Indoor Championships (2014, 2020).

In 2020, the NCAA meet was set to take place at the Convention Center, but on the meet’s first day, March 12, it was canceled due to what was the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lobos will also host an NCAA Cross Country Regional in the fall.

Franklin said he wants the community to embrace the event and showcase the state’s culture to draw spectators to the event. The Convention Center typically seats 2,500 for indoor meets, but will most likely have 4,500 for next year’s NCAA Indoor Championships, Franklin said. He added that it’s a realistic goal to sell out the event.

“It’s a situation that we’re asking: What are we doing to go above and beyond?” Franklin said.

He believes an NCAA meet conducted at a high level will only lead to more NCAA events for UNM. Ticket sales and publicity will be a challenge over the next year, he said.

Home » From the newspaper » Lobos track coach Franklin looks to this week and beyond


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Mississippi wins first CWS title by sweeping Oklahoma
College
The last team to get into ... The last team to get into the NCAA baseball tournament was the last team standing. Mississippi scored twice on wild pitches in a three-run ...
2
A numbers game: How UNM has shifted toward Title ...
ABQnews Seeker
As the nation celebrated 50 years ... As the nation celebrated 50 years of Title IX, the University of New Mexico is still trying to add opportunities for female athletes.
3
Lobo women's hoops staff undergoes several changes
College
Keith Freeman showed up in Albuquerque ... Keith Freeman showed up in Albuquerque this week with much to learn and eager to get started. He spent Wednesday afternoon prepping for his ...
4
Virgen: Two NM stars and what might have been ...
Featured Sports
About a year ago, Aidan Krafft ... About a year ago, Aidan Krafft of Cibola High and Quinn Yost of Piedra Vista might have had Cherry a ...
5
UNM has its three opponents for November's Lobo Classic
College
UNM's first in-season home tournament in ... UNM's first in-season home tournament in 15 years to be held Nov. 25-27 at the Pit
6
UNM creates 'Howl for Her' campaign for women athletic ...
ABQnews Seeker
University of New Mexico Athletics said ... University of New Mexico Athletics said Thursday it has launched a “Howl for Her” campaign that will raise funds specifically for Lobo women’s athletics. ...
7
Estes was linchpin in UNM's reach for sports equality
College
Title IX, passed into law on ... Title IX, passed into law on June 23, 1972, changed the women’s athletics landscape – and Linda Estes’ job – dramatically
8
Lobo golfer Choi transferring to Pepperdine
College
Sam Choi, who was named a ... Sam Choi, who was named a PING honorable mention All-American the past two seasons for the University of New Mexico, is transferring to play ...
9
First-round TBT game to pit former Lobos vs. former ...
ABQnews Seeker
A UNM Lobo alumni team and ... A UNM Lobo alumni team and an NMSU alumni team square off, highlighting the first night of the The Basketball Tournament's New Mexico Regional ...