Franklin ready to head NMMI athletics

 Roswell Daily Record (NM) – Thursday, July 8, 2010

The newest head of the New Mexico Military Institute athletic department is officially on the job – in a way.

Reggie Franklin, a 1977 NMMI Junior College alumnus, was officially named the successor to Dwight Burns as the athletic director of both the high school and junior college.

“I’m so excited right now,” Franklin said about the prospect of moving into his new job. “I’m excited about getting started; I really am excited to get started.”

Despite the excitement, Franklin still has mixed emotions over leaving his current position as executive secretary of the Alumni Association.

“When they announced that I (got) this job, I had very mixed emotions,” he said. “I love what I do here and I thank the board for giving me a great opportunity.

“I think this job will make me an even better athletic director.”

His experience at the Institute , Franklin believes, will make it even easier for him to transition into his new role.

“I’ve seen (NMMI) come a long way,” he said. “The things I went through as an athlete, student and cadet, and to see the changes that have been made in the last 30 years.

“You learn a lot from your experiences and I’ve seen a lot, so I think it will be a natural fit for me.”

Still, leaving his post with the Alumni Association won’t be easy for the Yates High School graduate.

“I have to thank Jennifer Rawdon and Renee James-Bresson for all their hard work, dedication and help and support they have given me over the last two years,” Franklin said about his current position.

Franklin has not made the switch out of the Alumni Association office just yet, but hopes to begin that process next week.

Franklin’s goals as head of the athletic department are simple – make every team and program competitive.

“We want all of our teams to be competitive,” he said. “All of our coaches are extremely competitive and I think one of my main jobs is going to be to see what can we get and what can I do to get our coaches and our teams to be competitive, night in and night out.

“We’ve got some office things to get taken care of first; we’ve got some things with baseball we’ve got to get done; things like that are first. Then we can get into some fundraising and working on getting more enthusiasm at our games.”

The athletic department won’t be foreign to the Houston, Texas, native. He spent 17 seasons as the head coach of the Bronco basketball program and has been with the Alumni Association since leaving that coaching post in 2008.

Before taking over the head coaching job at NMMI, Franklin spent five seasons as the head coach at Midland College in Midland, Texas. He also spent time as an assistant coach at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now known as University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and as an assistant at Midland.

Franklin’s first taste of the Institute came in 1975 when he joined the JUCO basketball program and the corps of cadets. After two years with the Broncos, he signed to play basketball at Southern Methodist University.

After playing two seasons at SMU, he joined the Harlem Globetrotters national team and spent two years travelling with the world-renowned basketball team.

A quick stay away from athletics and then Franklin was headed to Midland for his first coaching job.

Franklin was one of seven finalists for the position, including five that are currently working at NMMI. The five on-campus applicants were Franklin, Bronco baseball coach Bret Simmermacher, associate athletic director and director of physical fitness Brad Brimhall, associate athletic director and director of sports medicine Jose Barron and Colt basketball coach Pilar Carrasco.

The two off-campus finalists were Charlie Saavedra, who was a finalist for the position when Dwight Burns was hired, and Marshall (Mo.) High School athletic director Scott Latham.

Franklin’s first official day on the job will be July 19.

Reprinted with permission.

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