May 24, 2006
DeKalb, IL - Conference championship, check. National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament berth, check. Advancing in the NCAA Tournament, check. Solid student-athlete, check, check and double-check.
Those are just some of the appealing attributes that led Northern Illinois University head women's volleyball coach Ray Gooden to hire former Kansas State University player Michaela Franklin as the Huskies' new assistant coach.
"We're excited to have someone with (Michaela's) level of energy and enthusiasm come to the program," Gooden said.
Although NIU is Franklin's first collegiate coaching job, the Lincoln, NE, native has honed her skills as an assistant coach for the Nebraska One Volleyball Club 171's since November of 2005. She has also spent time coaching in various camps, including the nationally-ranked University of Florida Volleyball Camp (2005), Kansas State Volleyball Camp (2003-05) and Pius X High School Volleyball Camp (2002-05) in Lincoln, NE.
Franklin, a three-year letterwinner for Kansas State University, totaled 238 kills in a Wildcat uniform from 2002-04. During that span, Franklin helped K-State advance to the NCAA Regional Semifinals (Sweet 16) and a Big 12 Conference title in 2003, along with advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and 2004. As a freshman, Franklin played for Northern Michigan University where she garnered 421 kills, including 24 double-digit kill performances in 2001.
The 23-year-old Franklin was equally as proficient in the classroom, as she received Kansas State's Snell Award for academic success as a senior. She took home Academic All-Big 12 Second-Team honors as a junior, while being named to the K-State spring semester honor roll as a sophomore. During all three of her years in Manhattan, K-State was given the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award.
As a prep, Franklin was a highly decorated athlete, claiming 12 letters in volleyball, basketball and track at Lincoln High School in Lincoln, NE. She was a four-year starter for the Links volleyball squad, helping Lincoln to a pair of district titles. During that span, Franklin was named to the Lincoln Journal-Star Super-State First Team as a senior and was a third team selection as a sophomore and junior. She was a three-time All-City First-Team selection, while earning Class A All-State honors as a senior.
NIU opens the 2006 campaign on August 25, as they will host Eastern Kentucky University at 7 p.m. as a part of the Fourth Annual NIU Comfort Inn and Suites Invitational at Victor E. Court in the NIU Convocation Center.