Community: Franklin takes over as YMCAs sports director

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By Mike Cote

Heading one of the biggest, fastest-paced sports departments in the county seems like it might have a steep learning curve for a newcomer.

But in less than a month, Quanni Franklin feels she’s gotten a pretty good grip on it.

Franklin is the new sports director at the Family YMCA of Los Alamos. Franklin took over the post for Joanna Davis May 12 and said she’s enjoying her new surroundings and her new gig.

She has coached track and soccer on the collegiate level but was looking for something different when she applied for the YMCA job.

“I really wanted to work in recreation on some level,” Franklin said. “I didn’t want to stay in coaching, so I found this job. Luckily, they (YMCA officers) liked what I had to offer, and they liked what I had to offer.”

In her position, Franklin will oversee one of the largest youth sporting leagues in the county, the YMCA youth basketball league, which gets going in the fall.

Franklin said that upcoming challenge doesn’t feel particularly daunting because of her past experience organizing recreational sporting events and tournaments. She’s also getting a chance to cut her teeth at the YMCA by currently putting together such events as the Firecracker 5K race, scheduled for July 4, and a new YMCA dodgeball tournament, which is set for July 12.

“I’m in my realm,” Franklin said. “This is good – let me knock on wood right now – everything’s going really smoothly…I don’t have any worries, and if I do, there are people here who can help me out.”

Franklin holds a master’s degree in sports science from Defiance College (Ohio), where she also coached the throwing events for the women’s track and field program, something she did for two years.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at Manchester College, in her home state of Indiana.

Initially as an undergrad, Franklin played basketball for Indiana State University, its most famous hoops alum being NBA Hall-of-Famer Larry Bird.

But while playing at Indiana State, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament and had to leave the program, and she ultimately left the school.

Because of her ACL tear, Franklin looked for another sport to partake in.

She decided upon the track and field throwing events, which were far easier on the knees than basketball.

In college, she performed all the throwing events – javelin, shot put, discus and hammer – and would eventually qualify for nationals.

Sports, Franklin said, have always been a big part of her life and continues to be.

“It’s a good experience,” she said. “It’s really good when you have sports as a release. That’s one of the big reasons I like recreation. It’s good to have that free time to just let go.”

So far, she said the YMCA staff has been good to work with and has helped her out when she’s needed it.

In her spare time, she likes to fiddle with electronic gadgets, although she admits one of the gadgets she may fiddle too much with is the television.

“If you don’t see me playing sports, I’m probably watching some trashy reality show,” she said.