VINCENNES, Ind. - Todd Franklin has received another national
honor and is the recipient of the 2018-19 Spalding NJCAA Men’s
Basketball Division I Coach of the Year award.
The NJCAA announced the news on April 12.
Franklin coached the Vincennes University Trailblazers to the
NJCAA Division I national championship and was named Coach of the
Tournament in March. VU defeated Ranger (Texas) 87-77 in the title
game in Hutchinson, Kansas, on national television. It was the first
national championship for the Trailblazers since 1972 and fourth in
A special season keeps getting better for the Trailblazers.
Earning the Spalding NJCAA Division I Coach of the Year award is a
credit to Franklin and his players.
“It means a lot,” Franklin said. “It’s exciting because you
achieve it because your team was good. We had a group of guys that I
am very proud to have coached. This is a year we will remember not
just because we won a national championship; we are going to remember
it because we did it with a great group of guys who we really feel did
it the right way.”
The national champions produced a 34-2 overall record on the
way to winning the top prize. The Trailblazers were ranked in the
national poll the entire season and climbed as high as No. 1. They
also won the District 16 regular-season title.
It was a remarkable season enjoyed by many. Franklin has heard
from countless individuals since winning the national championship.
“The great thing is it means a lot to a lot of people,” he
said. “It means a lot to a lot of people who have played for us. It
means a lot to people around Vincennes who hadn’t seen a championship
“If you had to pick a year to do it, this was a great year to
do it because of the great group of guys. They epitomized what we try
to be. They were a bunch of guys who were overachievers. By the time
it was over, they were a really good basketball team who I thought was
probably the best team from start to finish throughout the season, and
they did it as a team. If you are going to win one as a coach, you
hope it’s that kind of team and it was.”
The awards and accolades have been piling up for Franklin.
He was presented the 2019 National Association of Basketball
Coaches NJCAA Coach of the Year Award last week in Minnesota. A couple
of days later he received an NABC Honor Award for achieving 600 career wins.
Franklin, who was inducted into the NJCAA Men’s Basketball
Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018, has cemented his place in
the history of one of the nation’s top programs.
He earned his 600th career win during the national tournament
when VU beat Odessa (Texas) in the quarterfinal round. His career
record is 602-138 in 22 seasons for a .812 winning percentage.
Franklin’s career record at VU is 272-41 in nine seasons. He has
coached the Trailblazers to seven consecutive national tournaments,
which is a modern-day junior college record.
Guiding VU to the national title for the first time in 47 years
“Forever there was ‘we’ve done everything else…final fours and
elite eights,’ and we had good guys who played all over the country,
graduated, and have gone on to be good people,” Franklin said. “There
was only one ‘but’...we hadn’t won it.
“The biggest thing about this particular national championship
is it eliminated that ‘but’ and allows you to not only enjoy this
year, but to enjoy all the really good years that we’ve had. This is
great for everybody who has been involved with our basketball family.”
MARCIA MARTINEZ, Sports Information Director & University
Life Reporter 812-888-4164 office, 314-599-1519 cell,
VUNews@vinu.edu, email@example.com VINCENNES UNIVERSITY,
Department of University Relations, www.vinu.edu/newsroom