BEAUMONT, Texas – Aqua Franklin has been named Lamar University head women’s basketball coach announced Lamar University Director of Athletics Marco Born during a press conference Wednesday morning at the Montagne Center. Franklin becomes the 14th head coach in program history. Prior to returning to the KU sidelines for the 2015-16 season, Franklin spent three seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State. She helped lay the foundation for what has become one of the premier programs in women’s collegiate basketball. In 2014-15, Mississippi State posted a 27-7 overall record and an 11-5 mark in SEC play, setting school records for wins in both categories. The Bulldogs also advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament that season. Due to her efforts on the recruiting trail, the Bulldogs brought in a class that was ranked among the nation’s top-20 in 2013. Franklin comes to LU with 10 years of coaching experience which includes the previous four seasons serving as the associate head coach at Kansas. Her résumé also includes one year as an assistant at Stephen F. Austin before making stops at Mississippi State and her first stint at Kansas. “I am honored and proud to be named the next women’s basketball coach at Lamar University,” said Franklin. “One of my dreams has been to be a head coach in my home state. My Texas background and connections make Lamar the perfect place for me. My staff and I will be committed to our student-athletes in engaging and empowering them to be the best version of themselves on and off the court. We will compete at the highest level and continue the winning tradition as a championship level program. This is a special opportunity and I am thankful for Dr. Kenneth Evans, Marco Born and the rest of the administration for their trust and support.” During her time with the Jayhawks, Franklin has mentored four KU guards to all-league accolades, including Christalah Lyons each of the past two seasons. During the 2016-17 season, Franklin mentored guard Jessica Washington to new heights on the hardwood. Washington became the first Jayhawk to garner Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors after averaging a league-best 19.3 points per game in Big 12 play. During her first stint with the Jayhawks, Franklin helped KU to one of its best seasons, which was highlighted by a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. Franklin coached Angel Goodrich to a banner season as she led KU with 23.3 points per game and set the KU school record with 250 assists. Goodrich was named Honorable Mention All-America by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and the Associated Press (AP) and was one of four finalists for the Nancy Lieberman Award. “I’m extremely excited to be naming Aqua Franklin as our next head coach,” said Born. “As we began the process of looking for our new head coach, there was one name that kept rising to the top. Aqua has put together a very distinguished career and is viewed as one of the up and coming talents in coaching. It goes without saying that she came highly recommended. She also has great recruiting ties within the state of Texas, and already has a strong knowledge of the Southland Conference.” Franklin comes to Beaumont with strong ties to the Southland Conference having spent the 2010-11 season at Stephen F. Austin. During her time in Nacogdoches, she helped Tammara Marion become one of the top guards in school history. Marion ended her career as the 25th player to score 1,000 points and graduated as the school’s all-time leader in three-point field goals. Franklin’s coaching career began at her alma mater where she served as a graduate assistant. Her time on the A&M sideline came following a professional playing career in WNBA. Selected as the 38th overall pick by the Sacramento Monarchs in the 2008 draft, Franklin lead the Monarchs to the opening round of the WNBA playoffs. She spent the following season with the Seattle Storm.