Storied Women’s Golf Assistant Brent Franklin Retires
BOULDER —After 20 seasons with the University of Colorado women's golf program, associate head coach Brent Franklin has retired.
Franklin joined the Buffaloes in 2003 as a volunteer coach. In 2005, he was elevated to an assistant, and prior to the 2019 fall season, he was promoted to associate head coach.
In his time with CU, Franklin helped head coach Anne Kelly elevate and grow the program. In his first full season as an assistant (2005-06), the Buffs recorded a third-place finish at the Big 12 Conference Championship, the program's highest finish in the Big 12 era. A few seasons later, Colorado qualified for the 2009 NCAA West Regional, making its first regional appearance.
Colorado moved to the Pac-12 Conference for the 2011-12 season and immediately found success. CU finished sixth at its first Pac-12 Championship and advanced to the NCAA West Regional. Playing on their home course at Colorado National in Erie, Colo., the Buffs finished fourth to earn their first team appearance at the NCAA Championship.
The team continued its upward trajectory and at the 2017 Pac-12 Championship, recorded a runner-up finish, its best-ever finish at any conference championship. Then in 2018, the Buffaloes earned their second trip to the NCAA Championship after a sixth-place finish at the NCAA San Francisco Regional.
Under Franklin's guidance, five individual Buffs earned All-America honors. Emily Talley and Alex Stewart were the first two to be recognized in 2011-12. Talley was named an honorable mention All-American (National Golf Coaches Association and Golfweek) while Stewart was a Golfweek honorable mention honoree. Esther Lee earned four All-America honors. She was a Women's Golf Coaches Association Second Team pick twice (2014-15, 2015-16) as well as a Golfweek Third Team selection those same years. Robyn Choi and Brittany Fan were both named 2017-18 WGCA honorable mention All-Americans.
The first Buff to earn all-conference honors also came during Franklin's time with CU. Hannah Hoch was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team following the 2004-05 season. Emily Childs was the second Buff to pick up all-conference honors as a first team selection (2008-09). Jess Wallace and Talley were both named to the 2010-11 All-Big 12 First Team and the following season, Wallace and Talley, along with Stewart, were the first Buffs named to the All-Pac-12 team. Wallace and Talley earned second team honors while Stewart was an honorable mention pick. Since then, six Buffs have recorded eight post-season conference honors, most recently Malak Bouraeda (2020-21).
Following graduation, many Buffs have seen additional success. Three have gone on to play on the LPGA Tour (Choi, Lee and Jenny Coleman), in addition to several who have played on the Cactus and Epson, previously known as Symetra, Tours. Coleman ranks 26th on the Epson Tour career money list and three other former Buffs rank in the top 200, including Choi who currently ranks 103rd – and 18th for the 2022 season.
Colorado has also seen success off the course. In the last 20 years, the Buffs have had 16 individuals named WGCA All-American Scholars. Numerous athletes have been named to conference all-academic teams and academic honor rolls.
"It was an honor and pleasure to work with Brent for so many years," Kelly said. "He had an incredibly positive impact on our golf program. His loyalty to this program and me was much appreciated. His skills as a golf instructor and coach are amazing and will be missed. I really can't thank Brent enough for all he has done for CU women's golf. I wish him all the best in the future."
A native of Barrie, Ontario, Franklin enjoyed a great deal of success as a junior golfer in Canada. He won the Canadian Junior Boys Championship and the British Columbia Junior Boys Championships in 1983 and '84 before embarking on a collegiate career at BYU where he recorded three All-America honors. During that time, he also became the only person to win three straight Canadian Men's Amateur Championships in stroke play format from 1985-87 and he also won the 1985 Alberta Amateur Championship.
He turned pro in 1988 and earned the Canadian Professional Golf Tour's Rookie of the Year after claiming six top 10 finishes in eight tour starts, including winning the Canadian PGA Championship. He then moved to Japan to compete on the Japan Golf Tour from 1989-95, where he compiled 10 runner-up finishes in 112 starts. In 1993, he was selected to the Dunhill Cup Team for Canada and twice represented Canada for the two-man world cup championship. He was Canada's highest world-ranked player from 1992 through 1994 reaching a high of 86 in the world rankings.
Franklin was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2010, the PGA of Canada Hall of Fame in 2014 and the BC Golf Hall of Fame in 2017. He is married to the former Kristine Hoos. They have two sons, Jaxon and Walker.