Changing the culture of a program is no simple task and new Clemson women’s volleyball coach Michaela Franklin is up for the challenge. Franklin accepted the job four months ago after a stint at Iowa as an assistant coach.
Franklin inherits a program with a storied past. From 2005-2012, the program had 20 all-region/all-conference performers, three NCAA tournament appearances, and an ACC Championship. Since then the Tigers have not had a winning season.
The new Clemson head coach is no stranger to winning and expects the same standard from the Tigers. As a player at Kansas State (2002-04) Franklin won a Big 12 championship, appeared in the NCAA tournament three times, and advanced to the Sweet 16 once.
After a brief stint assisting at Northern Illinois (2006-08) she was named defensive coordinator at Marquette. In her time there from 2009-12 the Golden Eagles had a second place finish in the Big East as well as back-to-back NCAA appearances.
In 2013, Franklin was named head coach of Green Bay University in the Horizon League. In her season there four players received postseason honors for the first time in program history. She led the team to a 9-5 record in conference play. Afterwards she spent three seasons under Bond Shymansky, including last season when the Hawkeyes went 19-13 with a pair of top 25 victories.
Franklin understands to become a championship team first you need to have championship behavior. When turning a program around without recent success positivity is essential to think like a champion.
“We want to feed the positive dog” said Franklin. “Everybody has a positive dog and a negative dog and the one that wins is the one that you feed the most.”
Sometimes it is difficult to address negativity without tearing down your team. Franklin said that a major key in changing the way her team thinks is by being a servant leader.
“I feel myself in a service role” she said. “Even coming at it directly they know that as a staff we care about them and want their best benefit.”
This season the Tigers are inwardly focused on becoming the best version of Clemson they can be.
“You have to stay focused on the vision and what we are going to be about” said Franklin.
This mindset is the cornerstone to turning around a program. The Tiger coach said “that is where my main focus has always been at every stop and once you get that and the players are on board you really start to see that change.”
Clemson opens their season this weekend with the Big Orange Bash in Jervey Gymnasium. Franklin is looking forward to the challenge and beginning her tenure as a Tiger.
“I’m really looking forward to Bethune-Cookman on Friday they have dynamic outside hitters who are fearless and swing away at the ball” she said.
The Tigers face off against Bethune-Cookman on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Jervey Gymnasium. The “Big Orange Bash” continues throughout the weekend as well.