STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer added another member to his coaching staff as he announced Kansas assistant and former Texas A&M standout A'Quonesia "Aqua" Franklin is joining the Lady Bulldogs as an assistant coach.
Franklin's lone season at Kansas was a memorable one for the Jayhawks, as they advanced to the program's first Sweet 16 since 1998 and finished 25th nationally with a 21-13 record. The former standout guard for the Aggies helped mentor Angel Goodrich, who paced Kansas with 23.3 ppg in the NCAA Tournament and shattered the school record with 250 assists. Goodrich was named All-America Honorable Mention by both the WBCA and the Associated Press and one of four finalists for the Nancy Lieberman award, given annually to the top point guard in the nation.
"I'm very excited to join the staff here at Mississippi State. There are a lot of great athletes here in Mississippi and the surrounding areas," Franklin said. "I am really happy to be rejoining with Vic Schaefer, who recruited and coached me. Coach Schaefer is very passionate about the game and developing quality student-athletes. I have looked up to him as a father figure. He is one of my mentors, and I am excited to have the opportunity to help him win championships here at Mississippi State."
Franklin was an assistant coach at Stephen F. Austin for the 2010-11 season. During that year, she coached Tammara Marion to second-team All-Southland Conference accolades after she became the 25th Ladyjack to score 1,000 points and set a school mark for three-pointers made in a season.
"Aqua is a tremendous communicator. She has been through the wars not that long ago, and she knows what it takes to make it as an elite athlete in the SEC as well as the WNBA," Schaefer said. "Aqua took Texas A&M to the Elite Eight and Sweet 16, so she has instant credibility with our team. Aqua will be a great asset along with Johnnie in not only teaching on the floor and recruiting, but also giving guidance to our players in making good decisions off the court."
Franklin began her coaching career as a graduate assistant at her alma mater. She joined Schaefer and Lady Bulldog associate head coach Johnnie Harris in helping guide the Aggies to the Big 12 championship and the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Franklin knows what it takes to be successful on the court, as her standout Texas A&M playing career earned her the 38th pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft by the Sacramento Monarchs. She played the 2009 season with the Seattle Storm.
Franklin, who also spent two seasons assisting the Houston Elite AAU program, rated as one of the top guards in Texas A&M history. She earned AP All-America Honorable Mention honors her junior and senior seasons while claiming All-Big 12 accolades the final three years of her collegiate career.
A 2008 Big 12 All-Tournament Team selection, Franklin led the Aggies to three NCAA Tournament trips, including one journey to the Elite Eight.