Steve Franklin resigns as Gator Swim Team coach coach

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Franklin (Steve)

The Gator Swim Team and coach Steve Franklin have parted ways after an affiliation that lasted nearly nine years.

Franklin, who was hired in August 2003, tendered his resignation last week, and the club's board of directors wasted little time taking action.

"He submitted his resignation to the board of directors Thursday. The board of directors then accepted it Thursday night," said Eric Brazel, president of the Gator board of directors. "We informed the parents Friday midday."

Brazel said Franklin was not forced to resign and did not elaborate when asked if he was surprised by Franklin's decision.

"All I'm going to say is he resigned," Brazel said. "You know as much as we know. He resigned."

Franklin said he was not leaving the Gators for another job.

"I'm going to take a little time off," Franklin said. "I got a couple of places I'm going to talk to."

He did not get into the reasons for his departure.

"Let's just say I've been here a long time, and it's time to find a new place to coach," Franklin said.

He said he had been contemplating leaving for the last couple years.

"It was pretty quick," Franklin said. "It was just one of those things that just came up, happened and kind of took everybody by a little bit of surprise."

Franklin said he plans to remain in town for the present time with his wife, Debbie, and five children, three of whom still are in school.

Franklin has been a swim coach for more than 35 years after a successful competitive career. He netted all-state honors while at Warsaw Community High School in Indiana, and he later swam one year at Purdue and two years at Indiana State.

He came to Cape Girardeau at the age of 46 after a nearly four-year stint with the Nadadores Swim Team in Nashville, Tenn. He also coached the elite Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta as well as teams in Indiana and Oregon.

"It was a great time while I was here," Franklin said. "I enjoyed coaching the Gators immensely. It was just time to go. I've got no ill will toward the Gators at all."

The Gators have about 75 participants in the program during the winter and expand to about 170 swimmers during the summer.

Assistants Sally Loughary and Lizzie Schmidt remain with the club.

"We are obviously starting a search," Brazel said. "Right now we're taking it one day at a time."

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