The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be adding Denver’s Alicia Hicken-Franklin to its coaching staff as associate head coach, replacing the departed Ryan Purdy.
Hicken-Franklin is a Gopher alumnus from the mid-1990s, competing for the legendary head coach Jean Freeman. Hicken-Franklin spent a brief time coaching at Washington State before settling in Denver for 17 years. She was an associate head coach with the Pioneers and will jump into that same role with the Golden Gophers.
A distance swimmer herself, Hicken-Franklin has had a solid run of success with Denver’s distance swimmers. It appears she’ll slide into that role with the Gophers, who have recently gotten big production out of a distance crew that includes All-American Brooke Zeiger.
Hicken-Franklin also has an international connection with Minnesota. As a swimmer, she represented Canada individually, making finals at Canadian Nationals and Canadian Olympic Trials. Minnesota’s close proximity to Canada has developed a nice recruiting pipeline that’s recently included breaststroker Kierra Smith and open water swimmer Breanne Siwicki, both of whom will compete for Canada at World Championships later this month.
Hicken-Franklin will take over for Purdy, who is the new head coach at Youngstown State. The rest of Minnesota’s coaching roster remains intact from last season: Kelly Kremer is the head coach along with senior associate head coach Terry Ganley, associate head coach Gideon Louw, assistant coach Tyler Gerst and diving coach Wenbo Chen.