Courtesy of Garden City Community College
Garden City, KS-The Broncbuster track and cross country programs will be heading in a new direction for the 2019-2020 season.
On Thursday, the athletic department announced the hiring of assistant Kim Francis as the new Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track Coach at Garden City Community College.
“I’m very grateful and very thankful for the opportunity,” Francis said. “We expect to do great things here.”
Francis replaces Jimmy Joseph, who left following last season. She spent the past 12 months as the lead assistant for both programs.
“We are excited to have Kim lead our program this season,” Director of Athletics Greg McVey said. “She was an amazing track athlete, and is truly committed to developing individuals both on and off the track.”
Before coming to Garden City, Francis trained and competed professionally as an Adidas-endorsed athlete, earning a bronze medal in the 60-meter hurdles in Canada during the 2016 season. She won silver the year before in the 100-meter hurdles in Sint Maarten.
“I want to build this program into a heavyweight in the NJCAA,” Francis said. “We’ve had some really big names come through here, and I want to continue that tradition. We want to make a name for these kids.”
A native of Lafayette, LA, Francis was an 11-time state champion at Northside High School. In 2009, she was named the Louisiana Gatorade Athlete of the Year. The following season, she won the prestigious Wendy’s High School Heisman award, racking up four straight first-team All-State selections along the way. Francis set the Louisiana 4A state record in both the 100-meter and 300-meter hurdles while leading her team to three outdoor and two indoor state titles.
“I want kids to come here and be able to move on to the Division-I level,” Francis said. “I want them to get their times down so they get those opportunities. I want this to be the place to be.”
Francis went on to star at Louisiana Tech, where she was an All-American and six-time conference champion. She set the school record in the 100-meter hurdles, and became the first hurdler to run a sub 13-second race. She won gold at the conference championships twice, broke the record in the 60-meter hurdles in 2013 and was an NCAA qualifier all four years.
“We are optimistic that Coach Francis can grow out track and cross country program into one of the very best in the KJCCC, Region VI, and on a national scale,” McVey said.
While this is her first collegiate head coaching job, Francis has plenty of coaching experience. She’s hosted weekly training camps for kids and has held voluntary conditioning programs at Lafayette Christian Academy. In addition, Francis holds annual youth track camps in Lafayette every spring.
Francis lives in Garden City with her daughter, Aubrey Barnes (3).