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Monday, 01 April 2013 14:15

Where Are They Now?

Baker Athletics explores what Wildcat alumni have been up to since their glory days as a BU student-athlete. In this feature, we catch up with Sean "Shamu" Franklin. A 1990 graduate who played defensive line for the football team and now keeps the peace as a US Marshal Senior Inspector.

Baker Athletics: What is your fondest memory about playing for Baker?

Sean Franklin: My fondest memories are the ones that revolve around our practices and of the many road trips that we took during the playoffs over the four year span. Making the traveling team for our national championship run as a freshman. Scoring a defensive touchdown my sophomore year in the semifinals out in Washington. Surprising Coach Richards with the FranklinBioflashlight taped to my helmet as we practiced in the dark for "one more play" or "run it again." We had a lot of fun out there on the field, whether it was practice, game or film sessions. At times we would visit the Dan Harris hot tub whether invited or not to keep up the camaraderie. The friendships that were built are sure to last a lifetime.

Baker Athletics: What have you been doing since you left Baker?

Sean Franklin: I've been in the law enforcement field for over 22 years since the spring of 1991. While working with Lawrence Police Department I was the head coach of the West Jr. High 7th grade Football team for four years, then an assistant with Coach Lisher at Free State High School for another four years before I left the department and accepted a position with the U.S. Marshals Service where I could no longer make it to afternoon practices. I am the proud parent of two strong, confident beautiful daughters who keep me busy with all their sports adventures. Madison (15) is a freshman at Eudora High School and a standout in Volleyball. Delaney (11) will be a 6th grader next fall and is quickly learning the ropes of Volleyball and Softball. I'm hoping Baker takes notice early and can offer a full ride!

Baker Athletics: Do you still keep in touch with your Baker teammates?

Sean Franklin: Yes I do. Even before Twitter and Facebook existed, there were several of the guys that I stay(ed) in pretty good contact with. But it has expanded since social media has really peaked, it has been easier to make fun of each other with photos for the world to see. Going with Dan Harris and several former teammates up to Green Bay to see Coach McCarthy (who I lived across the hall from my freshman year at Denious) was a great time for all of us to catch up and enjoy the success Mike has created up there. It is great to see some of the guys I played with coaching some of the local teams also. Being a former Baldwin Bulldog, I'm proud of the accomplishments that Coach Berg has accomplished in his career so far. MBaker94Photoy brother Shelby (Baker (1993) and I recently competed in a few triathlons in the Midwest region and we enjoyed dinner or drinks with the families of Scott Rampy and Mark Wendt. So, yes these guys are teammates and friends for life.

Baker Athletics: How did your time at Baker impact your life?

Sean Franklin: Baker University has impacted my life in every factor, when I look back at the great times I had there. I recall wanting to go away for college because I wanted to be part of a bigger city and away from Baldwin, but looking back, it was exactly the right decision. Following in the footsteps of my dad who played football and graduated from Baker, I recall sitting in the kitchen with my parents and Dan Harris (who I already knew from wrestling with his boys Jay and Kit) and Dan selling me on the upside of playing football at Baker, rather than the larger universities in Lawrence and Manhattan. With his personality, Dan Harris was able to make me feel comfortable about what Baker could offer me. There has not been a moment that I ever regretted the experience I had at Baker University.

Baker Athletics: Looking back now what is some advice you would give to Baker freshman, along with seniors ready about to graduate?

Sean Franklin: I think I would give the freshman the simplest of advice of don't blink, because it goes so fast. I know that sitting in class and studying into the late hours can become cumbersome, but it is really worth it in the end run. Enjoy your time, make some good memories, make great friends and take it all in because soon, you will be out in the "real world" so enjoy the trip. Life in general is tougher now when dealing with everything from credit ratings to insurance, so keep your grades up as you will be judged from day one.

Seniors about to graduate, I would say prepare yourself for a tough economic future and the choices that go along with it. It isn't always what you know, but who you know also. Are you networking with the right people? Ask questions to employers or employees of a company you want to work for, such as: "What are some of the downsides to your job or your company"? I can almost guarantee that no one will openly tell you or explain the negative side effects of employment. Most companies give you an opportunity to ask questions at the end of an interview, use this time to really inquire. It shows that you do have a vested interest in them, not just a "job." Make as many contacts as you can in the field you want to work in, these are the people who may help you find a job. It may ultimately be your social skills that land you a job.

Baker Athletics: If you could talk to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell them?

Sean Franklin: In a "letter to me" I would have to write something along the lines of...
"Sean, you're going to have really want to push yourself a bit harder then you want too. You can't always get by with just doing enough to make it work, push yourself!! Nothing in life will be handed to you, you will have to earn it. Keep your comedy in check and have fun, but know that you want to be successful in everything you do, but also don't let them change you. You will enjoy life and all its ups and downs."

Baker Athletics: What motivated you to become involved in law enforcement, and eventually work as a U.S. Marshal?

Sean Franklin: I look back to the career of my Uncle Carl, who had been a Police Officer, then Sergeant in WorkRaytown MO. Yes, growing up I was the biggest of the kids and at Christmas or Thanksgiving gatherings, I was always the "Volunteer" for defensive tactics or demonstrations. Using some of my best humor I told my Uncle that I would get him back someday. During interterm of January 1990 along with classmate and fraternity brother Andy Bachman, we did several "ride-alongs" with KC metro area Police Departments to get a closer look at crime in the big cities. It really opened my eyes to what is occurring out in the world. I originally attempted to get into federal law enforcement right after graduating from Baker, but I didn't score over the 70% minimum (thanks to my great Math skills) so I sought out to work for a local department to gain some valuable insight. I was hired by the Lawrence Police Department in May of 1991 and worked several areas until the summer of 2004 when I resigned to begin my career with United States Marshals Service. I have been here for nine years, and am currently assigned to our Judicial Security Division and have a wide variety of duties, involving the protection of the Federal Judiciary.

Baker Athletics: You were responsible for nicknaming fellow football players in the late 80's. What were some of the most memorable nicknames you assigned?

Sean Franklin: I can neither confirm nor deny that I was involved with any nicknames given out...I'm sure that if a nickname was given, it was purely a moment of comedic genius...based on some athletic or non-athletic movement that had just been witnessed. I've been sworn to secrecy at this time and "I can't recall."

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