Coaches, dads have a happy Father’s Day

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In honor of Father’s Day, two Panhandle State University alumni and rodeo coaches pose with their sons, who won national titles at the 2020 College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming. They are Clarendon coach Bret Franks; his son, Cole, the bareback riding and all-around national champion; Kellan Johnson, the heading titlist for Casper College; Jhett Johnson, the 2011 world champion heeler and the Casper coach; and Carson Johnson, the champion heeler who roped with his brother this year to win the team roping crown.

A quarter century ago, Bret Franks and Jhett Johnson were teammates at Panhandle State University.

Now they’re two of several former Aggies who coach in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association, Franks at Clarendon (Texas) College and Johnson at Casper (Wyoming) College.

They’re also dads who happen to coach their sons. On Saturday night, they celebrated Father’s Day a little early at the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper. Cole Franks, a sophomore at Clarendon, won the bareback riding national championship. He also added the college’s first all-around title and helped Clarendon to its first men’s team national title.

Meanwhile, Kellan and Carson Johnson won the team roping for Casper. It was the second college title for Kellen, the oldest and the header among the two. He won the crown in 2018 while roping the horns for Trey Yates. The Johnson brothers earned their national titles together 11 years after Jhett Johnson won the heeling world title while roping with Turtle Powell. The Casper men’s team finished third overall.

Happy Father’s Day, Bret and Jhett.


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