Blog Entry

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Posted on: December 14, 2010 10:55 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We'll forgive you if you want to take this Washington Post report concerning the vacant Vanderbilt head coaching position with enough salt to make the Morton girl jealous, what with their last effort -- you know, the one that said the Commodores only had to iron out the details before Gus Malzahn took the job -- not exactly standing as a beacon of journalism.

All the same, there's no doubt a reporter writing under a blog named "Terrapins Insider" has better sources on the Maryland end than the Vandy end, and so it's best to pay attention when he writes this:

James Franklin , Maryland’s offensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting, is expected to become the next head football coach at Vanderbilt, according to two sources close to Franklin with knowledge of the negotiations.

Contract details are being negotiated today, and barring an unforeseen road block, Franklin could be announced as Vanderbilt’s head coach today or tomorrow.
This would make a lot of sense for Vandy: Franklin was by all accounts their second choice all along, and if he's not bothered by the school's preference for Malzahn -- and why would he, given that he can now demand a salary at least in the same ballpark as the 'Dores blockbuster offer to Malzahn, reportedly in the neighborhood of a guaranteed $15 million over five years -- there's no reason to start the search over again elsewhere.

It also makes a lot of sense for Franklin, who no doubt had little interest in remaining behind Ralph Friedgen for another year in College Park and will be bagging a hefty raise in the process. Put both sides together, and there's no reason to think the WaPo is crying wolf at us again.

Franklin's departure also probably signals the end of the coach-in-waiting trend for good; with two high-profile desertions out of the coaching on-deck circle this week coming on the heels of last offseason's acrimonious Bobby Bowden departure and the NCAA's restrictions on the coach-in-waiting's recruiting efforts, at this point the potential boost to staff continuity doesn't appear to be worth the headaches that come with it.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 6:07 pm

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:04 am

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

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Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:04 am

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Vandy should not be looking for a Vandy type guy.  They need someone that can breath life into that stale program.  I do not see Franklin as that by any means.  He is just another guy.  I am not a fan of Mike Leach and surely would not want him at LSU, but he could do wonders at Vandy.  Duke was a winner when Spurrier was there, and Stanford is a winner now under Harbaugh.  Northwestern has had their moments, but somehow, Vandy cannot put forth a winner.  The academic excuse is just that, merely an excuse.  They are a school that has never really tried to be good.  This will turn out to be another example of that.  I would rather have Memphis in the SEC than Vandy, especially now that they have some financial backing.  Vandy will always be Vandy.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:19 am

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Mike Leach is not exactly a Vanderbilt type guy. And while no one is saying Maryland has the most dynamic offense in the land, it depends what youre looking for. Maryland has been a pretty much run-first attack (partly due to talented RBs, and not-so talented QBs). But the team went from 2 wins to 8 this year and put up 30+ pts and 340+ yards a game. After switching midseason to a redshirt freshman QB. Im not saying Will Franklin will make Vanderbilt SEC contenders, I just think youre underselling him just a bit.

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:59 pm

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Vandy has such high acedemic standards building a quality team is going to be hard .. On the other hand I don't blame Franklin for leaving the Terps ...he would have been named head coach last had the school not have to pay Friedgen $4 million in a buyout... course last season the Terps dismal like 3-9 season has been turned around this season and there is no talk of firing the head coach now so he gets a chance to be a head coach finally I am glad he took it and I wish  him and the Commodores the best of luck ...

Since: Jul 22, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2010 5:34 pm

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

The problem that you have here is that you have an Academic institution, I mean aa REAL academic institution in Vandy not like most of the rest of the schools in the SEC where the word student athlete is not taken seriously, but what you have is Vandy trying to compete with the big boys of the SEC and keep their academic integrity as intact as it can be.
A coach like Mike Leach is NOT accustomed to recruiting the types of players that can both get into Vandy and play football on an SEC level.
What you need is someone like Mark Whipple who coached at Brown where his whiplash offense put up huge numbers and he had a stout defense too & also won a national Championship at Umass, was QB coahc for the Steelers for a while and most recently was the O.C. at Miami (FL.) which while the 'Canes didn't light up the ACC this year who's to say Shannon gave  him the control over the offense that would have led to LOTS of points!
 Someone like him, Tim Murphy at Harvard who has been mentioned for other non Ivy coaching vacancies in the past, or someone at a school like Stanford, Purdue, Northwestern, schools that are able to strike that balance between competitive football & academic integrity is what & who you need for a school like Vandy.
Sure everyone wants the big fish like Leach or Tuberville who's out of football or at a smaller school but a guy like that is only going to pull a Dennis Erickson and be gone after 2-3 years tops for the next best, big job.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:20 pm

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

I think this hire means Vandy will stay Vandy.  They needed some imagination with this pick, but they stayed safe.  Leach should have been the person they called after Malzahn, not Franklin.  Ever hear anyone talking about how great the Maryland offense is?  I did not think so. 

Since: Apr 7, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 2:29 pm

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Well I guess I'm not the only one who thinks this way, seeing as within an hour or so of my post CBS was reporting that Dana Holgorsen is headed to West Virginia as the OC this coming season and the head coach in 2012 - a coach-in-waiting as it were.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2010 12:25 pm

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

Coaches just do not like to retire on a set schedule in the future, so yes the Coach in Waiting is over, given the NCAA rules on the official designation.    Coaches are mostly too competative to want to coach for only two or three more years,  they are either all in or all out now that they get paid enough to retire in style if they really want to do that. 

Since: Apr 7, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:21 am

Report: Franklin set to become Vandy head coach

The coach-in-waiting thing can only work if the head coach is DEFINITELY going to step down at the end of the current season or the next. Then it could bring some stability, and the school could try its best to "book" its replacement early. Any more than that though and it's a mess. Bowden had four years to leave FSU or Jimbo was going to get paid off - and he used three of them before being told to go home. Mack seems intent to continue for another year or two and Muschamp got tired of waiting (plus Fla is on par with Texas anyway as far as gigs go). The Fridge just won coach of the year. Who knows if he will actually retire at the end of his contract (2011).

If you're definitely going to retire next year (JoePa!?) name a successor, otherwise don't bother. And always keep in mind that if a better job comes, they're gone - but the same rule holds true to head coaches, so why would it be any different for coaches in waiting?

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