Vanderbilt gives coach James Franklin new contract

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin yells at an official in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game againstTennessee on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt won 41-18. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin yells at an official in the second quarter of an NCAA college football game againstTennessee on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Vanderbilt won 41-18. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt is trying to prove the Southeastern Conference's smallest and only private university is serious about competing in the power conference of college football.

The Commodores rewarded coach James Franklin with another new contract for leading the Commodores to their best record in 30 years and to consecutive bowls for the first time in school history. Vanderbilt does not discuss contract details, but athletic director David Williams called it a "long-term" contract that will keep Franklin here "a number of years."

"We hope very soon we'll be playing in Atlanta for the SEC championship," Williams said.

Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos was on hand for the news conference about an hour before the Commodores celebrated their selection to the Music City Bowl on Dec. 31 a few miles away from campus. Since Franklin was hired two years ago, Vanderbilt now has gone from only four bowls in the program's history to six.

Franklin also helped post three sellouts on campus for the first time since 1996. Vanderbilt finished the regular season with six straight wins, the first such streak since 1955, and the Commodores' five SEC wins matched the school record of five set in 1935.

That had him being mentioned as a potential candidate for other schools, including Arkansas. Williams said they started talking to Franklin's agent two weeks ago before the first call but the athletic director still was contacted by "everybody in America" wanting permission to talk to Franklin.

But Williams said they are determined to keep Franklin as their coach because Vanderbilt officials know they needed someone to help them know what to do to compete in football.

"He's as much as Nick or myself setting the landscape of what we need to be a quality program, what we need to be a championship program," Williams said. "We wish we could do it all in one day. We wish we knew what to do all in one day. But it's taken a little time. This is a real big difference in what Vanderbilt has ever done."

Franklin said this new contract helps as he tried to focus first on Wake Forest, which Vandy beat 55-21 in the regular season finale, and now recruiting.

"Last night my phone's blowing up people are saying I'm here and I'm there and I'm getting on a plane," Franklin said. "I'm at Sambuca's with some recruits and our staff. So there's all types of speculation. You like to come out with a strong voice and be able to say it's over, but I wanted to make sure everything was in place before we did that."

The details Williams shared includes Vanderbilt making improvements to the training room with other renovations likely for the team's locker room at the stadium and the equipment room.

Franklin also got more money to help keep his assistants. Members of his staff were offered head coaching jobs last year and already have been approached about interviewing for head jobs and for defensive coordinator positions this year.

The contract apparently includes more money for Franklin, even though they won't say how much.

"James has been a tremendous success here and by any right he does deserve a raise anyway," Williams said. "We've tried to put him in a position where he and his family will be very, very happy and very comfortable here in Nashville, and I think that's the case."

The contract also apparently includes taking a close look at Vanderbilt Stadium, the SEC's smallest stadium with a capacity of 40,350. Williams has said he and Franklin will be looking at Stanford and California, which built new stadiums, and at Wake Forest, which is renovating its stadium.

"My goal and our goal is to be competitive to our peer institutions," Franklin said. "I think that's very, very important that we want to be the best in our peer institutions."

___

Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

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Comments » 43

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

Well I hope they didn't pay him too much more because they will be without their QB, best RB, and best receiver next year. I'll give them 6 wins tops. Same old Vanderbilt. However, if we see them win 8 to 9 games next year and the year after, it proves they are finally relaxing their academic standards. In the end, they should probably just remain a basketball school.

ambrown64 writes:

Always sell high, young man. Ask Jeff Tedford what I'm talking about.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to FLORIDAGATORHATER:

Well I hope they didn't pay him too much more because they will be without their QB, best RB, and best receiver next year. I'll give them 6 wins tops. Same old Vanderbilt. However, if we see them win 8 to 9 games next year and the year after, it proves they are finally relaxing their academic standards. In the end, they should probably just remain a basketball school.

Well deserved raise. If they go 6-6 next year that will be 3 bowls in three years, never happened before and might never happen again unless they keep Franklin.

voloffaith writes:

Cheaper by the dozen......

FLORIDAGATORHATER writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Well deserved raise. If they go 6-6 next year that will be 3 bowls in three years, never happened before and might never happen again unless they keep Franklin.

Definitely well-deserved. The larger question is what does Vanderbilt hope to achieve long-term? Is it their goal to simply be bowl eligible every year, or do they want to compete for the SEC? Is it worth it to them to pay Franklin 3 million or more a year to win 8 games at most? Or are they willing to sell their souls, lower their academic standards, and play with the big boys?

OLROCKYTOP writes:

Glad to mark him off the list, didn't want him in Knoxville anyway.

SummittsCourt writes:

He turned down 5 mil a year from Arkansas... how smart is he really.

http://outkickthecoverage.com/vandys-...

pcorange writes:

in response to FLORIDAGATORHATER:

Well I hope they didn't pay him too much more because they will be without their QB, best RB, and best receiver next year. I'll give them 6 wins tops. Same old Vanderbilt. However, if we see them win 8 to 9 games next year and the year after, it proves they are finally relaxing their academic standards. In the end, they should probably just remain a basketball school.

They're out-recruiting us.

underthehill writes:

Since Vandy is a private school and are not required to make public the details of their contract..only Franklin and Vandy would know how much he is being paid..one thing is certain ..he has done an unbelievable job at Vandy..had the best recruiting class in the history of their school last year and a better one lined up this year..hard to believe Vandy got him and UT got Dooley..and now UT has Hart..I'd rather have Dooley than Hart..

Prostar writes:

He's helped them sell-out their 40,000 seat stadium 3 times this year, whoopee. Who is their crossover rivalry game? I know it's not Alabama. Yeah, I know, we're down but we're not going to be down long. It's going to take time but we will recover from the Hamilton/Dooley fiasco.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to FLORIDAGATORHATER:

Well I hope they didn't pay him too much more because they will be without their QB, best RB, and best receiver next year. I'll give them 6 wins tops. Same old Vanderbilt. However, if we see them win 8 to 9 games next year and the year after, it proves they are finally relaxing their academic standards. In the end, they should probably just remain a basketball school.

Glad you hate the Gators and obviously the Commodores. But if you can't see that he is a really good football coach you are blind. He is the Bruce Pearl of Nashville without the baggage. He consistently beat Tennessee for recruits he wanted, and he went 5-3 in the SEC. That is definitely not the same old Vanderbilt. If Dooley had done the same we wouldn't even be thinking of a coaching search.

Thing is, you never heard of their best QB, best RB or receiver until Franklin coached them up and put them in a position to be successful. That's what winners do. Tennessee will be extremely lucky to make as good a hire as Vandy did two years ago.

dbc5361 writes:

UT Football...... It's become about what they might do. Beware! Gonna beat Florida, gonna beat Vandy, gonna hire Gruden..... ;)
And none of the WR's that play for Vandy are seniors.

underthehill writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Well deserved raise. If they go 6-6 next year that will be 3 bowls in three years, never happened before and might never happen again unless they keep Franklin.

I'd say the odds are pretty good they will win at least 6..their schedule includes Austin Peay..U Mass..UAB..Wake Forest..Ky..and 3 teams they beat last year..UT..Ole Miss..Mizzu..

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to Prostar:

He's helped them sell-out their 40,000 seat stadium 3 times this year, whoopee. Who is their crossover rivalry game? I know it's not Alabama. Yeah, I know, we're down but we're not going to be down long. It's going to take time but we will recover from the Hamilton/Dooley fiasco.

Given the state of Tennessee football since the 2008 season, you'd better be glad there are no pro teams in Knoxville like there are in Nashville or the Vols would do well to draw 40,000. Someone has to instill entertainment value into a perennial loser to sell tickets. If Franklin keeps doing what he has been doing, they'll be building on or breaking ground and turning that old place into a practice facility. It ain't money they lack; it's a football program. He seems to know how to give them one.

I hope you're right and we come back from this, but if anyone expects the Vols to beat 'Bama in the next 4 years I want to talk to them about some ocean front land I have here in Blount County.

Hamilton was a puppet on a string of some of the wealthiest people in America who called the shots. He no more made the decision to fire Fulmer than I did. Kiffin was a gamble that blew up in an unexpected way before it would have blown up in a different one. Under no circumstances would he stay in this small market more than 3 years and it's actually been pretty mild in terms of NCAA fallout. Can't wait for the tell-all book about what really went on in that wild year before they blew town on a westbound.

MathMan1973 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

He turned down 5 mil a year from Arkansas... how smart is he really.

http://outkickthecoverage.com/vandys-...

If you put all of the cards on the table and you are James Franklin, would you want all of the headaches and grief associated with Arkansas, UT and Auburn football? Vandy is EXTREMELY HAPPY with James Franklin (win or lose)...He is the right Coach for Vandy...Arkansas, UT and Auburn can only wish for a Coach as good as he is! Will they be able to hire someone as good as James Franklin? ROFL

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to underthehill:

I'd say the odds are pretty good they will win at least 6..their schedule includes Austin Peay..U Mass..UAB..Wake Forest..Ky..and 3 teams they beat last year..UT..Ole Miss..Mizzu..

Mizzu beat Tennessee. Vandy dismantled Tennessee. We played much better against Georgia than we did Vandy --both road games -- if Franklin had Richt's talent he would really have something going on. In fact if Franklin was coaching the SEC Title game Alabama would probably be in the Capital One Bowl.

Georgia's QB looked to sideline asking if he should spike the ball. If Richt plays that right the Dawgs get two shots at the end zone. Georgia fans will have nightmares about how close they came to playing for an NC for a long time. Just like we will always wish we didn't knock LSU's starting QB Rojan Davey out in the first half in 2001.

FanNotSheep writes:

in response to MathMan1973:

If you put all of the cards on the table and you are James Franklin, would you want all of the headaches and grief associated with Arkansas, UT and Auburn football? Vandy is EXTREMELY HAPPY with James Franklin (win or lose)...He is the right Coach for Vandy...Arkansas, UT and Auburn can only wish for a Coach as good as he is! Will they be able to hire someone as good as James Franklin? ROFL

Amen.

One thing that might hold him back at UT or Arkansas is if the players could grasp his system. I've not seen such precision blocking against Tennessee since we lost to Nebraska in those bowl games under Fulmer. Vandy might not be as big or as fast but they don't miss blocking assignments or tackles. Extremely well-coached football team. If it was some other team they were embarrassing it would have been fun to watch.

bobbyutvol writes:

Wish we had him

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

He deserves it .

WhoIsJohnGalt writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

He turned down 5 mil a year from Arkansas... how smart is he really.

http://outkickthecoverage.com/vandys-...

You don't really believe Arkansas offered James Franklin $5 million, do you? Nick Saban money? Really? Don't put too much stock in anything Clay Travis writes. He's a complete tool, trolling for page-hits on his website.

papavol writes:

in response to FanNotSheep:

Mizzu beat Tennessee. Vandy dismantled Tennessee. We played much better against Georgia than we did Vandy --both road games -- if Franklin had Richt's talent he would really have something going on. In fact if Franklin was coaching the SEC Title game Alabama would probably be in the Capital One Bowl.

Georgia's QB looked to sideline asking if he should spike the ball. If Richt plays that right the Dawgs get two shots at the end zone. Georgia fans will have nightmares about how close they came to playing for an NC for a long time. Just like we will always wish we didn't knock LSU's starting QB Rojan Davey out in the first half in 2001.

oh dear god.. why did you bring up that last detail.. I had all but erased it from my memory bank.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

But............what IS believable is knowing that trolls like you will always rear your ugly head on this site.

Can't stay away can you?

CommodoreCapital writes:

Remember when 90% of the posts said Franklin was leaving Vanderbilt for the 1st job he was offered. I guess not, well deserved raise coach and keep the momentum. There are not many jobs in the best conference in the nation that are better then Vanderbilt. The players are responsible and coachable, the city is great and the education you get will last alot longer then football.

ANCHOR DOWN

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to CommodoreCapital:

Remember when 90% of the posts said Franklin was leaving Vanderbilt for the 1st job he was offered. I guess not, well deserved raise coach and keep the momentum. There are not many jobs in the best conference in the nation that are better then Vanderbilt. The players are responsible and coachable, the city is great and the education you get will last alot longer then football.

ANCHOR DOWN

One day Franklin will receive an offer that will be too good to turn down. Here in Middle Tennessee the rumor is that Vandy threw in a polo game and all the perrier water his family can drink as part of his new contract.

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to underthehill:

I'd say the odds are pretty good they will win at least 6..their schedule includes Austin Peay..U Mass..UAB..Wake Forest..Ky..and 3 teams they beat last year..UT..Ole Miss..Mizzu..

Previous coaches wouldnt able to beat those you list.

gobigorange5090 writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm sure the fans at your school do the same to their rival. Dont be so smug.

TNORANGEDOGDAD writes:

in response to Prostar:

He's helped them sell-out their 40,000 seat stadium 3 times this year, whoopee. Who is their crossover rivalry game? I know it's not Alabama. Yeah, I know, we're down but we're not going to be down long. It's going to take time but we will recover from the Hamilton/Dooley fiasco.

As long as we don't come up with a HART/ ( to be named sometime ) fiasco.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to FLORIDAGATORHATER:

Well I hope they didn't pay him too much more because they will be without their QB, best RB, and best receiver next year. I'll give them 6 wins tops. Same old Vanderbilt. However, if we see them win 8 to 9 games next year and the year after, it proves they are finally relaxing their academic standards. In the end, they should probably just remain a basketball school.

You sir are an idiot. The Vandy receievers who led the SEC for most of the year were Soph's. Yes Rodgers and Stacy will be gone but Kimbrough ran several long TD's as a true frosh. The young OL and a small defensive line will be back plus the secondary will be intact. Jealousy is a terrible thing. Now tell me how any coach will fix that HORRIBLE Ut defense and the worst secondary to ever walk on an SEC field? Franklin played UT to overtime in Knoxville and crushed UT in Nashville. Vandy is "The University of Tennesee" and the only school with a Bowl Bid. Bottom dweller and excuse "U" sits home.

BlueHarley writes:

in response to pcorange:

They're out-recruiting us.

Right now that's not saying an awefull lot....

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

HaHaHa, HoHoHo, HeHeHe, you all crack me up. One day this old farmer had a dog that would go fetch the morning paper, bring it back and sit in front of that old farmer. The farmer would take that paper and smack that old dog with it. This went on for a few years, but still that dog went and got that paper faithfully. Then one day that paper didn't come. The farmer went looking for that paper and the dog and couldn't find them. So he didn't give much thought to it. The next day the farmer went to go get his own paper and when he came back the dog was waiting for him at the top of the stairs. The dog seeing this old farmer leaped off those stairs and bit that old man. Moral of the story you all can have you fun bad mouthing Tennessee football, but in the end when this all turns around for us with a good coaching hire and solid recruiting, I'm sure we're going to be the ones doing the biting, square dead in your as me no questions.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

You sir are an idiot. The Vandy receievers who led the SEC for most of the year were Soph's. Yes Rodgers and Stacy will be gone but Kimbrough ran several long TD's as a true frosh. The young OL and a small defensive line will be back plus the secondary will be intact. Jealousy is a terrible thing. Now tell me how any coach will fix that HORRIBLE Ut defense and the worst secondary to ever walk on an SEC field? Franklin played UT to overtime in Knoxville and crushed UT in Nashville. Vandy is "The University of Tennesee" and the only school with a Bowl Bid. Bottom dweller and excuse "U" sits home.

Who is the real idiot here?

Wow, Vandy has two good years in a row and all of a sudden their something to worry about? Please.

My hat goes off to coach Franklin for figuring out how to coach "responsible" players. A well deserved raise. If, and it's a BIG IF, Vandy seems to hold on to this run (best in almost 80 years) then the SEC east will have a 4th contender for eastern claims, but until they do, they'll fall right back to being a basement dweller.

True, the basement is full temporarily but the University of Tennessee will be back with a vengence and soon.

That horrible defense you mention was a product of an idiot hire who is now gone for sure. I hope they send the 3-4 packing with him and bring in a real DC. Remember they were 27th the previous year while playing a terribly strong schedule. Something Vandy is afraid to play for fear of yet another 1 win season.

One more thing...One win at home in 30 years by beating a useless defense to death DOES NOT make a champion.

Get a life

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to Volunteer-Varmint:

Who is the real idiot here?

Wow, Vandy has two good years in a row and all of a sudden their something to worry about? Please.

My hat goes off to coach Franklin for figuring out how to coach "responsible" players. A well deserved raise. If, and it's a BIG IF, Vandy seems to hold on to this run (best in almost 80 years) then the SEC east will have a 4th contender for eastern claims, but until they do, they'll fall right back to being a basement dweller.

True, the basement is full temporarily but the University of Tennessee will be back with a vengence and soon.

That horrible defense you mention was a product of an idiot hire who is now gone for sure. I hope they send the 3-4 packing with him and bring in a real DC. Remember they were 27th the previous year while playing a terribly strong schedule. Something Vandy is afraid to play for fear of yet another 1 win season.

One more thing...One win at home in 30 years by beating a useless defense to death DOES NOT make a champion.

Get a life

Word. By the way I don't give a rat's fuzzy about what Franklin does or doesn't do. It looks like we're down to Strong,Fisher or Gundy. I would take Strong in a lumberjack match over Franklin any day. Next year the universe rights itself and we put the wampusstomp back on Vandy.

VOL1972 writes:

Say what you will about Franklin, but he's not a dummy. I don't think anybody is offering him $5mil, but he will probably now make(maybe $3mil) twice what he was making when Vandy hired him -- for winning 8 games.

7 or 8 wins a year at Vandy will make Franklin a legend. 7 or 8 wins a year at UT, AR, or Auburn will get you fired after 4 years. Richt has 11 wins this year and they are grumbling at GA because he didn't beat Bama.

GOJO writes:

Maybe Vandy IS onto something. They DO NOT have an athletic director to mess up things.

shipperman#280095 writes:

Vanderbilt does not discuss contract details, but athletic director David Williams called it a "long-term" contract that will keep Franklin here "a number of years."

They do have an AD

Vol_in_Mich writes:

He deserves it. He seems to be a pretty good coach who has Vandy moving up in the football world. I like his fire & emotion on the sideline, something I think a lot of Vol fans don't care for. Speaking of the Vols, Vandy kicked their butts, nevermind, no big deal.

Go Hart, get it right, PLEASE!

jjvols writes:

Is this a Knoxville or a Nashville newspaper? Who cares about Vanderbilt. So they have been to two straight bowl games. At the end of the day they will still be Vanderbilt, the same Vanderbilt that has never won a national title in anything other than Ladies Bowling! They will always be Vanderbilt too. I would bet my house, my car and my pay check they will remain National Title less as well.

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

You sir are an idiot. The Vandy receievers who led the SEC for most of the year were Soph's. Yes Rodgers and Stacy will be gone but Kimbrough ran several long TD's as a true frosh. The young OL and a small defensive line will be back plus the secondary will be intact. Jealousy is a terrible thing. Now tell me how any coach will fix that HORRIBLE Ut defense and the worst secondary to ever walk on an SEC field? Franklin played UT to overtime in Knoxville and crushed UT in Nashville. Vandy is "The University of Tennesee" and the only school with a Bowl Bid. Bottom dweller and excuse "U" sits home.

I believe the proper word here is envy, not jealousy. The words stand for two distinct emotions. Hubris and arrogance are both terrible things too.

MathMan1973 writes:

"Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, Wait Till Next Year, Ladies Bowling, Hart : Strong, Fisher or Gundy,etc. , etc." Listen to yourselves...You sound like a bunch of Whining Losers! Man Up! You cannot live in the past...Wake the HE** up and START ACTING like winners not WHINERS!

hueypilot writes:

Does Franklin get golf privileges at Belle Meade like all his predecessors?

MathMan1973 writes:

in response to hueypilot:

Does Franklin get golf privileges at Belle Meade like all his predecessors?

He gets just about anything he wants including the golf privileges! James Franklin is THE MAN IN NASHVILLE AND AT VANDY!

BuckFama writes:

Congrats to coach Franklin on several fronts. His teams play with a lot of heart. To Vandy's credit, academic standards have not been relaxed for athletes so his guys have to perform on the field and in the classroom. His teams have dramatically increased Vandy's bowl total from 4 to 6.

I'm a UT fan to the core, but this coach, and his team, are performing at a high level. It's to be respected, and I'll be pulling for them during the MCB.

wayne.kearney#1414428 writes:

At the rate Tennessee is GOING,Vandy may be playing in the dome for the SEC Championship way before the VOLS. Franklin deserves the raise,has done and will continue to do a very good job.Wake up Tenn. and get a coach so we can start over once again.

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