New deal designed to keep Franklin, staff at Vanderbilt

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 8:37pm

Vanderbilt is staying put — and so is coach James Franklin. At least for the time being.

On the same day the Commodores found out they are headed to the Music City Bowl, Vanderbilt announced a new “long-term” contract for Franklin on Sunday.

It marks the second time in as many years the second-year coach has received a contract extension. As a private university, Vanderbilt does not disclose terms of contracts but athletics director David Williams said the deal assures Franklin of a raise, improved facilities and more money to retain assistant coaches.

“When we hired Coach Franklin we made a commitment that we were going to be serious about improving the football program,” Williams said. “The first step was to hire a good coach. The second step is to keep a good coach. We are real proud to announce ... we have entered into a new, long-term contract with Coach Franklin that will help keep moving our program forward. Second, we are reaffirming our commitment to providing Coach Franklin and his staff and these young student-athletes with the facilities and things they need to be champions.

“We hope very soon we will be playing in Atlanta for the SEC Championship.”

In two years, Franklin has compiled a 14-11 record and led the Commodores to two straight bowls for the first time in school history. This season, Vanderbilt is 8-4, matching the most wins since 1982 and takes a six-game winning streak into the Music City Bowl.

The announcement comes after multiple reports that Arkansas was interested in offering Franklin its head coaching job. His name has been linked to several other coaching rumors as well but he dismissed the reports. He said he hasn’t had any contact with any schools or administrators about vacant positions.

“[Saturday] my phone is blowing up. People are saying I’m here and there and I’m getting on a plane,” Franklin said. “I’m at Sambuca’s with some recruits and our staff. So there is all types of speculation. You’d like to come out with a strong voice and be able to say it is over. I wanted to make sure everything was in place before we did that. I never questioned it but I wanted to make sure everything was in place.”

Williams said his phone has been busy too, with athletic directors and interested schools calling about his 40-year-old head coach.

“Everybody in America” has called, Williams said. “We told them he’s our football coach. Go get somebody else. ... As James said, this wasn’t really about putting more money in James’ pocket. I think James and his family are happy with what we are doing. This was really about the kids and the program, giving him the opportunity to win a championship and all the things he needs to do. But James has been a tremendous success here and by any rights he does deserve a raise any way. So I think we’ve tried to put him in a position where he and his family will be very, very happy and very, very comfortable here in Nashville. I think that’s the case.”

Terms of the contract also include improvements to the McGugin Center and Vanderbilt Stadium. Both facilities have received facelifts and additions over the last year. But Williams also wants improvements to the training room, locker room and equipment room.

This summer Williams hopes to see the beginning of several projects at Vanderbilt Stadium, including adding seatbacks to the bench seating and improvements to the press box, suites, restrooms and concessions. He said increased seating won’t be a part of the immediate improvements but also didn’t discount the possibility, if attendance keeps rising.

“It’s really not about James Franklin. It is really about Vanderbilt. It is really about our kids and being able to hold onto my staff,” Franklin said. “Last year, my staff was offered head coaching jobs. This year they’ve already been approached about head coaching interviews and defensive coordinator interviews. Being able to support my staff as well and allow them to be able to look out for their family and things like that. That’s what really this is all about it is about Vanderbilt at as a whole. I couldn’t be more proud that we’re continuing to move in the right direction.”

15 Comments on this post:

By: CrimesDown on 12/2/12 at 10:33

Good job this year. Go Dores!

By: eamus-catuli on 12/2/12 at 11:59

Watch the Music City Bowl announcement on YouTube - A real treat for Dores fans!

"Make something idiot-proof and the world will build a better idiot"

By: 4gold on 12/3/12 at 7:22

Ok, I was shocked Frankline got 6 wins his first year. I was doubtful they would continue to succeed the second year. VU has historically done just enough to give me hope and then done a face plant. But looks like VU has locked Franklin in, he is here for the long haul so guess I will have to buy in next year. Go get your season ticket Nashville.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: Rasputin72 on 12/3/12 at 7:29

This is a perfect example of how the 1% is created. They achieve and overachieve.

Next thing you know the 47% will be trying to discredit this fellow Franklin.

By: wiseguy1 on 12/3/12 at 9:41

Raspy, There are more than THE 47% that are already hard at work trying to discredit Mr. Franklin & staff, VU athletics, football & basketball. Baseball hasn't really given them any opportunity.

Alas, none of them have seemed fit to share their views on this article.

I'm sure they are out there crafting a spin.

By: Jughead on 12/3/12 at 11:28

Vandy football is the new sexy. Titans are dung.

By: TITAN1 on 12/3/12 at 12:03

Jughead, you have your own problems, don't you? LOL! Congrats to Vandy! Sorry, vol fans but coach Franklin is going to be around for awhile. As they continue improving, those vol fans in Nashville without connections to ut will be staying home and pulling for the Black & Gold!

By: joe41 on 12/3/12 at 1:08

I was there last night to see the team, Williams, and Franklin. A very happy occasion. Go Dores.

By: Jughead on 12/3/12 at 1:57

@Titan1: You doing the dirt nasty with Munch?

By: TITAN1 on 12/3/12 at 4:01

Jughead, your filthy posts are not wanted, except maybe by another pervert. You are one sick child.

By: courier37027 on 12/3/12 at 6:31

TITAN1, kindly return yourself to the man-crush you had on Pacman and VY. Too much sports talk about how players are a "man's man", and a "locker room leader" may give some credence to Jughead's opinion.

By: TITAN1 on 12/3/12 at 8:47

C! I'm surprised at you for taking up for the childish potty mouth. I guess misery does love company. BTW, you are the one who keeps bring up a player that played for the Titans years ago, just like all the times you bring up Plaster and company. You probably put on a pacman jersey every afternoon and listen to Plaster then jump on message boards and whine about them. It sounds like you are jealous of Plaster and his air time. Keep working at it and you might make it some day. In the mean time, get out and run. You know it's good for you. In other words, your witch hunt is getting old, get a life and stop whining all the time.

By: TITAN1 on 12/3/12 at 8:49

Joe41, sounds like you had a great time. Congrats!

By: Rasputin72 on 12/3/12 at 10:26

Titan1.........You are the perfect 20.00 dollar an hour man. You are as loyal as a dog.

By: TITAN1 on 12/4/12 at 5:52

Rasp/Rump/richgoose/frankbrown, you take the prize for being the biggest fake who posts here.