Vanderbilt Head Football Coach Will Be James Franklin, According To Report

James Franklin, assistant head coach/ offensive coordinator at Maryland and the head coach in waiting at College Park, will leave the Terps and become the next football coach at Vanderbilt according to a report published today.

The report comes from the Washington Post, the same source that yesterday had Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn replacing departed Commodores coach Robbie Caldwell in Nashville. in this case getting the news slightly wrong—they did qualify the report as being speculative—is somewhat understandable, as the circumstances of the Malzahn negotiations changed rapidly over the course of just a few hours yesterday.

The collapse of those negotiations leaves Vandy with Franklin, an assistant who while not flashy was impressive enough for Ralph Friedgen and the Maryland administration to name him the head-coach-in-waiting pending Friedgen’s departure. As with Will Muschamp at Texas, this didn’t work out, but Maryland may not be overly emotional over his departure. A contract clause in Franklin’s existing agreement with Maryland specifically requires a payment of a $1 million in January 2012 to Franklin if he is not named head coach by that date. In avoiding that payment and saving Vandy the money it might have had to throw at Malzahn, Franklin’s move continues a pattern of thrift in the 2010 college football hiring season.

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