It was announced Friday that the offensive coordinator for the University of Maryland, James Franklin, is now the new head coach for Vanderbilt University. Franklin will leave before the Terps' bowl game on December 29, and Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen will need to replace him for that game.
It was a truly awkward situation for Franklin at Maryland. In February of 2009, then-Athletic Director Debbie Yow said Franklin would either be the head coach in 2011, or would receive a $1 million compensation.
As many of you know, Yow is now at North Carolina State, and the new athletic director, Kevin Anderson, had this mess fall in his lap. A few weeks ago Anderson told Ralph Friedgen that he would be back next year to coach the Terps, meaning that either Franklin was going to leave or be paid the one million.
Now that Franklin has taken the position at Vanderbilt, the University of Maryland saved the $1 million that they would have owed him come next season.
The Terps may have also lost their best recruiter, as Franklin dominated the Baltimore pipeline of football talent.
Another recruiting problem that is arising is that Friedgen is only guaranteed to be back next year, even though he has multiple times said that he wants to coach beyond then. Recruits may look at this unsure situation as a problem, and may want to go to another program that has more stability at the helm.
According to a Washington Post article Franklin has also asked four of his assistants at Maryland to come with him to Vanderbilt.
Many Terps fans didn't want Franklin to lead the team, and felt he was best suited as an assistant and recruiter. Most looked at Yow's coach-in-waiting promise as a mistake by her, and was another reason Terps fans wanted her out as Athletic Director.
Franklin takes over for a Vanderbilt squad that went just 2-10 this year, and that lost to Wake Forest by 21 at home. Maryland beat that same Wake Forest squad 62-14. Franklin will definitely have some growing pains in the always tough SEC, but could make a name for himself if he can find a way to win.
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