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James Franklin Biography

James Franklin was born February 2, 1972 in Langhome, Pennsylvania. Before being named the 27th head coach for Vanderbilt, he was the "head coach in waiting" at the University of Maryland. He is also the first minority head coach at Vanderbilt.

Franklin played Division II college football at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. He played quarterback from 1991 to 1994. His senior year he was nominated for NCAA Division II Player of the Year. He graduated with a bachelors of science degree in psychology in 1995.

His coaching career started at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania as a wide receivers coach in 1995. A year later he took over as the secondary coach at East Stroudsburg University.

In 1997 Franklin became the wide receivers coach at James Madison. The following year he got his first job at a BCS conference school when he become a graduate assistant coach, coaching tight ends at Washington State University under coach Mike Price. While he was at Washington State he earned his graduate degree in Educational Leadership.

James Franklin
Thanks to John Russell/Vanderbilt from Flikr.com for this great picture of Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin press conference at Sarratt Student Center.

In 1999 Franklin became the wider receivers coach at Idaho State University.

The year 2000 brought Franklin his first stint at the University of Maryland. He was first brought in to be the wide receivers coach. In 2003 he become the new recruiting coordinator under coach Ralph Friedgen. His first two recruiting classes were ranked in the Top 25 by many recruiting services.

The 2005 season brought Franklin to the NFL as a wide receivers coach for the Green Bay Packers. Franklin had a strong set of receivers to coach, lead by Donald Driver, Javon Walker, and Robert Fergueson. Catching passes from Brett Favre that group had the sixth most receiving yards in the NFL.

In 2006 he came back to the college game and became the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach at Kansas State University. While at KSU he was able to work with future NFL quarterback Josh Freeman and receiver Jody Nelson.

He spent two years at KSU before returning to Maryland. In 2008 Franklin become the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterback coach for the Terps. In 2009 he was named the "head coach in waiting" to replace Ralph Friedgen.

Coach Franklin on campus
New Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin arrives at the Vanderbilt campus on December 17, 2010. Thanks to John Russell/Vanderbilt from Flikr.com for this great picture of James Franklin.

After Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn decided to stay with the Tigers, Vanderbilt turned to Franklin. He will take over a Commodores football program that has fallen on hard times since winning the 2008 Music City bowl going 2-10 in 2009 & 2010 seasons.

He is known as an excellent recruiter and one of the best offensive coordinators in the country. He will have to use both those skills to turn around Vanderbilt. Although Bobby Johnson was able to take the Commodores to a bowl in 2008 and finish with a winning record, no coach has been able to achieve that on a consistent level.

Franklin and his wife, Fumi, have two daughters, Ava and Addison.

Check out our current Vanderbilt Commodores Football and Vanderbilt Commodores Football History

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