Vanderbilt football head coach James Franklin secured his future in Nashville with a new contract that will give the first-year leader a longer tenure and more pay after bringing the Commodores to a bowl game in 2011.
Franklin's extension was announced by Vice Chancellor David Williams in a press conference Friday afternoon. Though details of the contract were not disclosed, Williams ensured that the coach received substantial upgrades in both the length and value of his contract.
Additionally, Vanderbilt announced several upgrades to its athletics facilities. This includes better locker rooms, improvements to Vanderbilt Stadium, and an indoor practice facility that can be shared by all sports.
It's a lofty commitment for a man that Williams referred to as "the best coach in the United States." Franklin has undoubtedly earned the praise through both his team's performance on the field and his success off it. Currently, the 'Dores have a top 25 NCAA recruiting class - something that has been entirely unheard of at Vanderbilt. Due to this, rumors swirled about his candidacy for positions at schools like Penn State and North Carolina.
Now, with a new contract in tow, Vanderbilt has ensured that Franklin will be setting up shop on West End for years to come. For the Commodores, this signifies a commitment that the school has rarely shown towards its athletic programs, let alone football. This is great news for fans that have been fighting an apathetic culture that has existed for decades. Franklin's first year helped reverse some of that stigma that surrounded the team. Today's announcement will go a long way in bringing Vanderbilt to the forefront of the hearts of Nashville's football fans for years to come.
- We'll have more details as the day/press conference goes on.