Vanderbilt Commodores Face Huge Hiring Decision

By Tim Letcher

The Vanderbilt Commodores have been the doormat of the Southeastern Conference for quite some time. That is, until the last three years under head coach James Franklin. During Franklin’s run in Nashville, the ‘Dores were 24-15, went to three straight bowl games and had back-to-back nine win seasons.

Now, Franklin has departed. He was named the new head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions on Saturday. And that leaves Vandy in a precarious situation.

Athletic Director David Williams will face a lot of pressure to hire the right person for the job. Williams needs to find someone that can continue the unprecedented run of success that Vanderbilt has had over the last three seasons.

The good news is, with Franklin’s success in Nashville, there will probably be more candidates than there were three years ago. At that time, there seemed to be no way to win consistently in Nashville. Now, Franklin has proven it can be done, so that should bring more candidates for the job.

Franklin has also gotten the Vanderbilt administration to improve its facilities, which can only help the next coach.

The bad news is, if Williams is unable to find the right fit, Vanderbilt could very easily slip back down into the depths of the SEC, and it might not come out for a while.

Many names will be given as candidates over the next few days, but it’s up to Williams to sort through them all and find the next James Franklin. Vandy’s program literally depends on it.

Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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