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December 16, 2010A press conference has been announced for this afternoon at 1:00 to announce that Vanderbilt University has hired Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin as its next head football coach.
VandySports.com first announced that the two parties had reached an agreement yesterday at 4:00 CDT.
Franklin formally interviewed for the position over a week ago and became the lead candidate for the job at the start of the week.
A 38-year old native of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, just completed his third regular season as the Terrapins offensive coordinator, helping the Terps finish tied for second in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division with a 5-3 mark in conference play.
The Terps won eight games overall, improving on a disappointing 2-10 campaign in 2009. Maryland went 8-5 during Franklin's first year in 2008.
Franklin has been acting as Maryland's coach-in-waiting under current head coach Ralph Friedgen since February 2009. Franklin had spent five years at Maryland as a receivers coach at the start of the decade.
Prior to returning to College Park, he spent two years at Kansas State as the school's offensive coordinator and tutored current Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback Josh Freeman. He also worked as a receivers coach with the Green Bay Packers in 2005, and held internships with the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles during portions of the past 10 years as part of the NFL's minority internship program.
A graduate of East Stroudsburg University, Franklin was a standout quarterback as a player, garnering a Division II Player of the Year nomination as a senior in 1994. Franklin began coaching a year later, coaching receivers at Kutztown University.
After coaching defensive backs at his alma mater in 1996, Franklin moved on to James Madison University as a receiver coach in 1997. He then moved to Washington State in 1998 to coach tight ends under Mike Price.
In 1999, he joined the staff as a receiver coach at Idaho State, and helped the Bengals record one of its best statistical seasons in school history from the receiving position, hauling in 258 passes for over 3,300 yards and 29 touchdown catches.
Franklin joined Maryland as a receiver coach in 2000, serving his first year under then head coach Ron Vanderlinden. He was one of only two coaches to be retained from Vanderlinden's staff when he was replaced by Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen in late 2000.
Franklin was later named the team's recruiting coordinator in 2003 and he has since been recognized as one of the nation's top overall recruiters.
In 2009 and 2010, Franklin was selected as one of the 25 best recruiters in the nation by Rivals.com. Others such as Tom Lemming have labeled him as a Top 10 recruiter. He has been considered one of the top overall recruiters in the ACC as well during the last three years.
Franklin is believed to be headed to Nashville this evening with a formal introduction planned for Friday.
Earlier in the day, ESPN's Joe Schad had reported that negotiations with Franklin were "stalled". However, VandySports.com believes any stale-mate may have taken place earlier in the process.
Though terms of a official deal have not been disclosed, it is believed that Franklin will earn close to Kentucky first-year head coach Joker Phillips in terms of salary and compensation.
Stay tuned for VandySports.com for more information on this developing story.