Vanderbilt AD thinks he'll keep Franklin

January, 8, 2014
Jan 8
11:35
AM ET
As Vanderbilt coach James Franklin's name continues to circulate for coaching vacancies, his boss is trying to make sure he stays put.

Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams told CBSSports.com that he expects to not only keep Franklin in Nashville, but also plans to revise his contract -- among other things -- in order to keep Franklin happy with the Commodores.

[+] EnlargeJames Franklin
AP Photo/Phil SandlinHow long can Vanderbilt hang on to James Franklin?
"I expect James to be our football coach. I'm planning on it," Williams told CBSSports.com. "We're looking at facilities. We're working on some stuff. I have all thoughts that he's going to be our football coach. I'll do everything I can to make sure that he is."

Reports surfaced earlier this week that Franklin, who has led Vandy to back-to-back nine-win seasons for the first time in school history, was the front-runner for the Penn State opening.

It makes sense, really. Not only is Franklin a Pennsylvania native, he's become one of the hottest coaching names out there with his success at Vanderbilt. He's led the Commodores to bowl games in three consecutive seasons and back-to-back bowl victories. Both are firsts in school history. He can sell the program with the best of them and he's a hard-nosed worker and recruiter. He's also exceptional at developing talent.

It's tough to say how much we can put into what Williams is saying. Was he supposed to say anything different? Franklin has been on the short list of a few college jobs, including the Texas one, and NFL teams have come calling. When you talk to people around the program, it sounds like the NFL might not be Franklin's true calling. But it would be hard for him to turn down a big-time college job, such as Penn State.

Williams and Franklin have a very good relationship, but even Williams has to know how tough it would be for Franklin to turn down a much bigger job. It's how the world works, especially the world of coaching.

While there's no question that Franklin loves his current employer, but his head-coaching life is very young. With what he's done at Vandy, just imagine what he could do at a bigger school with more resources and more clout. With a bigger platform, Franklin might do wonders.

Whether Franklin stays at Vandy or not in 2014 is still unknown, but the reality of it all is that it's going to be very tough for the Commodores to keep him around for the long haul.

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