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Vandy Search: Mornin’ Rumors And Views

According to Eric Prisbell of The Washington Post, Maryland offensive coordinator James Frankin has become a “more serious” candidate for the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.  That’s according to “a source familiar with the search.”

The Post then cites The Tennessean as having listed Todd Graham (HC, Tulsa), Shawn Watson (OC, Nebraska), Don Treadwell (OC, Michigan State), Dave Doeren (DC, Wisconsin), and Greg Roman (OC, Stanford) as potential candidates for the job.

Franklin is currently the coach-in-waiting at Maryland and has a $1 million bonus coming his way if he’s not the Terps’ head coach by 2012.

If Franklin is a serious candidate, Vandy fans need to realize that he’ll be weighing Vandy in 2011 versus Maryland in 2012, in all likelihood.  Which school is the better job?  I’ll leave that up to Vandy fans and everyone else to answer.

Vandy — it is believed — paid Bobby Johnson in the neighborhood of $1 million per season.  But as a private school, their official records are… private.  Maryland currently pays head coach Ralph Friedgen $2,043,306 according to USA Today.

According to some reports, VU is willing to get into the $2 million range for a new head coach.

Al Golden — an early target on Vandy’s wish list — makes just (just) $513,867 at Temple.  Golden is also on the wish list of Miami and now Pittsburgh, following the resignation of Dave Wannstedt.

And in case you’re wondering, Tulsa’s coach Graham currently brings in $804,253.  For his part, Graham played down rumors of his candidacy yesterday.

According to The Tulsa World, Graham said, “It’s very flattering to get people to inquire.  When you got a system that works (at Tulsa) and love where you live… My family loves it here.  I have three kids attending the University of Tulsa.  That’s a pretty good gig.  I think sometimes you can think the grass is greener and you can get humbled in a hurry.”

A few other notes:

* There’s a growing trend in the coaching industry to sign new coaches to longer deals as incentive.  To lure Derek Dooley into the mess at Tennessee, the Vols gave him a six-year deal back in January.  Just this week, Indiana officials gave former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson a stunning seven-year contract.  That’s a long deal for an assistant who’s just climbing up the coaching ranks.

Long contracts like those insure a coach taking over a troubled program that he’ll have plenty of time to fix things… or receive a major buyout if he’s fired.  Expect Vanderbilt’s new coach to receive a pact of six years or more.

* Shawn Watson — who Mike Rabb of wrote in our comment boxes yesterday is “not and has never been a candidate for the Vanderbilt job.  He didn’t withdraw his name from consideration, it was never in consideration” — actually interviewed for the Vandy job back on Sunday.  That’s according to Rivals’ own Tom Dienhart. is a Rivals site.  Maybe those guys should email one another and hash things out.

* According to Dienhart, Wisconsin’s Doeren “no longer is part of the process.”

* Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams — the man running VU’s search — told The City Paper in Nashville that: “We have to develop the expectation and culture that winning football games is important.  Now, we say it is important, but it is not important enough to not be who we are.  Some people say those things are mutually exclusive.  Well, the last time I looked, Stanford is ranked in the top 20 academically, and in the BCS they are ranked fourth.  So obviously it is not mutually exclusive.  We just have to figure out the formula for us.”

Here’s some help — the last time we looked, Stanford spent $17,236,945 on football in the Pac-10 in 2009-2010.  Vanderbilt spent just $14,152,061 in the much tougher SEC.

Someone can win at Vanderbilt.  Absolutely.  But “the formula” for winning in Nashville includes making an investment into the football program, the coaching staff and Vandy’s facilities.

* Williams told that the Commodores’ next coach will “have to be a person who basically is very, very focused on ‘We’re going to win.  We’re going to get it done.’” 

May we suggest Larry the Cable Guy?

* Sifting through all of the above, we’re left with the following reported list of candidates still viable at Vandy:

Todd Graham, Shawn Watson, Don Treadwell and Greg Roman.

And there are still people in Nashville who say Randy Shannon might not be completely off the list at this point.

Stay tuned.  There’s still a lot of smoke out there in Vandy’s search.  Which is probably just how Williams wants it.



10 Responses to “Vandy Search: Mornin’ Rumors And Views”

  1. News Article: Latest Bama News 12/08/10 says:

    [...] [...]

  2. SecFan says:

    Why the constant hate on Vandy? They seem committed to making improvements and ensuring thier football program is as successful as thier basketball and baseball teams. And what major coaching search doesn't employ a little smoke and mirrors?? Would a little optimism or team spirit kill you? Last time I checked you were Mr. Sec, not Mr. Alabama, Florida, or Tennessee.

    • Ed Davie says:

      Committed to making improvements? Wrong. Bear Briant could come back from the dead and not move Vandu up to the middle of the Eastern Division. In addition to more for a coach they must invest at least $1,000,000 more per year to the program; out of twelve SEC teams our facilities rank aboyt 15th and our stadium dont rank at all. Two years ago when TN upgraded Neyland stadium they spent more money upgrading toilet facilities than Vandy did on their 'stadium renevation' two years ago. During the 50 years I've noticed every new coach has been promised improvements and more support, only Bill Pace got the promised improvements - the year he was fired. Williams woll say anything. He says three games per year is is unacceptable - we've won more than three games per year in only 10 of the last 25 years. I believe nothing the man says.

  3. John says:

    Where in the world do you see hate in this? We ourselves said at the end that Williams wants a smokescreen. We also wrote that someone can "absolutely" win at Vanderbilt. Not sure how many other sites out there believe that, but we do. I notice you just glossed right by that one. And if any other school's rep had said anything close to "Get 'er done" we'd have made the same crack about Larry the Cable Guy. You're being way too sensitive if you think this piece is a rip on Vandy or its coaching search. If you're read this site for any length of time you know that we defend Vandy a lot more than we poke fun at Vandy. But we will poke fun at everyone from time to time. Toughen up, Vandy fans. Fair treatment means you get treated like everyone else… not that you get treated with kid gloves.

  4. Jim Elsener says:

    Shawn Watson would be a great pick for a SEC team. All he needs is a good QB and he is set.

  5. Vandy101 says:

    Shawn Watson is an outstanding offensive mind, a great recruiter and would do well in the captains chair. I think he would be well served to let his OC handle the play calling so he can focus on the whole game. Vandy would be very fortunate to have Watson and I think he could compete for division titles.

  6. [...] has a great recap on the state of play in the Vanderbilt coaching search. The search for a new head football coach run by Vice Chancellor Williams has been a model from which future searches will be run in college (if Williams ever decides to run a seminar, I’d recommend Tennessee’s Athletic Director Mike Hamilton attend. Biddle and Climer can chip in for the registration fee). According to the Mr. SEC report and Jeff Lockridge’s Tennessean piece in yesterday’s paper, the remaining candidates are: Tulsa Coach Todd Graham, Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin, Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren. Of these 5 supposed candidates, only 1 is a head coach, 3 are offensive coordinators, and 1 is a defensive coordinator. Notably, 2 of the candidates come from the Big Ten, with 1 from the ACC, Big 12 (although soon to be member of the Big 10), and C-USA. The SEC does not have a representative according to the lists that are out there. According to Mr. SEC there are still people in Nashville who say Randy Shannon might not be completely off the list at this point, although says: “[Kentucky Head Coach] Joker Phillips is interested in hiring Randy Shannon to run the Kentucky defense.” [...]

  7. Darren says:

    Oh stop the sell job Nebraska fans (especially this one posing as a Vanderbilt fan), HE IS NOT A SERIOUS CANDIDATE FOR THE VANDERBILT JOB. And Mr. Pennington, you're right, maybe Dienhart should actually contact to talk about what's really going on in the coaching search rather than use a Shawn Watson source, to state who's a true candidate or not. VS source comes more close to the actual search than anything Dienhart or you will have. Rapp might have used the wrong terminology is saying "never", but he is not a candidate going forward. Neither is Todd Graham by the way. It's fine that you're a "hodge podge" of Vanderbilt related headlines, but people take offence to your constant little snarky remarks on top of trying to "condense all of the information available" for easy reading. I'm sure Vanderbilt fans are not the only ones that would take exception to similar remarks within the context of a supposed "news story".

  8. NebUSA says:

    Watson is a good football coach and hope we don't loose him. It's not a sell, he's had struggles in big games. But so did Tom Osborne in big games before the 90's.

  9. CrazyVandyFan says:

    Mr. SEC, keep up the good work. I'm not sure what is true and what isn't but I really, REALLY hope our next coach does not suck.

    Also, it's LOSE, not "loose." At least it used to be lose. I'm not sure anymore cause I seen so many people using it on there message boards.

    See what I did they're?

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