Washington's List of Potential Head Coaches: James Franklin

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The man who should be number one through ten on UW's coaching search list is the current head coach at Vanderbilt.

Career Path: Coached lower division college football for four years before becoming the tight ends coach at Washington State under Mike Price. A stint at Idaho State lead to a long tenure as Maryland's WR coach, then to the NFL with the Packers for a season, also coaching wideouts. A couple of years coaching K-State's QB's (Josh Freeman) and coordinating their offense under Ron Prince before going back to Maryland to be their OC. Was the Head Coach in Waiting for Ralph Friedgen at UMD before ultimately taking the Vanderbilt position, where he has compiled a 23-15 record in 3 years.

What's To Like: A guy who is doing more with less. In his three years at Vandy, he has beaten Missouri, Florida, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, Ole Miss and Tennessee in conference play; all are schools with far more resources (and talent) than Vanderbilt has. Immediate results: took a team that was 2-10 the previous two years before his arrival, made them a bowl team in his first season and finished his second year with 9 wins and a #20 ranking. Will have taken Vandy to three straight bowls after this season -- they had never even been to consecutive bowls prior to his arrival. He's the guy everybody was afraid that USC would hire. Was a recruiting coordinator at Maryland, and his recruiting abilities are held in high regard.

Reasons To Be Cautious: Never finished better than 4th in the SEC East. Still not playing with his "own players" so there's the question of if he can sustain success over the long haul. Small sample size of coaching. Success in the SEC East came during a time when Florida and Tennessee were down. Does he have eyes on the NFL or a job like Texas?

Why He'd Be Interested: The University of Washington offers far more than Vanderbilt in terms of fostering a football program. He would be given the resources to compete with anybody in the country. Recruiting to Vanderbilt is difficult, as they have no natural recruiting base. A substantial pay raise would be in order. There's probably an easier path to a conference or national championship in the Pac-12 than in the SEC.

Is It A Good Fit: Franklin would be a good fit anywhere. So far he has done what nobody else in the history of college football has done in sustaining success at Vanderbilt. He's just 41, so he could become a legend at whatever school he wants to go to if he is as good a coach as it looks like he is.

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