Vanderbilt's commitment to excellence and academics and the chance to coach in the Southeastern Conference helped school officials lure James Franklin away from Maryland to become the Commodores' new coach.
Franklin, the offensive coordinator who was in line to succeed Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen, was introduced Friday as Vanderbilt's third head coach this season.
"It was obvious to me right away that this place could be something really special," Franklin said. "It was really about the people. I was blown away by the people. Really, I was in a situation where I didn't really have to take a job. I had a pretty good situation. It was going to take something really special to get me to jump on board."
Franklin replaces Robbie Caldwell, who took over July 14 when Bobby Johnson unexpectedly retired.
This will be the first head coaching job for Franklin, who turns 39 in February. He will be the first black coach of any major sport at Vanderbilt and only the third in the SEC.