Franklin marches forward with message

July 29, 2011

Barca by Brandon Barca (Archive)
Twitter updates @brandonbarca
Don't sweat the small stuff.

That phrase isn't in James Franklin's vocabulary.

The Commodore football head coach knows that every group, big or small, can make a difference in building the program. Even one person can make an impact.

That's why Franklin's whirlwind schedule over the summer includes going from events with over 1,000 national media members to meet-and-greets with a handful of fans.

Coach Franklin at Spring GameIn the past week, Franklin attended an alumni meeting in Birmingham followed by SEC Media Day. He went with his entire staff to a social event at Ruth's Chris. He made it a point to greet enthusiastic supporters before a special tour of the renovated locker room. Throw in a trip to ESPN's campus, a speech to the Columbia Kiwanis Club, and a guest appearance at 104.5's roast of Clay Travis, and Franklin has been promoting the Commodores around the clock.

The point is Franklin won't be satisfied until everyone hears his message. He'll keep pushing until there's nothing left to push.

On the trip to SEC Media Day, quarterback Larry Smith described his coach as "high-octane." Strike up a conversation with Franklin and his enthusiasm will be contagious. He's relentless in everything he does, whether it's on the recruiting trail or trying to convert people to wear black and gold. Even if it's one person at a time.

And he won't take 'no' for an answer.

One of Franklin's stops this morning was to thank Vanderbilt's fan forum, which formed last January shortly after he was hired. The group, consisting of 13 people, reviewed feedback from a fan survey and was then given the task of offering ways to enhance the gameday experience.

His message to them was simple: help spread the word to neighbors, to alumni and to the rest of the community. Be part of the solution.

It's also okay to sweat the small stuff, like the color of the cups provided for refreshments during the forum.

"Where did you guys get those cups?" Franklin joked to the group. "I don't know why they're purple. Everything around here is black and gold. We're going to have to spray paint them."



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