Jan. 17, 2013
Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin is one of six finalists that could receive the 2012 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award at ceremonies scheduled Thursday night in Houston.
Franklin, recognized after guiding the 2012 Commodores to the finest season in modern Vanderbilt gridiron history, joins Urban Meyer of Ohio State, Bill O'Brien of Penn State, David Shaw of Stanford, Bill Snyder of Kansas State and Kevin Sumlin of Texas A&M as finalists for the Bryant Award.
The Coach of the Year recipient will be announced at the 27th annual Bryant Awards event scheduled for Jan. 17. The sold-out banquet is sponsored by Marathon Oil and Houston's American Heart Association chapter.
In two short years, Franklin has reshaped the image of Vanderbilt football by not only his success, but also his energy and love for the program. Armed with a tireless work ethic, contagious personality, strong leadership and an invigorating passion for his team, Franklin has won more games in his first two years at Vanderbilt than any coach since World War I. His 9-4 squad in 2012 tied a school record for wins that dates back nearly 100 years.
Under Franklin, the program has experienced the first back-to-back bowl appearances in school history. On Dec. 31, the Commodores capped their impressive season with a seventh consecutive victory, beating North Carolina State 38-24 in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
The team's current win streak is the longest active streak among Southeastern Conference teams, and is tied for third longest in the nation.
The 2012 Bryant Coach of the Year awards dinner also will recognize former Brigham Young University Head Football Coach LaVell Edwards with the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award. The honor recognizes excellence in coaching on and off the field during a career, allowing recipients to take their place in history alongside legends such as Bryant. Recent Lifetime Achievement recipients include Vince Dooley, Bobby Bowden and Hayden Fry.
Vanderbilt Athletics Director David Williams II and other Commodore athletics administrators will join Franklin at the event.