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Vandy’s Defensive Staff Is Complete

Vanderbilt fans, you have a complete coaching staff.  Question is — Do you feel good about it?

When Robbie Caldwell was forced out before the final game of last season, the scuttlebutt from Nashville centered around a newly committed VU administration.  It was time for Vandy to take football seriously.  The school would spend money, it would go after a “name” coach.

But when Auburn’s Gus Malzahn turned down an offer that was believed to have been worth at least $2.5 million per year, the Commodores went in another direction.  They hired the up-and-coming offensive coordinator at Maryland, James Franklin.

Franklin announced his offensive staff a few weeks ago.  Today he unveiled his defensive hires.  They are:

Bob Shoop — Defensive coordinator and safeties coach (from William & Mary)

Brent Pry — Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach (from Georgia Southern)

Wesley McGriff — Defensive backs coach (from Miami)

Sean Spencer — Defensive line coach (from Bowling Green)

Add those four to Franklin’s five offensive aides — John Donovan (Maryland), Charles Bankins (Maryland), Chris Beatty (West Virginia), Ricky Rahne (Kansas State) and holdover Herb Hand — and you have a staff with very little experience recruiting in the Deep South.  On the defensive side of the ball you also have three coaches whose backgrounds consist mainly of small college experience.

The new Vandy staff might be the best bunch Commodore fans have ever seen when all is said and done, but for now it’s hard to imagine most VU backers taking anything other than a wait-and-see approach.  This new staff just isn’t filled with the recognizable names they had hoped for. 

Of course, if they win… that won’t matter.

(By the way, is it just me or is the bow-tie wearing Mr. Pringles a perfect advertising tie-in with Vandy or what?  He looks like a successful VU grad.)


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