|Position:||Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QBs|
One of the nation's top young coaches, James Franklin is in his third season as Maryland's assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. He is also in charge of tutoring the Maryland quarterbacks.
He is in his eighth season overall with the program, having served as an assistant from 2000 through 2004.
A tireless and renowned recruiter with a creative offensive mind, Franklin is also in line to be the next Terps head coach. He was named the eventual successor to Ralph Friedgen in February, 2009.
Franklin led an evolving and improving offensive unit at Maryland in this season. The Terps posted more than 400 total yards in four of the last five games and ranked 42nd nationally in scoring offense (31.4 ppg).
Only three teams in the FBS turned the ball over less than the Terps this year which was a big reason Maryland was in the hunt for a berth in the 2010 ACC title game.
Franklin has also tutored redshirt freshman quarterback Danny O'Brien the last two seasons. O'Brien was voted the 2010 ACC Rookie of the Year (first in school history) after posting the lowest interception percentage in the country among freshmen (1.90) and tossing 21 touchdown passes, the second-highest total in school history.
In 2008, Franklin, who has also served as an NFL assistant, led an offense which helped the Terps reached a bowl game for the sixth time in eight seasons and knock off four ranked teams.
Maryland had a league-best six offensive players earn All-ACC honors in 2008 including first-teamer Da'Rel Scott who rushed for 1,133 yards. Scott became just the seventh player in school history to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier.
Quarterback Chris Turner had his second-straight solid season, throwing for 2,516 yards, the fifth-highest single-season total in school history.
Turner continued to come up big under Franklin's tutelage. He directed three fourth-quarter game-winning drives in 2008 and improved to 5-1 as a starter vs. Top 25 teams.
Last season, Franklin began to groom O'Brien and Jamarr Robinson, who subbed for an injured Turner over the last four games.
The Terps have a deep and talented quarterback unit. Redshirt freshman C.J. Brown was expected to see action until a season-ending injury forced him out of the rotation after just one game.
In addtion, true freshmen Devin Burns and Tyler Smith have promising futures.
Franklin is also adept at prepping players for the next level.
He had two of his former pupils taken in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft as Darrius Heyward-Bey was selected seventh overall by the Oakland Raiders and Josh Freeman was chosen 17th by Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Freeman is now one of the top young quarterbacks in the NFL, having directed a resurgent Bucs offense in 2010.
Franklin has long been thought of as one of the top recruiters in the nation. He was also selected as one of the 25 best recruiters in the nation by Rivals.com in the spring of 2009.
Franklin returned to the Terps staff in December, 2007, after spending two seasons at Kansas State, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In 2007 under Franklin's direction, K-State ranked 20th nationally in passing offense (285.4 yards per game) and 21st in scoring offense (35.2 points per game). Franklin's offense had a record-breaking 2007 as the Wildcats had a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,500-yard receiver and a 1,000-yard rusher in a single season for the first time in school history. They also set single-season school records for pass attempts (510), completions (322) and passing yards (3,425).
Freeman and receiver Jordy Nelson, who is also playing professionally with Green Bay, were a dangerous pass-catch combination for Franklin.
Nelson became just the ninth player, and the only offensive player, in K-State history to be named a consensus All-American. He ranked second in the nation in both receptions (10.2 per game) and receiving yards (133.8 per game) en route to becoming a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which honors the top receiver in the nation.
Freeman threw for 3,353 yards and ranked 26th nationally in total offense (276.8 ypg) to earn honorable mention All-Big 12 honors. Running back James Johnson tallied 1,106 rushing yards to become a second-team all-league choice.
During the 2006 season, Franklin helped lead the Wildcats to a 7-6 record, a tie for second place in the Big 12's North Division and a berth in the Texas Bowl, ending a two-year postseason drought.
A total of seven players from Franklin's offensive unit earned postseason accolades in 2006, including Freeman, who was tapped as an honorable mention freshman All-America by The Sporting News. Freeman set the Kansas State single-season freshman record with 1,780 passing yards.
Prior to his stint in Manhattan, Kan., Franklin spent the 2005 season with the Green Bay Packers where he worked with receivers Donald Driver, Javon Walker and Robert Ferguson, as well as record-setting quarterback Brett Favre.
Driver posted what were then career highs with 86 receptions for 1,221 receiving yards. He also became just the fourth Packers player with an 85-reception season (joining Shannon Sharpe, Robert Brooks and Walker).
Despite losing Walker early in the season with a knee injury, the Packers still posted the sixth-highest receiving yards total in the NFL that season.
Franklin also spent five seasons (2000-04) as the Terps wide receivers coach where he quickly established himself as one of the nation's top recruiters.
In 2003, he was promoted by Friedgen to recruiting coordinator and helped deliver back-to-back recruiting classes that were ranked among the nation's top 25 by several prominent recruiting outlets. Rivals.com also ranked Franklin as one of the nation's top 25 recruiters for two consecutive years while at Maryland.
Maryland's receiving corps also flourished under Franklin's guidance. In 2001, Franklin mentored All-ACC wide receiver Guilian Gary, who led a balanced group of wideouts with 49 receptions for 727 yards and six touchdowns. Gary went on to finish his Maryland career ranked among the school's top 10 receivers in receptions, receiving yardage and receiving touchdowns.
In both 2002 and 2003, Franklin had four different receivers record at least 300 receiving yards despite returning just one starter each season.
Franklin was also a part of three bowl-game appearances in his first tour of duty in College Park.
Prior to his first stint at Maryland, Franklin rose quickly through the coaching ranks, making stops at five different schools in five years. He received his start in coaching at Kutztown University in 1995 as the program's receivers coach before returning to his alma mater, East Stroudsburg University, in 1996 as a graduate assistant and secondary coach.
In 1997, Franklin worked alongside former Kansas State head coach Ron Prince at James Madison, serving as the program's receivers coach. The following season, he received his first coaching assignment at a BCS conference school as the graduate assistant in charge of tight ends at Washington State for the 1998 season. Franklin then moved on to Idaho State in 1999 where he served as the wide receivers coach.
While at Idaho State, the Bengals' receiving corps totaled 29 touchdowns, 258 receptions and more than 3,300 receiving yards, contributing to one of the best offensive seasons in school history as ISU finished the year ranked ninth nationally in total offense.
Franklin has also served three NFL minority coaching internships with the Miami Dolphins (1998), Philadelphia Eagles (1999) and Minnesota Vikings (2008).
A four-year letterman as a quarterback at East Stroudsburg from 1991-94, Franklin was a two-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference selection. As a senior in 1994, he garnered team MVP honors and was a Harlon Hill nominee for Division II Player of the Year after setting seven school records, including single-season marks for total offense (3,128), passing yards (2,586) and TD passes (19). He also earned Sports Illustrated National Player of the Week honors in October of that season. Franklin earned a bachelor of science degree in psychology from East Stroudsburg in 1995 and his master's in educational leadership from Washington State in 1999.
He and his wife, Fumi, have two girls, Ava and Addison.
The Franklin File
PersonalDate of Birth: Feb. 2, 1972
Hometown: Langhorne, Pa.
Alma Mater: East Stroudsburg, `95
2008-pr.: Asst. Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/QBs
2006-07: Assistant Coach - Offensive Coordinator/QBs
Green Bay Packers
2005: Assistant Coach - Wide Receivers
2003-04: Assistant Coach - WRs/Recruiting Coordinator
2000-02: Assistant Coach - Wide Receivers
1999: Assistant Coach - Wide Receivers
1998: Assistant Coach - Tight Ends
1997: Assistant Coach - Wide Receivers
1996: Graduate Assistant - Secondary
1995: Assistant Coach - Wide Receivers
Playing ExperienceEast Stroudsburg University