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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Values matter most: Franklin; Coach speaks at fundraiser

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

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Vanderbilt head football coach James Franklin stopped by the Boys and Girls Club on Tuesday afternoon to meet with the kids and tour the facility before heading to the Steak and Chicken dinner, where he was the keynote speaker of the event.
(T-G Photo by Chris Siers) [Order this photo]
For nearly a year, Shelbyville dentist Dr. James Clark has tried to get Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin to visit and speak on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Bedford County.

On Tuesday night, Franklin delivered a keynote address to members attending the Steak and Chicken dinner fundraiser, benefiting the Bedford County chapter of the club.

"He's (Clark) a tremendous fan and he's been on me for the last year about how they wanted us to come down to the community and connect and help a great cause. When the availability came on my calendar and it looked like it was going to work, we jumped on board," Franklin said.

The fundraiser gave fans and members of the surrounding communities a chance to shake hands and meet the Vanderbilt coach, who finished up his second season with a win over N.C. State in the Music City Bowl.

While Franklin delivered the keynote speech, he was quick to remind those in attendance the night belonged to the kids of the Boys & Girls Club.

"Being here, to represent Vanderbilt and get people excited about Vanderbilt football, that's all fine. But tonight's about making a difference in these kids' lives and raising some money for the Boys & Girls Club," he said.

Prior to the dinner, which was held at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club, Franklin got a chance to tour the facility the club uses on a daily basis.

"I went over there today and what a great facility. You can see the pride and the excitement that it's been able to do for the community," Franklin said.

While Franklin touched on his background in football during his speech, he made special note of the four core values the program lives by.

"We talked about our four core values and having a positive attitude. These are things that are going to be great on the football field, but they're going to be great in life. Number two is tremendous work ethic; number three is to compete in everything you do; and the last thing is sacrifice.

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Since taking the head coaching position in 2011, Franklin has led the team to a 15-11 record over the last two years and two bowl appearances, including a win over NC State in the 2012 Music City Bowl.
(T-G File Photo by Chris Siers)
"We talk about this to players all the time. You have to be willing to sacrifice things that the common man won't sacrifice if you don't want to be common," he said.

While the four core values inspire the Vanderbilt football program on a daily basis, Franklin also commented how those values can be applied to what the Boys & Girls Club does for the surrounding community.

"I think there is a great correlation between what you learn playing the game of football as well as what you can relate to what this organization does in the community."

Franklin and the Vanderbilt Commodores will open the 2013 season on Thursday, Aug. 29 against Ole Miss.