Pumping some life into Vanderbilt's offense will be first-year coach James Franklin's most pressing task, so it's fitting that he's starting with offense in announcing his staff.
Franklin announced five offensive assistants on Thursday as well as his strength and conditioning coach.
It's a lineup with obvious ties to Maryland, where Franklin was the offensive coordinator before taking the Vanderbilt job. His offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt will be former Maryland running backs coach John Donovan, who called the Terps' plays in their 51-20 win against East Carolina in the Military Bowl. Donovan will also coach running backs at Vanderbilt.
Charles Bankins, another former Maryland assistant, will serve as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. Ricky Rahne, who worked with Franklin at Kansas State, will coach the Commodores' quarterbacks. Chris Beatty, who oversaw the running backs and slot receivers at West Virginia the past three seasons, will coach the Vanderbilt receivers.
Veteran Maryland strength and conditioning director Dwight Galt is also following Franklin to Vanderbilt and will head up the Commodores' strength program.
The only holdover from the previous offensive staff at Vanderbilt is offensive line coach Herb Hand, who was hired last year when Robbie Caldwell was named head coach.
"All of these coaches want to be part of something really special," Franklin said. "When I called, many of them said yes without even talking about money and titles. They simply want to help turn this program into a success."