After days of speculation surrounding Vanderbilt Commodores head coach James Franklin, the Penn State Nittany Lions have officially named him the 16th head coach in the program’s history. Franklin’s deal at Penn State is a six-year contract, worth more than $4.5 million per year.
The school made the announcement official on Saturday morning.
“Dr. Joyner and I have stressed that our No. 1 priority in hiring a new coach was to hire an outstanding leader for our football program, one who will continue our long tradition of student-athlete success on the field and in the classroom,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement released by the university. “We have achieved that goal. On behalf of the University and the entire Nittany Lion Nation, I am proud to welcome James Franklin as Penn State’s 16th head football coach.
“Coach Franklin’s record of success is extraordinary, but even more impressive is his passion for not only the game of football, but also creating an atmosphere in which student-athletes can succeed. His character, work ethic, values and knowledge of the game make him an outstanding fit for our program and to lead our student-athletes.”
Franklin will be introduced as the team’s head coach later today.
Franklin attended college in the state of Pennsylvania and now he will attempt to take one of the most storied programs in the state back to glory after helping the Vanderbilt program reach new heights.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to come home,” Franklin said. “I grew up watching Penn State football and now to be at the helm of such a storied program is a tremendous honor. It’s important to me to be a part of a University that strives for excellence in everything they do. When football student-athletes come to Penn State, they have a unique opportunity to receive a premium education while playing at the highest level of competition.
“I’m incredibly excited to get to know the students, alumni, and fans who have demonstrated such loyalty to the University as a whole and to the football program in particular,” Franklin added. “I’ve worked my way through every division of football and no other school boasts a fan base like we do. We Are…Penn State!!”