Penn State Extends Franklin

It’s incredible where the Penn State Nittany Lions were just six years ago compared to now. The horrible news of Jerry Sandusky broke out nationwide and Joe Paterno who was a legendary name not just in State College, but throughout college football. He ended up retiring after all the news and speculation came out, then he passed away in January of 2012. Where was this university headed now? They hired Bill O’Brien and he ends up leaving to move up to the next level and become the head coach of the Houston Texans. In 2014, Penn State hired James Franklin as their new head coach and he’s elevated the program to a place where they haven’t been in a while and where they thought they’d never be again. They are the defending Big Ten champions and today, he received a nice contract extension to keep him at the university for the foreseeable future, a six-year contract extension worth $34.8 million.

I’m a fan of this guy and what he’s brought to a legendary football institution and he’s very well deserving of this deal. He led them to their best record since 2009 and shocked the world by winning not just a division that was supposed to be owned by either the Michigan Wolverines or Ohio State Buckeyes, but the Big Ten conference as a whole, their first outright title since 1994. He led the Nittany Lions to an 11-3 record despite having one of the youngest teams in the country and playing in one of the toughest conferences in college football. In his three seasons, Franklin has a record of 25-15 and this comes after taking over a program that was hit with several NCAA sanctions. He’s a player’s coach. His guys love playing for him and he’s a motivator. Each coach has their own style. Some are stern and have that same look and expression on their face then you have the guys that are very exuberant. Then, there are the coaches who are extremely calm. James is a guy that shows the exuberance and comes off as a guy that will go above and beyond to bring out the best in his players. I remember seeing a YouTube video of a day in the life of James Franklin during his days as the head coach at Vanderbilt and the one thing I took away was how much he deeply cares about his players. He had all three meals with his team and he has a very free spirited personality.

This is a well-deserved deal and with this extension, three of the six highest paid coaches in college football are all in the Big Ten East with James Franklin being one and Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer being the others.