Announcement planned today at Penn State
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State will hold a news conference this afternoon at 4:15 p.m. to make a "major announcement" - widely thought to be that James Franklin will become the next head coach of the Nittany Lions football team.
CBSsports.com and ESPN reported on Thursday that Franklin, currently the Vanderbilt coach, had accepted the job. A release from the school said both athletic director Dave Joyner and university president Rodney Erickson will speak.
A Langhorne native, Franklin, 41, has taken Vanderbilt from the bottom of the Southeastern Conference to consecutive nine-win seasons. Franklin had a 24-15 record and led the Commodores to a bowl game in all three seasons he spent in Nashville, Tenn. - his only gig as a head coach. He played quarterback at East Stroudsburg in the early 1990s, and previously was offensive coordinator at Maryland and Kansas State.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported yesterday that Franklin's contract is expected to be worth up to $4.5 million a year.
The announcement comes 8 days after Joyner began to lead a six-person search committee tasked with finding a replacement for Bill O'Brien, who left Penn State after two seasons to become the head coach of the Houston Texans.
- Stephen Pianovich