After over a half-century with the same head coach at the helm, Penn State is now in the process of selecting its second coach in three seasons.
This time, it looks like Vanderbilt’s James Franklin is the man that will be tasked with following Bill O’Brien and returning the program to its former glory, although an official announcement may not come until the weekend.
If selected, Franklin, 41, who was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, will get to stay in his home state for what will be the highest profile position of his career.
Franklin, who has been described as an exceptional motivator and tireless worker, led Vanderbilt to bowl game births in each of his three seasons at the school, and has become a top target because of his success there, according to ESPN. Franklin led the Commodores to back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in school history, while amassing 24 wins over his three-season stint.
Before accepting the head coaching position at Vanderbilt, Franklin was the offensive coordinator at the University of Maryland, where he was named the "head coach in waiting," although he never actually became coach.
Prior to Maryland he spent time at several schools, and even made a stop in the NFL. He served as wide receivers coach at Kutztown, James Madison and Idaho State. Franklin also served as defensive backs coach at ESU, tight ends coach at Washington State, and quarterbacks coach at Kansas State.
He was wide receivers coach with the Packers under Mike Sherman in 2005 and also held internships with several other NFL teams including the Eagles, Dolphins and Vikings.
Talk about experience.
Franklin’s recent success has him drawing interest from NFL teams with head coaching vacancies, including Cleveland, but he apparently preferred the possibilities at Penn State.