Coach James Franklin became an instant star at Penn State by saying all the right things during his introductory press conference on Saturday, but before that press conference even took place, Franklin had already won the hearts of two young Nittany Lion fans.
As he got off the plane prior to the press conference, Franklin saw fans and media lining the fences around the tarmac. He walked to the fence, ignored the media and sought out two little girls who were front and center to meet their new head coach. Franklin shook their hands and made their day.
Franklin even mentioned the girls during his press conference.
“Stepping off that plane today was unbelievable,” Franklin said. “The fans and the media at the airport got a chance to walk over and meet two beautiful young women by the fence and be able to shake their hands, young ladies. Just the sense of pride in this place, I think that is the biggest thing. We were able to establish a sense of pride at Vanderbilt with those kids and with that program. But to step off the plane today and meet the people, and walk around the facilities, and see everybody that shows up here today, it's special.”
Franklin seeking out young fans is not uncommon. He was known for promoting a family atmosphere while at Vanderbilt and he spent several minutes of his Penn State press conference talking about family as his wife two young daughters, Shola and Addison, stood by his side.
So far, Franklin is winning over the Penn State community in his first days as its new leader.
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