Penn State announces 10-year extension for James Franklin

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Penn State doesn’t plan on having to find a new head coach for quite some time. On Tuesday afternoon, Penn State officially announced it had agreed to a massive contract extension with head coach James Franklin. Penn State and Franklin have agreed on a new 10-year contract, effective immediately.

The new contract for Franklin will keep him as head coach through the 2031 season. The contract was formally voted on and approved on Tuesday by the Subcommittee on Compensation of the Penn State Board of Trustees.

“Penn State’s future is bright, and I’m honored to continue to serve as your head football coach,” Franklin said in a released statement. “Nine weeks ago, the administration approached me about making a long-term investment in our football program. This prompted numerous conversations outlining the resources needed to be competitive at a level that matches the expectations and history of Penn State. What’s most evident from those conversations is the importance of our student-athletes’ success both on and off the field.”

Franklin is wrapping up his eighth season with Penn State. Hired in 2014 to replace Bill O’Brien, who headed to the NFL, Franklin came to State College from Vanderbilt. In Franklin’s time at Penn State, the Nittany Lions have compiled a record of 67-32, which is highlighted by a Big Ten championship in 2016 and victories in the Fiesta Bowl and the Cotton Bowl (2017 and 2019 seasons, respectively). Penn State is currently 7-4 heading into its final game of the 2021 regular season at Michigan State.

Franklin was 24-15 in three seasons as the head coach at Vanderbilt, including back-to-back nine-win seasons and bowl victories with the Commodores.

“We are excited to have James Franklin lead our football program for a long time,” Penn State athletics director Sandy Barbour in a released statement. “We will continue our collective efforts to constantly improve in all aspects of our program. We have made, and will need to continue to make, significant investment in our football program because we believe we have a very bright future under James. With this contract, we are signaling our sustained commitment to being one of the premiere programs in the history of college football.”

The agreement between Franklin and Penn State is a major commitment to the future of the program as Penn State continues to build what they feel is needed to take the next step toward putting together a program worthy of a possible College Football Playoff berth on top of competing at a high level for a Big Ten championship.

This is also a significant recruiting tool for a coach who is already well-known for his recruiting abilities. Being able to sell a 10-year commitment to the school helps silence any comments or thoughts about Franklin potentially leaving Penn State for another opportunity at another school.

This is a landmark day for Penn State and James Franklin. And the next decade will surely be one where progress must be made toward the bigger goals still to be achieved.

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