Sports

Penn State Makes Vanderbilt’s Franklin New Football Coach

[Bloomberg]

James Franklin waves to reporters and fans gathered at University Park Airport in State College, Pa. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.  Penn State has hired Franklin as its next head coach. Franklin, 41, who led Vanderbilt to bowls in all three of his seasons there, replaces Bill O'Brien, who left the Nittany Lions after two years to coach the NFL's Houston Texans. Penn State made the announcement Saturday, after the school's compensation committee met to finalize the contract.  (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Christopher Weddle)
James Franklin waves to reporters and fans gathered at University Park Airport in State College, Pa. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. Penn State has hired Franklin as its next head coach. (AP Photo/Centre Daily Times, Christopher Weddle)

James Franklin was chosen as Penn State University’s next football coach, filling the void created by Bill O’Brien’s departure for the Houston Texans of the National Football League.

Franklin, 41, takes over a Nittany Lions team that went 7-5 in its second season since the National Collegiate Athletic Association imposed unprecedented sanctions on the program in the aftermath of the child sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky. The punishment included a $60 million fine and a four-year ban on postseason games.

The first African-American head coach in Penn State history, Franklin spent the last three seasons in the same role at Vanderbilt University, reviving a program that had just 13 Southeastern Conference wins in the 10 years prior to his arrival. Under Franklin, the Commodores went 24-15 with 11 SEC victories, and bowl wins in each of the past two seasons.

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