Franklin agrees to new six-year contract

December 06, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s James Franklin has agreed to the terms of a new six-year contract to remain as the head football coach of the Nittany Lions through 2025. The terms were approved by the Compensation Committee of Penn State’s Board of Trustees today. 

“It’s not often a coach gets an opportunity to move back to their home state and coach the team they grew up watching,” Franklin said. “It’s even more rare that it’s a school as rich in history and tradition as Penn State. It’s been an honor and privilege to be the head coach of the Penn State Football program for the last six years.

“It’s gratifying to work at a university where the administration cares as much about what happens in the classroom and community as it does about wins and losses. I love Penn State, our players and our dedicated coaches and staff. I’m proud to continue this journey with them and grateful that President Barron, Sandy Barbour and the Board of Trustees share my vision for continuing our pursuit of excellence.”

Sandy Barbour, Penn State vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics, said the University, and Intercollegiate Athletics in particular, wanted Franklin and the entire football staff to know their efforts are being supported at all levels.    

“We are thrilled to have James as the head of our football program. We wanted to make a strong pledge to James and this program with this new contract,” stated Barbour. “James came to Penn State with a very clear vision and we have seen that grow and prosper. What he has done to bring success to our program, both on and off the field, has been nothing short of spectacular. 

“James is a true Penn Stater with a commitment to the complete experience for our students by developing them academically, socially and on the field. Even more, he has embraced and been a pillar of the Happy Valley community since his arrival. James has won many games at Penn State and will continue to win many more, but what is more impressive is the number of lives he has impacted in our program and in our community.”

Penn State President Eric Barron also commended Franklin and the program for their achievements. 

“James has established important standards of excellence, and academic achievement for our student athletes, which is important for their development as productive contributors to society,” said Barron.  “I’m pleased we can look forward to more years of service and accomplishment with James at the helm of our football program. I’m confident his teams will continue to achieve great success on and off the field.”

Franklin has guided the Nittany Lions to the 2016 Big Ten Championship, as well as bowl games in each of his six seasons as head coach, including the 2017 Rose Bowl and 2017 Fiesta Bowl. Penn State is one of five teams to be ranked in the top 12 of the final College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings in each of the last four years (Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma). Franklin’s 78.85 winning percentage (41-11) since 2016 is third among active coaches behind Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Alabama’s Nick Saban. 

The Nittany Lions claimed their third 10-win regular season in the last four years with a 10-2 mark. The Nittany Lion defense is among the stingiest in the country, ranking No. 7 in scoring defense (14.1), No. 8 in rushing defense (97.7), No. 10 in sacks (3.25) and No. 13 in tackles for loss (7.7). Offensively, Penn State accounts for 402.2 yards and 34.3 points per game. He was selected as the 2019 Renaissance Fund recipient, which honors outstanding community members and helps students in need.

The basic terms of the contract will be released upon execution of the agreement in the near future, in accordance with past practice. 

Last Updated December 06, 2019