New PSU head coach makes good first impression

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Penn State coach James Franklin

Zach Laufer, Staff Writer

The departure of coach Bill O’Brien left Happy Valley in a state of disarray, coming only two years into the post-Paterno era.

O’Brien left Penn State with a couple years left on his contract to take the head coaching job of the Houston Texans. Not many outside of State College believed this was his destination job, and most had a hunch he would want a taste of the professional ranks sooner or later. Penn State just thought it would be later rather than sooner, A LOT later.

Thus began another unusual feeling of instability for fans. Penn State was left coach-less once again.

The board interviewed a couple of potential coaches, including Miami(FL) head coach Al Golden and ex-Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.

But it was a lesser known candidate that stole the show in Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. Franklin is from Pennsylvania and played quarterback for East Stroudsburg College in PA. In three years, Vandy went 24-15 under Franklin, going 9-4 the last two seasons.

The board announced Franklin as PSU’s new head coach on Saturday, Jan. 11, and his interview got fans excited.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to come home,” Franklin said in the release. “I grew up watching Penn State football and now to be at the helm of such a storied program is a tremendous honor. It’s important to me to be a part of a University that strives for excellence in everything they do. When football student-athletes come to Penn State, they have a unique opportunity to receive a premium education while playing at the highest level of competition.” – via The Daily Collegian

Among other things, Franklin will bring a blue-collar mentality to the program. He is the 16th head coach in PSU history. For most State fans, hopefully the 17th won’t be announced for quite some time.

At least, maybe a little longer than the last one…

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