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.