James Franklin was officially hired as Penn State’s 16th head football coach Saturday morning by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees compensation committee.
Moments after the 9 a.m. teleconference, the university’s athletic department announced Franklin’s hiring on its website.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to come home,” said Franklin, a Langhorne native and former East Stroudsburg quarterback. “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 for me to be 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.”
The 41-year-old Franklin succeeds Bill O’Brien, who resigned after two seasons with Penn State to become head coach of the Houston Texans.
Franklin was the head coach at Vanderbilt the last three seasons, guiding the Commodores to a 24-15 record, three bowl appearances and two consecutive Top 25 rankings.
Franklin was to be introduced at a Beaver Stadium press conference at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
Terms of his contract were expected to be announced sometime Saturday. Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reported that the contract was for six years and for $4.5 million a year.