Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

PSU Football

Tennessee ‘made a run’ at Franklin for coaching job

It was always going to be a long shot, but Tennessee “made a run” at James Franklin to be its football coach, a source familiar with the Vols’ situation told Nittany Sports Now on Wednesday.

Franklin never visited Knoxville, we are told, and it’s unclear if he had much interest in the Vols job. But the school was very much interested in him, our source said.

Tennessee announced today that it has hired Josh Heupel from UCF as its new coach, replacing Jeremy Pruitt, who was fired last week.

Franklin coached at Vanderbilt from 2011-13, so he knows people in the state and with the University of Tennessee. It’s no surprise the Vols pursued him, and his name was mentioned in numerous media reports over the past week as a possible candidate.

Franklin is under contract at Penn State through 2025 and makes an average of more than $6 million a year. You can see his contract details here.

Franklin’s buyout also is more than $30 million, another factor that makes it tough for another school to lure him away.

Still, whether it’s Tennessee or Texas or USC, Franklin’s name comes up at least once a year as a potential candidate for jobs. At the very least, he can use that as leverage for his situation at Penn State.

Athletic director Sandy Barbour was asked Tuesday if it raises concerns in the athletic department that Franklin’s name comes up for other jobs. As she has done in the past, Barbour said it’s good to have a coach who is wanted by other programs.

“I think the biggest challenge is from a recruiting standpoint, in terms of having that question be posed,” Barbour said. “But I also think it’s very flattering. It’s very flattering to James, and it’s very flattering to Penn State. … I’d rather have somebody that other people want than the other side.”

Click for more Nittany Sports Now coverage

Written By

Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

Get NSN in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts by email.

More from Nittany Sports Now

PSU Football Recruiting

0 DaKaari Nelson, a four-star safety from Selma High School in Alabama, is the 15th player from the Class of 2023 to commit to...

PSU Football Recruiting

1 This past Friday, Tyriq Blanding, the top Class of 2023 recruit in New York according to 247Sports, committed to Penn State. The 6-foot...

PSU Football Recruiting

1 In recruiting news, Penn State football has had a big week in gaining commitments, starting it by getting one from four-star receiver Yazeed Haynes...

PSU Football

0 The Name, Image and ness phenomenon is a big deal, and Penn State, along with every college football program with the necessary resources,...

Get Nittany Sports Now in your inbox

Sign-up for email updates and get the whole story first from the Nittany Sports Now team, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.