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James will Stay: Penn State Signs Franklin to 10-Year Extension

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 30: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on during the game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio on October 30, 2021.(Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)

The next head football coach at USC, LSU or anywhere else that currently has a vacancy won’t be James Franklin.

Franklin hinted that some news was coming Tuesday in his postgame press conference after Penn State’s win over Rutgers this past Saturday. Those who thought that news might come in Franklin’s weekly Tuesday press conference were disappointed when the coach said he had “nothing new to report.”

Now, there is something new to report.

After Penn State’s Board of Trustees meeting that discussed a “personnel matter,” Franklin has received a 10-year extension worth $7 million of guaranteed money. Additionally, Franklin could receive $500k in annual retention bonus and make up to $1 million a year in incentives. He can earn said incentives by winning the Big Ten championship, winning the national championship, making the College Football Playoff, winning Big Ten or National Coach of the Year or making any of the four bowl games that can serve as College Football Playoff sites. Also featured in the contract are a car and 55 annual hours of a private personal aircraft.

“Penn State’s future is bright, and I’m honored to continue to serve as your head football coach,” Franklin said. “Nine weeks ago, the administration approached me about making a long-term investment in our football program. This prompted numerous conversations outlining the resources needed to be competitive at a level that matches the expectations and history of Penn State.”

Athletic director Sandy Barbour said Penn State is “excited to have James Franklin lead our football program for a long time.”

Franklin is 67-32 at Penn State and 42-27 in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions went 11-2 three times between 2016 and 2019, with wins in the Fiesta and Cotton Bowls and a Rose Bowl appearance earned through a Big Ten championship in 2016.

The coach has drawn criticism, however, for his struggles against top 10 opponents. He is 2-13 in such games. Penn State’s game against Michigan State Saturday will be Franklin’s 100th at the school. The opposing coach, Mel Tucker, is rumored to have been offered a 10-year extension worth $95 million.

Full terms of the contact can be seen here. 


NOTE: Mel Tucker’s contract extension is not yet official, contrary to what was reported in an earlier version of this story.

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