We’ve heard some about James Franklin’s past over the past few days but now that he has officially been named Penn State head coach, we want to take a closer look.
James Franklin has come a long way from his days as the star quarterback of East Stroudsburg University in the early 90s. Then he was kid from the Philadelphia suburbs putting up big numbers for the warriors.
“Probably one of the greatest scrambling quarterbacks we had in the history of the PSAC, but not only that in the summer he lived at our place, we used to sit out on the deck, we’d talk in the evening, eating Klondikes, big timing it, having some fun with him. But everything that’s happened for James, he’s earned it,” says ESU head coach Denny Douds.
Franklin got his first head coaching job at Vanderbilt in 2011. After stints as an assistant all over the county, Washington State, Idaho State, Maryland, Kansas State, even the Green Bay Packers.
But at Vandy he is credited with transforming the program, accomplishing things at the school in Nashville it hadn’t done in decades and rallying the community around his mission.
“It’s support, it’s everyone together, not being in it alone because you can’t do it alone,” says Franklin back in 2011.
Franklin inherited a Vandy team that went 2-10 the year before he arrived and took the commodores to bowl games in his first three seasons. This year they beat several SEC powers.
Through twitter the 41 year-old preaches family first. He shared this photo of his wife Fumi and daughters Ava and Addison.
Photos show his girls are often at his side, he says they look at the players as their Uncles.
But now those so-called uncles will be in blue and white, Nittany Lions.
There was a fight from many at Vanderbilt to keep James Franklin in Nashville, but now the Franklins move to Happy Valley.
James Franklin returns to his Pennsylvania roots.