Penn State Hires James Franklin As New Head Coach

Penn State University has hired James Franklin as its sixteenth head coach in the school's 127 years of football.

Penn State Hires James Franklin As New Head Coach
USA Today / Marvin Gentry

Questions about who would lead the Nittany Lions following head coach Bill O'Brian's departure to the NFL came to close Saturday as Penn State University has officially hired James Franklin to be its head football coach. 

After three seasons at the helm of Vanderbilt, Franklin is set to become Penn State's sixteenth head coach in the 127 years the school has been playing football. (Via Fox Sports

Franklin, a Pennsylvania native, is reportedly set to make $4.5 million a year in total compensation. ESPN reports he has been a hot name on the coaching market this offseason because, during his three seasons at Vanderbilt, "he's brought the Commodores as many nine-win seasons and as many bowl wins as they had seen in 121 seasons of football before he arrived."

And for the first time in Vanderbilt's history, Franklin led the school to an AP top 25 finish for back-to-back seasons. (Via YouTube / vucommodores)

While Franklin is widely regarded as a capable successor to Bill O'Brien, who left to become the head coach of the Houston Texans, his hire does not come without some controversy. (Via NFL)

With wounds from the Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse scandal still fresh on the minds of many, some Penn State faculty, students and fans are upset with the school's decision to hire Franklin after the coach was suspected of deleting criminal evidence in a rape case brought against four of his Vanderbilt players last summer. Franklin denied the allegations, however, and eventually was cleared of all wrongdoing by the case's prosecutors. (Via CBS, WFMJ)

Penn State officials plan to hold a press conference to announce Franklin's hire Saturday afternoon.