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Penn State selects James Franklin to lead football program

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Penn State has hired former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin as the program's 16th head football coach.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson and Director of Athletics Dave Joyner announced Franklin’s appointment today. The enthusiastic and passionate Franklin led Vanderbilt University to unprecedented success in his three years as head coach, winning nine games in each of the past two years, and finishing in the Top 25 in consecutive seasons, both for the first time in school history.

"I can't tell you how excited I am to come home," Franklin said.

Franklin will be introduced on the Penn State campus today at 4:15 p.m. Franklin succeeds Bill O’Brien, who was named head coach of the National Football League’s Houston Texans earlier this month.

From Langhorne, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb, Franklin’s enthusiasm and tireless efforts resulted in taking Vanderbilt to new heights over the past three years, posting a 24-15 record, including marks of 9-4 during each of the past two seasons, capped by bowl victories. The Commodores finished the 2013 season with five consecutive victories, with wins over Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky in Southeastern Conference play, along with a win over Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Franklin’s 2012 squad finished the season with seven consecutive victories and posted VU’s first nine-win season since 1915.

Before becoming Vanderbilt's head coach, Franklin was an assistant at Maryland (2000-04, 2008-10), Kansas State (2006-07) and with the NFL's Green Bay Packers for a year (2005).

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