After a week of buildup, and, honestly, it felt longer than that, Penn State has officially announced James Franklin as the program's 16th head football coach.
Franklin will be introduced in a 4:15 p.m. ET press conference. He will earn $4.5 million a year over a six-year contract, according to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com. Only seven FBS head coaches made more than that in 2013.
“Dr. Joyner and I have stressed that our No. 1 priority in hiring a new coach was to hire an outstanding leader for our football program, one who will continue our long tradition of student-athlete success on the field and in the classroom,” Penn State president Rodney Erickson said. “We have achieved that goal. On behalf of the University and the entire Nittany Lion Nation, I am proud to welcome James Franklin as Penn State's 16th head football coach.
"Coach Franklin's record of success is extraordinary, but even more impressive is his passion for not only the game of football, but also creating an atmosphere in which student-athletes can succeed. His character, work ethic, values and knowledge of the game make him an outstanding fit for our program and to lead our student-athletes."
Franklin went 24-15 in three seasons as Vanderbilt's head coach.
“I can't tell you how excited I am to come home,” Franklin said. “I grew up watching Penn State football and now to be at the helm of such a storied program is a tremendous honor. It's important to me to be a part of a University that strives for excellence in everything they do. When football student-athletes come to Penn State, they have a unique opportunity to receive a premium education while playing at the highest level of competition.
“I'm incredibly excited to get to know the students, alumni, and fans who have demonstrated such loyalty to the University as a whole and to the football program in particular,” Franklin added. “I've worked my way through every division of football and no other school boasts a fan base like we do. We Are...Penn State!!”