Skip to main content

James Franklin signs 10-year e, $80+ million at Penn State

The deal will keep him under contract in State College through 2031.

When Penn State and Michigan State play each other on Saturday, we've got a pretty good guess what James Franklin and Mel Tucker will say in their pregame chat: "Congrats."

After Michigan State presented Tucker with a 10-year, $95 million extension, Penn State on Tuesday announced a 10-year extension of its own for Franklin.

"Penn State's future is bright, and I'm honored to continue to serve as your head football coach," said Franklin. "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. What's most evident from those conversations is the importance of our student-athletes' success both on and off the field.

"With the support of President Barron, and the Board of Trustees we've been able to create a roadmap of the resources needed to address academic support, community outreach, Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), facility improvements, student-athlete housing, technology upgrades, recruiting, training table and more. This renewed commitment to our student-athletes, community and fans reinforces all the reasons I've been proud to serve as your head football coach for the last eight years and why my commitment to Penn State remains steadfast. Throughout this process I've kept our leadership council, recruits and staff updated on those conversations and I'm excited we've reached an agreement we can finally share with you." 

The deal will begin Jan. 1 and run through Dec. 31, 2021, paying him a flat $8.5 million pear year. 

Included in that $8.5 million are a $500,000 base salary, $6.5 million in supplemental pay, a $500,000 retention bonus paid every New Year's Eve, and a $1 million annual loan to cover his life insurance premium.

He's also eligible for bonuses ranging from $100,000 for winning the Big Ten coach of the year to $800,000 for winning the national championship, up to $1 million total annually. 

Winning a national championship would also trigger an $800,000 annual raise 

"James has been a tremendous leader, providing a Penn State standard of care and attention to all aspects of growth and development for our student-athletes," AD Sandy Barbour said. "Our young men have benefited from his guidance academically, socially and athletically. I'm thrilled James has committed to Penn State and to providing that leadership for years to come. I'm looking forward to years of impact for students and community for our football program under his leadership and to the Franklin family remaining valued and prominent members of our community. I know there will be much success ahead for our football program with Coach Franklin at the helm."

In nearly eight full seasons on the job, Franklin is 67-32 with one Big Ten title, two New Year's Six wins and three AP Top 10 finishes.

Franklin would owe $12 million to get out of the contract before April 1 of next year, $8 million for the remainder of 2022, $6 million in 2023, $2 million in 2024 and '25, and $1 million thereafter. Penn State would owe Franklin $8 million multiplied by the number of remaining years on the contract. 

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.