Sources: Franklin expected to take Penn State job - FOX Carolina 21


Sources: Franklin expected to take Penn State job

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Vanderbilt football coach James Franklin told Vanderbilt administrators on Thursday that he has not accepted a job offer from Penn State, according to the school's athletic director.

Athletic director David Williams told the Associated Press that Franklin "is Vanderbilt's football coach."

Multiple news outlets reported Thursday morning that Franklin is expected to accept an offer to become the head football coach at Penn State.

The Centre Daily Times has reported a contract for the next Penn State football coach is expected to be approved during a special meeting of the compensation committee of the university Board of Trustees.

The newspaper said its source would not confirm if Franklin was the prospective coach.

The committee conference call will be held at 9 a.m. EST.

Williams told The Associated Press that he has heard all of the reports and knows that Penn State officials have been talking with Franklin.

"He called to let me know the reports that he had accepted another job were inaccurate," the Vanderbilt athletic director said. "And I didn't ask anything more than that nor did he volunteer anything more than that."

Williams said he met with Franklin on Tuesday night, spoke with him on Wednesday and again Thursday. As of 1:45 p.m. CST Thursday, Williams said that Franklin "is Vanderbilt's football coach."

"If there is something that's going to happen, I'm sure he'll be in touch with us," Williams said.

Both Bruce Feldman with and ESPN's Brett McMurphy quoted sources that Franklin would accept the position.

A Scranton, PA, newspaper reported in today's edition that the school offered the position on Wednesday night to Franklin.

The Times Tribune reported on its website that the school's president, athletic director and members of the search committee made the offer to Franklin on Wednesday night in Destin, FL, where Franklin was taking time off with his family.

The newspaper reported that Franklin is expected to accept or reject the offer on Thursday.

However, the Centre Daily Times reported a high-ranking Penn State official said the job had not been offered.

A plane returned to State College, PA, from Destin on Wednesday night. Passengers on the flight included Penn State President Rodney Erickson, athletic director David Joyner and other members of the search committee, according to the Harrisburg (PA) Patriot News and its website,

Franklin was reportedly set to interview later this week with the Washington Redskins in the National Football League. However, multiple sources, including The Washington Post and ESPN, said Franklin would not be interviewing for the position.

On Tuesday it was reported by several news organizations that Franklin had emerged as the front-runner to become head coach at Penn State.'s Bruce Feldman tweeted Tuesday morning that a source told him that Franklin was the clear front-runner for the job. reported that Penn State planned to hire Franklin, according to a source.

Franklin has been Vanderbilt's head coach for three seasons and has compiled a 24-15 overall record. His last two teams have finished 9-4, including bowl wins. He has led the Commodores to a bowl appearance in all three seasons.

The Commodores finished the 2013 season ranked in the Top 25 for the second straight season, marking the first time in the program's 124-year history the team has finished in the Top 25. Vanderbilt was ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Coaches' poll, both of which were released Tuesday.

Until 2012, Vandy had not won nine games in a season since 1915, and had only two nine-win seasons in school history.

The Commodores' 24-15 record under Franklin matches Dan McGugin for the most wins in school history by a coach in his first three seasons.

Vanderbilt's 16-4 record over the team's last 20 games is something only Alabama can better among Southeastern Conference teams. The 20-game stretch includes winning streaks of seven games to end 2012 and five games to end the 2013 season.

Prior to Franklin's arrival in 2011, the Commodores had not won consecutive games since a five-game winning streak to open the 2008 season.

Vanderbilt football sports information director Larry Leathers told The Tennessean via text that Franklin remained with him in Pasadena, CA, on Tuesday morning. Franklin had traveled there after Saturday's bowl game to take part in ESPN's coverage of Monday's BCS Championship game.

Franklin tweeted around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday that he was in the airport in Los Angeles about to fly back to Nashville. He flew back on a plane with Rascal Flatts member Joe Don Rooney.

Vanderbilt athletics director David Williams also told The Tennessean he had spoken to Franklin Monday night after his ESPN appearances and that Franklin was still the school's football coach. reported that Vanderbilt assistant coaches followed several Penn State football recruits on Twitter on Tuesday, fueling more speculation that Franklin and several members of his staff may be heading to Penn State.

Several media outlets, including ESPN and, reported that Franklin was set to interview with Penn State on Sunday. Franklin left Nashville on Sunday for California for his ESPN work.

Former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak also has interviewed for the position at his alma mater, according to Munchak was dismissed as the Titans head coach Saturday. Munchak interviewed on Wednesday with the Detroit Lions, who fired former Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz last week.

In addition to the Penn State job, Franklin was also linked to opening at Texas, as well as NFL openings with the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins. He reportedly interviewed with the Texans.

Miami coach Al Golden, a former Penn State captain, reportedly interviewed for the position, but withdrew his name from consideration last Saturday.

Franklin is a Pennsylvania native who was a standout quarterback at East Stroudsburg University. He's served as offensive coordinator at Maryland and Kansas State and in a variety of roles at Kutztown, East Stroudsburg, James Madison, Maryland, Idaho State and Washington State throughout his coaching career. He also coached the Green Bay Packers wide receivers in 2005.

Franklin would replace Bill O'Brien, who coached the Nittany Lions to a 15-9 mark in his two seasons. O'Brien took the reigns after the child abuse scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky that rocked the Penn State program and led to the dismissal of longtime coach Joe Paterno.

O'Brien was named head coach of the Texans last week.

Larry Johnson is currently serving as interim head coach and also was expected to interview for the position.

Johnson's son Tony authored a cryptic message on Facebook that has been interpreted by Penn State fans and media members that Johnson intends to leave the university.

"It's been a great 18 year run at PSU ... Thank you to everybody for all the support, text, emails and phone calls ..." the post read.

According to the Centre newspaper, university officials were not aware of Johnson's impending resignation.

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