James Franklin has already led Penn State football for nearly eight seasons. A contract extension that the Nittany Lions head coach officially agreed to this week will now keep him with the program for the next decade.
Penn State announced on Tuesday afternoon that Franklin agreed to a new 10-year deal to remain in Happy Valley for the foreseeable future. The 49-year-old head coach will now be under contract with the Nittany Lions until 2031, giving him plenty of time to build the program into a national championship contender.
“Penn State’s future is bright, and I’m honored to continue to serve as your head football coach,” Franklin said in an official announcement. “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.”
👨🏽🦲✍🏽@CoachJFranklin inks new 🔟-year deal!
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) November 23, 2021
Franklin will haul in quite the payday over the next decade as a result of of the extension. According to The Athletic’s Stewart Mandel, the deal will pay him an annual salary of $7 million for each of the 10 season that’s he under contract.
The extension also comes with a sizable buyout.
James Franklin’s new deal is 10 years at $8.5M per year.
— $7M salary
— $500K retention bonus
— $1M life insurance loan
The school buyout is his full remaining salary + loan.
His buyout if he leaves this year is $12M, $8M next year, $6M in ’23.
This is his Jimbo contract.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 23, 2021
News of Franklin’s extension with Penn State came with quite a bit of fanfare from around the football world on Tuesday. Former Nittany Lions linebacker Micah Parson was among those that congratulated the head coach on his massive new deal.
— Micah Parsons (@MicahhParsons11) November 23, 2021
Other fans and media members around the college football world had mixed feelings on Franklin’s extension. With other top programs expressing interest in the 49-year-old head coach, many understand the move from Penn State’s perspective.
However, some felt that the new deal was an awfully lot of money to pay a coach that has gone 14-11 in his last 25 games.
If USC were an option for James Franklin, I think I would have taken that. Restart your clock, live in LA, more fertile recruiting territory, winnable conference, out of Ohio State’s shadow.
But, I respect the hell out of him for getting paid and staying the course at PSU.
— Ari Wasserman (@AriWasserman) November 23, 2021
Fans: James Franklin is overrated
Other schools: We’ll take him?!
Penn State: 3 BCS bowls last five years and doesn’t get his ass kicked by Ohio State on the reg like Michigan does, and is killing it in recruiting, we’ll extend him.
— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) November 23, 2021
I don’t think James Franklin will get Penn State to a College Football Playoff. But what were they supposed to do? Michigan St gave Mel Tucker 10 yrs. And a ton of $. Penn State just lets its coach leave for USC? Then what???
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) November 23, 2021
Fun fact: James Franklin is 14-11 in his last 25 games.
— 💫🅰️♈️🆔 (@ADavidHaleJoint) November 23, 2021
Said it the other day and ill say it again: Everyone firing their coaches mid-season thinking they’re going to get “a head start on the process.”
All it does is give other ADs a head start on extensions for the desirable coaches.
Mel Tucker, PJ Fleck and now James Franklin
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) November 23, 2021
Nothing like coaching rumors to raise the price of the brick. Guess that takes James Franklin off the board for a certain school. https://t.co/ClC0QmDhIk
— Evan Barnes〽️ (@evan_b) November 23, 2021
James Franklin won’t be taking any SEC jobs this coaching cycle https://t.co/Ch6TLoM29F
— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) November 23, 2021
James Franklin’s agent this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/8Z6molSwHV
— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) November 23, 2021
Overall at Penn State, Franklin has been much better than his recent record indicates. In his nearly eight seasons at the helm, the Nittany Lions have gone 67-32.
Now that Franklin is locked down long term, Penn State can focus on recruiting and upgrading its facilities so that the program can develop into a perennial contender.