James Franklin is an American College Football Coach at Penn State University in the Big Ten Conference. After holding the same position at Vanderbilt University until the end of the 2013 season, Franklin was hired to become Penn State’s Coach in early 2014. Let’s take an in-depth look how Coach Franklin has taken Penn State football to new heights while also winning a Big Ten Championship before Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh.
James Franklin Net Worth: $12 Million
James Franklin’s net worth is around $12 million. Let’s go on an adventure to see how Coach Franklin turned around a program recovering from crippling NCAA sanctions that damaged the University for a number of years.
Where It All Began
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James Franklin is a native of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a town in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Franklin starred in football at East Stroudsburg University from 1991-1994. Upon graduating from East Stroudsburg University with a degree in Psychology, Franklin later accepted a job to become the Wide Receivers Coach at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 1995.
In 1996, Franklin left Kutztown for East Stroudsburg to coach the Defensive Backs. Later that year, he became the Offensive Coordinator for the Roskilde Knights in the Danish American Football Federation. Franklin then became Wide Receivers Coach at James Madison University in 1997. After a one year stint at JMU, Franklin was hired as the Tight Ends Coach at Washington State University in 1998. James Franklin then made one final stop on his West Coast coaching excursion becoming the Wide Receivers Coach at Idaho State University in 1999.
After departing Idaho State, Franklin became the Wide Receivers Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at the University of Maryland from 2000-2004. After a four year tenure in the suburbs of our nation’s capital, Franklin became the Wide Receivers Coach of the Green Bay Packers. Once 2005 came to a close, Franklin became the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Kansas State University. Once the 2007 season concluded, Franklin then returned to the University of Maryland where he was the Assistant Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Quarterbacks Coach.
2011-2013: The Vanderbilt Years
James Franklin was hired by Vanderbilt University to become its Head Football Coach on December 17th, 2010. Under Franklin’s guidance, the Commodores were able to reach bowl games in three consecutive seasons. James Franklin was able to turn the laughing stock of the always powerful SEC into a team that defeated Auburn, Tennessee, and Ole Miss in 2012, alongside No. 15 Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee in 2013. Franklin finished with an overall record of 24-13, a conference record of 11-13, and a bowl record of 2-1 in his time at Vanderbilt. The Commodores also finished inside the Top 25 rankings at the conclusion of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. James Franklin made Vanderbilt a respectable foe in the SEC for three seasons and there was no doubt that he would eventually end up coaching at a much larger football school.
2014-2015: Bumpy Road Ahead
After losing Head coach Bill O’Brien to the NFL’s Houston Texans, James Franklin was hired to become Penn State’s 16th Head Football Coach on January, 11th 2014. After dealing with two consecutive 7-6 seasons in 2014 and 2015 alongside a massive recovery effort from the NCAA Sanctions tied to the Jerry Sandusky Scandal. Franklin did not beat Ohio State, Michigan State, or Michigan in those first two years. Even though Penn State had one of the best defenses in the country, the offense was straight up abysmal. With embarrassing losses to Maryland and Illinois in 2014 by the scores of 20-19 and 16-14 respectively, it couldn’t get much worse, right? Oh but it did! A 27-10 opening game loss to Temple and a 55-16 annihilation against Michigan State made Penn State fans livid. The Lions lost their last four games to close the 2015 season and hoped that 2016 would be better.
2016: They’re Back For Good
With two rough years in 2014 and 2015, Penn State was bound to improve. However, that improvement didn’t stand out at first. Fans wanted Franklin fired after two early losses in 2016 to in-state rival Pittsburgh and Michigan by the scores of 42-39 and 49-10 respectively. After being down 13-3 at halftime to Minnesota on October 1st, 100,000 plus people were chanting “Fire Franklin” as loud as they could. The Nittany Lions then defeated Minnesota 29-26 in overtime and rattled off nine straight wins. No win was bigger than coming back against No. 2 Ohio State. Down 21-7 early in the 4th Quarter, the Lions made a ferocious comeback. Trailing 21-17 with just over four and a half minutes left in the game, Penn State’s Marcus Allen blocked a Tyler Durbin field goal, Grant Haley then scooped up the loose ball and raced to the end zone with 4:27 to go to give Penn State a dramatic 24-21 win. The 2016 season culminated in a 38-31 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl against USC.
2017: Oh So Close
Franklin entered the 2017 season with high hopes and the Nittany Lions reached No. 2 in the Top 25 polls after Clemson fell to Syracuse 27-24. Penn State had reached their highest ranking since 1999 and their first game as a No. 2 team in 18 years was a 42-13 win over Michigan in front of a Beaver Stadium record 110,823 fans. Two losses by a combined four points to Ohio State and Michigan State destroyed the chance to make the College Football Playoff but the Nittany Lions were able to make a second straight New Year’s Six Bowl appearance with a 35-28 win over the University of Washington in the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Franklin currently holds a record of 36-17 at Penn State heading into the 2018 season and there is no doubt that he is now one of the most coveted recruiters and coaches in all of College Football.