The terms of new Penn State head football coach James Franklin’s new contract will not become official until this afternoon. However, according to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, Franklin is about to get a huge payday.
Feldman is reporting that Franklin will sign a six year contract with Penn State at up to $4.5 million a year (with incentives), which would make him the second highest paid football coach in the Big Ten, behind only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, who makes $4.6 million annually. For reference, former Penn State coach Bill O’Brien made about $3.3 million last season, while Joe Paterno made just a shade over $1 million during his time in Happy Valley.
Assuming Feldman’s report is correct, Franklin will become the seventh highest paid coach in America, a major upgrade from last year, when he made about $3 million at Vanderbilt and was college football’s 54th highest paid head coach (the official terms of his contract are not public).
Saying that Franklin is a steal at $4.5 million may be a bit of a stretch, but it’s not absurd to think that he’s worth every penny. Franklin, who was never a head coach before he was hired by Vanderbilt in 2011, turned the Commodores from arguably the SEC’s worst program to a respectable squad in his three years in Nashville. Franklin will leave Nashville with a 24-15 record and back-to-back bowl wins and top-25 finishes in the BCS. He has also proven himself to be a masterful recruiter, as Vanderbilt was set to bring in a top-30 class nationally before he decided to come to Happy Valley.
The exact framework of Franklin’s deal will be announced today at 4:15 p.m. during his introductory press conference at Beaver Stadium. Make sure to stay tuned for coverage throughout the day.