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James Franklin To Speak At 2015 MIT Sloan Conference In Boston

When James Franklin accepted the head coaching position at Penn State, he boasted in his introductory press conference that he wouldn’t turn down any speaking engagement — even blowing up balloons in the backyard at your child’s next birthday party.

In his first season in Happy Valley, Franklin’s lived up to his own lofty expectations. The Langhorne, Pa. native was the keynote speaker at the Mr. PA Football Awards and the Central Pennsylvania National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athletes’ Awards banquet, attended the “Children Deserve a Chance” foundation’s “I Am More” event in Lancaster, gave an emotional speech at THON 2015, and is committed to presenting at TEDxPSU on March 1 in Schwab Auditorium.

On Feb. 27-28, Franklin will speak at the prestigious MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston. He will be the only active coach in any major sport to speak at the event.

The first-year head coach will join SB Nation’s Bill Connelly, NCAA executive vice president Oliver Luck, ESPN’s Tom Luginbill, and CNN’s Rachel Nichols for a panel discussion on college football analytics. According to the conference’s website, the discussion is expected to cover what the experts have learned over the course of year one of the new playoff system, how they expect the game to evolve going forward, and what innovative technologies are helping teams gain an edge.

The Sloan Conference provides a forum for team executives, researchers, students, and fans to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry. Founded in 2006, it is the largest student-run conference in the world, attracting students from over 170 different schools and representatives from over 80 professional sports teams in the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS, and Premier League. ESPN has helped sponsor the event since 2010, and major media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal have dedicated coverage as the event’s popularity has increased.

Among the big names headlining the 2015 speakers list include NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, ESPN analyst and former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy, creator and host of ESPN Sport Science John Brenkus, Moneyball author Michael Lewis, Toronto Raptors president and general manager Msai Ujiri, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver, and president of the U.S. Soccer Federation Sunil Gulati.

Photo: Jenna Seco/Onward State

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About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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