James Franklin, Penn State Agree To Massive Long-Term Deal

By Jason Hall

November 23, 2021

Penn State v Maryland
Photo: Getty Images

Penn State University has reached a new, long-term deal with head football coach James Franklin to remain with the program through the next decade.

Franklin has agreed to the terms of a new 10-year contract that will run through 2031, the athletic program announced in a news release on its official website Tuesday (November 23) afternoon.

PSU Athletics confirmed the terms of the agreement were approved by the Subcommittee on Compensation of the Penn State Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

"Penn State's future is bright, and I'm honored to continue to serve as your head football coach," Franklin said. "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.

"With the support of President [Eric] Barron, Sandy Barbour and the Board of Trustees we've been able to create a roadmap of the resources needed to address academic support, community outreach, Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), facility improvements, student-athlete housing, technology upgrades, recruiting, training table and more. This renewed commitment to our student-athletes, community and fans reinforces all the reasons I've been proud to serve as your head football coach for the last eight years and why my commitment to Penn State remains steadfast. Throughout this process I've kept our leadership council, recruits and staff updated on those conversations and I'm excited we've reached an agreement we can finally share with you."

Franklin will be paid an annual base salary of $7.5 million, as well as supplemental pay, a yearly retention bonus and an annual loan of $1 million for a life insurance policy through the remainder of his new contract.

Additionally, the 49-year-old will receive built-in incentives based on the team's performance, which includes a $350,000 for winning the Big Ten championship game, $400,000 for making the College Football Playoff and $800,000 for winning a national championship.

Franklin's buyout will start at $12 million beginning on April 1, 2022 and reduce to $8 million through Dec. 31, 2022; $6 million in 2023; $2 million in 2024 and 2025; and $1 million for each year between 2026-30.

Franklin -- who was hired after a successful three-year tenure at Vanderbilt University in 2014 -- currently has a 67-32 (42-27 Big Ten) record during eight seasons at Happy Valley, which includes a Big Ten championship in 2016.

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