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Proud James Franklin announced as coach at Penn State

Penn State has hired James Franklin as its next head coach. Franklin, 41, who led Vanderbilt to bowls in all three of his seasons there, replaces Bill O’Brien, who left the Nittany Lions after two years to coach the NFL’s Houston Texans. Penn State made the announcement Saturday. “Our program requires a very special kind of leader,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said, calling Franklin a “special talent.” “I believe we’ve found the right person to lead our program.” Franklin won 24 games with the Commodores and is a Pennsylvania native with strong ties in-state. “I’m a Pennsylvania boy,” Franklin, who played at DII East Stroudsburg (Pa.), said during his opening statement, “with a Penn State heart.” Franklin coached tight ends at Washington State in 1998. – Associated Press