PSU’s Franklin Among Munger Coach of the Year Semifinalists; Michigan State Game to Kickoff at 3:30 p.m.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State head coach James Franklin is among the 16 semifinalists for the George Munger Coach of the Year Award, which is presented yearly by the Maxwell Football Club. He is one of four Big Ten coaches on the list.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Penn State head coaches have won the Munger Coach of the Year award on four occasions. Joe Paterno won the honor three times in 1990, 1994 and 2005, while Bill O’Brien claimed the award in his first season at the helm in 2012.

Franklin has guided the Nittany Lions to the No. 8 position in the College Football Playoff rankings thanks in part to a seven-game winning streak. Penn State is 9-2 overall and 7-1 in Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions have won seven consecutive Big Ten games in a season for the first time since 1994 and are riding the longest overall winning streak since 2011.

Penn State has improved its regular season win total each season under Franklin. The Nittany Lions were 6-6 in 2014, 7-5 in 2015 and are 9-2 with a game remaining in 2016.

In his sixth year as a collegiate head coach, Franklin has led all six of his squads to bowl berths (3 at Vanderbilt; 3 at Penn State). He is one of 12 active FBS coaches to accomplish guide their first six teams to a bowl berth and one of eight coaches to do so while at FBS program. Additionally, the Nittany Lions are one of seven FBS teams to have posted winning seasons each of the last 12 years.

Among the Nittany Lions’ wins this season was a fourth-quarter comeback win over No. 2 Ohio State. Trailing by 14 in the third quarter, the Nittany Lions chipped away until a blocked field goal attempt by Marcus Allen was scooped up and returned for a touchdown by Grant Haley for the 24-21 win. Penn State has registered three double-digit comeback wins this year, marking the first time that the Lions have had three double-digit comebacks in a season since at least 1970.

Semifinalist voting for of the Maxwell Football Club Collegiate Coach of the Year award will begin on Friday, Nov. 18 and close on Sunday, Dec. 11. The finalist round will include the top three coaches as selected in the semifinalist round. Finalist voting will open Dec. 12 and run until Dec. 27. The winner will be announced on Dec. 29.

The formal presentation of the George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award will take place at the Maxwell Football Club’s National Awards Gala on Friday, March 10, 2017, at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.


Saturday’s game with Michigan State will start at 3:30 p.m. and air on ESPN. It will be Senior Day in Happy Valley, and a Penn State win coupled with an Ohio State win over Michigan. That game will be at Noon Saturday on ABC.

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