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SPORTS
January 16, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Big Ten rivalry between Penn State and Ohio State got a little more enthralling Tuesday amid reports that former Nittany Lions assistant coach Larry Johnson has accepted a job as defensive line coach of the Buckeyes. Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com reported Ohio State's hiring of Johnson, who spent 18 seasons as a Penn State assistant, the last 14 as defensive line coach. Johnson said Monday he was leaving the Nittany Lions even though new coach James Franklin had asked him to continue to lead the defensive line.
SPORTS
January 15, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State has a fresh face to lead its football program, but lost its most seasoned coach yesterday. Larry Johnson, who was with Penn State as an assistant for 18 years, will not be a part of James Franklin's new staff, the Patriot-News reported yesterday. Johnson spent the last 14 years as the defensive line coach. The newspaper reported that Johnson was offered the same position on Franklin's staff, but turned it down. "I've thought a lot about this, I've prayed about it and this is what I want to do," Johnson told the newspaper.
SPORTS
January 14, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before he introduced James Franklin as Penn State's new football coach, athletic director Dave Joyner eagerly pointed out that the hunt to find the man the university's search committee wanted didn't take long at all. "I said [Jan. 2] that it would be days, not weeks," Joyner said, recalling that the 2011-12 search to find Bill O'Brien took 40 days. "So it's one week and two days - nine days - so let's get that out of here so you [reporters] are not going to ask me about that. " The six-person committee unanimously approved Franklin, 41, head coach for the last three seasons at Vanderbilt, to take over for Bill O'Brien.
SPORTS
January 14, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - James Franklin set his stance on recruiting loud and clear in his opening statement after being introduced as Penn State's 16th head football coach on Saturday. "Our recruiting philosophy: We are going to dominate the state," Franklin said. "We are going to dominate the state. We are going to dominate the region. I've worked a lot of different institutions that tried to compete. Recruiting against Penn State University, and it was always an unbelievable challenge.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - James Franklin sat at the podium Saturday in the Beaver Stadium interview room splitting his attention between his two daughters - Ava and Addison, one on either side of him - and talked about family, including the "95 sons" he just adopted as the new head football coach at Penn State. Calling himself "a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart," Franklin, a native of Langhorne in Bucks County, officially was introduced as the successor to Bill O'Brien as the 16th head coach in the history of Nittany Lions football.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - James Franklin set records as a young quarterback at East Stroudsburg, but his offense at Vanderbilt wasn't known for its explosive nature. So what should the Nittany Lions look like on offense when Franklin takes over on the sideline for the 2014 season? How will his experiences playing and coaching quarterbacks help in the development of last year's freshman phenom, Christian Hackenberg? "I recruited Christian out of high school," Franklin said. "I've got a very, very good relationship with him. I'm going to meet with probably him and his family in the next 24 hours.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | By Dan Norton, For The Inquirer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Bellefonte native Brent Kopcha's young daughters may have been the first community members that met new Penn State football coach James Franklin. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Kopcha, a huge Nittany Lions fan who graduated for Penn State in 1998, had nothing planned Saturday. His girls are 9 and 5, and one of them had been asking him all week who Penn State's next football coach would be. In addition to telling them, Kopcha decided to show them. The father and his daughters waited for more than an hour.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | BY ANDREW ALBERT, Daily News Staff Writer alberta@phillynews.com
A TEENAGE James Franklin would go into the Neshaminy football office when he was in high school and draw up plays for his team with his head coach. Twenty-five years later, it is expected that he again will draw up plays in the state of Pennsylvania. "He has always been a football nut. He loves the game," said John Chaump, Franklin's head coach at Neshaminy. That love for the game has led him to be a leading candidate for the highly touted Penn State job. According to multiple reports, the Nittany Lions are set to name Franklin their next head football coach at a news conference today at 4:15 p.m. He would succeed Bill O'Brien, who left after two seasons to coach the Houston Texans in the NFL. Franklin, 41, is familiar with Pennsylvania.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
James Franklin has familial roots in Pittsburgh, was born in Langhorne, went to high school at Neshaminy, and went to college at East Stroudsburg. His is an early personal history of immersion in Pennsylvania football, and he called on all that history Saturday, his first day of walking a fine line as Penn State's new head coach. "I'm a Pennsylvania boy at heart," he said. "This is my dream job. This is where I want to be. " He spoke eloquently of his affection for his home, for tradition, but make no mistake: Franklin is a thoroughly modern head-coaching hire, and this alone makes his arrival fascinating.
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