With James Franklin’s new extension, the Penn State coach is now among the five highest-paid head coaches in college football. The new deal is worth $34.3 million over the six years, equating to $5.73 million per year.

Under his previous deal, the head coach was scheduled to make $4.7 million this upcoming season. With the new contract, Franklin is among the likes of Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer, and Jimbo Fisher in terms of average annual salary, according to ESPN.

Franklin’s original contract was set to expire in 2019, so the newly inked one extends him at least four more seasons.

During the 2012 and 2013 seasons with Bill O’Brien at the helm, the Nittany Lions accumulated a 15-9 record. That figure has been exceeded by Franklin over the past three seasons, with Penn State racking up 25 wins compared to only 15 losses. That comes out to a win percentage of .625 averaged over the past three seasons.

However, Franklin took Penn State to the Rose Bowl by way of capturing the team’s first Big 10 Championship since the 2008 season.

Keep in mind the two seasons Bill O’Brien was head coach, Penn State was on a postseason-bowl ban. Nevertheless, the Nittany Lions still wouldn’t have had the option to be deemed Big 10 Championships either way, based on their final record.

Franklin also lead the Nittany Lions to a season-high AP ranking of #5, their highest mark since the 2009 regular season. Penn State also finished the season ranked seventh in the AP poll, their highest end-of-season ranking since the end of the 2005 season, according to Sports Reference.

Also, James Franklin has been invaluable in rebuilding the historic Penn State football program after having dealt with the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Franklin has restored the culture into one focusing on winning and doing things the correct and ethical way.

Penn State’s Director of Athletics recently commented on James Franklin’s success and coaching prowess.

“James and his staff have done an exceptional job with our football student-athletes and in all aspects of the football program,” Barbour said. “His values are Penn State’s values and they resonate throughout every member of the organization and team he has built.

Many individuals around the Penn State program have commented on Franklin’s ability to not only win games and have success on the field, but also to motivate his student-athletes to extend themselves and have a glowing impact on and off the field.

Penn State’s recently devoted commitment to winning off the field have been showing up in their recruiting efforts lately. Currently, the Nittany Lions have the #4 ranked recruiting class in the nation, according to the composite team rankings over at 24/7 Sports.

Going forward, not only will James Franklin’s upbeat demeanor continue to draw in highly-coveted recruits, as well as praise from college football pundits, it shows that the Nittany Lions are here to stay.

Penn State had no other option but to extend James Franklin, one of the hottest coaching commodities in the county. It also ensures the future in State College, Pennsylvania remains bright.

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