It appears that Penn State’s search for a replacement for Bill O’Brien is a little over 24 hours from an end.
The university revealed Friday afternoon that president Rodney Erickson and athletic director Dave Joyner will make a “major announcement” Saturday at 4:15 p.m. ET. While the subject matter was not detailed, it’s believed that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin will be officially introduced as the new Nittany Lions head coach.
Based on Penn State’s acknowledgement of a press conference, it appears Vanderbilt’s final push to retain Franklin has failed. The news of an announcement comes three days after Franklin was pegged as the clear frontrunner for the job.
According to ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy, Franklin will receive a contract that’s worth in the neighborhood of $4.5 million annually. O’Brien earned just a shade over $3.8 million in his final year in Happy Valley. In its annual coaches salary database, USA Today pegged Franklin’s total pay with the Commodores in 2013 at $1.842 million.
That $4.5 million figure would put Franklin second in the Big Ten, behind only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer ($4.6 million).
Franklin recently completed his third season with Vandy, compiling a record of 24-15 and leading the ‘Dores to three straight bowl games for the first time in the program’s history. Prior to Franklin’s arrival, the school had just four bowl appearances in 109 years and won a total of 25 games the previous six seasons. They’d won 33 over the last decade prior to Franklin taking the job.