James Franklin, Cael Sanderson, Guy Gadowsky and more Nittany Lion coaches and players shared a conversation or two at the Pennsylvania State Capitol on Monday afternoon.
No, they weren’t trying their hands at politics.
The conference-title winning Penn State programs — football, wrestling, men’s hockey, women’s soccer, field hockey, men’s volleyball and men’s and women’s indoor track & field — were recognized on the floor of the Pennsylvania State Senate in Harrisburg.
Senior linebacker Jason Cabinda and offensive lineman Andrew Nelson joined Franklin as state Sen. Jake Corman, R, Benner Township, lauded the Nittany Lions’ comeback win over Wisconsin in December’s Big Ten title game.
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“Coach Franklin, the only thing I’d ask you this year, if nothing else, is to beat the University of Pittsburgh,” Corman said in his address. “I’m tired of hearing it on the Senate floor from my colleagues here from the western part of the state.”
Corman continued, honoring Sanderson, Gadowsky, field hockey coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss, men’s and women’s track & field coach John Gondak, women’s soccer associate head coach Ann Cook and men’s volleyball assistant coach Ryan Walthall on their teams’ successes.
Athletic director Sandy Barbour was also in attendance.
Penn State had six Big Ten champions in 2016-17 — the most of any school in the conference. Men’s volleyball’s EIVA title added to the athletic department’s accomplishments.