Penn State Football

James Franklin named Sporting News Coach of the Year

Penn State coach James Franklin was named the Sporting News Coach of the Year, as announced on Wednesday.

Franklin became the second Nittany Lions coach to claim the award, as Joe Paterno earned the honor in 2005.

Franklin has the led Penn State to an improbable 2016 campaign. The No. 5 Nittany Lions are 11-2 in Franklin’s third year at the helm, and are slated to play No. 9 Southern California in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. on Jan. 2.

It’s a massive improvement under Franklin, who recorded 7-6 records in 2014 and 2015.

Franklin has received plenty of recognition before the Sporting News’ honor. The 44-year-old was named one of five finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, as well as earning the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year award.

The winner of the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award is announced on Jan. 7.