Penn State’s Franklin Earns Woody Hayes Award for College Football Coach of the Year

| January 11, 2017

James Franklin Penn State by Paul Burdick
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State head coach James Franklin has been named the 2016 Woody Hayes Award winner for College Football Coach of the Year as presented by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.

(Photo by Paul Burdick. Check out more of Burdick’s work here)

Franklin is the second Nittany Lion mentor to win the Woody Hayes Award, joining Joe Paterno, who was a four-time winner of the award (1978, 1982, 1986, 2005).

In addition to Franklin, kicker Tyler Davis will be honored at the event as the 2016 Vlade Award winner for the NCAA’s most accurate kicker, while early enrollee Mike Miranda will be recognized as a Buckeye Blue Chips for the top Ohio high school players.

The 2016 Woody Hayes Award will be presented during the 62nd Touchdown Club of Columbus Awards on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at Express Live! in downtown Columbus, Ohio. For additional information concerning the Woody Hayes Award and Touchdown Club of Columbus’ 62-year history, visit www.tdccolumbus.com.

Franklin is also a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award for the second time in his career. The winner of the award will be announced Jan. 11. Franklin was a finalist for the honor in 2012, which Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien won.

Previously, Franklin was named the Sporting News National Coach of the Year. He is the second Penn State head coach to win the honor, joining Joe Paterno, who claimed the award in 2005. He was also selected as the College Sports Madness National Coach of the Year. Additionally, he was a finalist for the 2016 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award as presented by the Football Writers Association of America and the AP National Coach of the Year.

Franklin guided the Nittany Lions to their first Big Ten Championship since 2008 and fourth overall (1994, 2005, 2008). He led the Nittany Lions to the Big Ten East title, its second divisional title (2011). The Nittany Lions also made their fourth appearance in the Rose Bowl (1923, 1995, 2009, 2017). Under Franklin’s guidance this season, the Lions were ranked as high as No. 5 in the CFP, Associated Press and Amway Coaches polls, the highest mark for the Nittany Lions since 2009. The Nittany Lions finished the season No. 5 in the CFP rankings and No. 7 in the AP poll.

At 11-3, Franklin guided the Nittany Lions to their sixth 11-win season since Penn State joined the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions had a nine-game winning streak, which is the program’s longest since 2009, before falling to No. 3 USC in the Rose Bowl. Penn State finished 8-1 in Big Ten play, marking the second eight-win conference season in program history to join the 1994 team that went 8-0.

The third-year head coach has earned Big Ten Coach of the Year from the Associated Press and the conference’s media. Franklin’s Dave McLain Big Ten Coach of the Year marks the fifth time a Penn State head coach has won the honor, joining Paterno (1994, 2005, 2008) and Bill O’Brien (2012).


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