James Franklin Wins Woody Hayes Coach of the Year Award

Penn State head coach James Franklin picked up a big honor for his efforts this season.

Four games into the 2016 college football season James Franklin appeared to be squarely on the hot seat at Penn State. A 39-point loss at Michigan had the Nittany Lions reeling. Instead of panicking, Franklin and his team went about its business. Nine wins and a Big Ten Championship later, Franklin transformed Penn State into one of the best stories in college football this season.

Already the recipient of several coaching awards this year, Franklin picked up another honor Tuesday when he won the Woody Hayes coach of the Year Award, presented by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Hayes, a former coach at Ohio State, is widely considered one of the top coaches in college football history.

Ironically, Franklin’s signature win of his Penn State tenure came in October when the Nittany Lions shocked the then-No. 2 Buckeyes.

Aside from the Hayes Award, Franklin was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year, the Sporting News National Coach of the Year, and the College Sports Madness National Coach of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award. The  winner of the latter will be announced January 11.

2016 turned into a magical season for Franklin and the Nittany Lions. They won the Big Ten Championship for the first time since 2008 and the Big Ten East division for the first time since 2011. Penn State participated in the Rose Bowl, but was defeated by the USC Trojans in a thrilling game.

Penn State’s 11 wins this season marked the sixth time the team achieved that number of victories since joining the Big Ten Conference,

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