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PSU Coaching Update: Conflicting reports on Vanderbilt's Franklin
By: Matt Maisel WJAC Web Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- According to two national sports reports, the next Penn State University head football coach has been named.
However, according to that coach's athletic director, no decision has been made.
ESPN and CBS Sports reported Thursday that Vanderbilt University head football coach James Franklin is expected to become the Nittany Lions new head coach. Four hours later, Commodores' Athletic Director Dave Williams said he spoke to Franklin, who assured him any reports on leaving Vanderbilt were "inaccurate."
Franklin compiled a 24-15 record while leading the Commodores to three bowl appearances since starting at Vanderbilt in 2011.
Penn State officials, however, have not made an official announcement of any coach hiring. This will be the 16th head coach in Penn States history.
Wednesday night, Penn State Athletic Director Dave Joyner and Penn State President Rodney Erickson were seen getting off of a plane at University Park Airport outside of State College. It was believed the two were returning from a trip to Destin, Fla., where Franklin lives.
Joyner did not speak to reporters as he left the airport.
Joyner announced Jan. 2 that Bill O'Brien was leaving as Penn State head coach to take the head coaching job with the NFLs Houston Texans.
Longtime defensive line coach Larry Johnson was named interim head coach, Joyner said.
Eight staff members have left the Nittany Lion program since O'Brien announced his departure, with many of them taking jobs with the Texans.
An ESPN report released Friday said Franklin would no longer interview for the Washington Redskins head coach position, and other reports indicated Franklin would either stay at Vandy or take the PSU job.
A committee of six Penn State staffers, including Joyner, has been working to find the next head coach.
On Sunday, Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden said he would be staying at the south Florida university as their head coach, after it was widely reported he would be taking the Penn State job.
This is a developing story. Stay with 6 News and 6 Sports staff Matt Maisel and Ashley Chase as more information becomes available.