Penn State football coach James Franklin has signed a new, 10-year contract that will pay him at least $7 million per year through 2031, the University announced Tuesday.
“Nine weeks ago, the administration approached me about making a long-term investment in our football program,’’ Franklin said in a statement released by Penn State.
“This prompted numerous conversations outlining the resources needed to be competitive at a level that matches the expectations and history of Penn State.
“We've been able to create a roadmap of the resources needed to address academic support, community outreach, Name, Image and Likeness (NIL), facility improvements, student-athlete housing, technology upgrades, recruiting, training table and more.
“Throughout this process I've kept our leadership council, recruits and staff updated on those conversations and I'm excited we've reached an agreement we can finally share with you.”
The terms of the contract can be seen here.
They include: A “base salary’’ of $500,000 and $6.5 million in “supplemental pay.’’ There is also a $1 million annual loan for life insurance, 55 hours of personal use of a private aircraft and a series of incentives, based on team on-field accomplishments, coach-of-the-year awards and the like.
The incentives include a whopper: $800,000 for winning the national championship and, upon winning it, an $800,000 bump-up in salary for every remaining year of the contract.
The buyout, if Franklin leaves to take another coaching job, is $12 million from now through April 1, 2022, $8 for the rest of 2022, $6 million in 2023, $2 million is 2024 and 2025, and $1 million for the rest of the contract.
If the contract is terminated without cause by Penn State, the buyout would be $8 million times the renaming number of years on the deal.
Franklin is 67-32 since being hired by Penn State in 2014, including a Big Ten championship and appearances in the Rose Fiesta and Cotton Bowls. The Nittany Lions are 7-4 this season heading into Saturday’s game at Michigan State.
The coach has been mentioned as a candidate for the many major coaching openings in college football this fall, including USC, LSU, Florida and Washington.
He has also talked often of the need for Penn State to upgrade its facilities and commitment to the massive undertaking of competing at the highest levels of college football in the modern era.
“I’m very appreciative of the strides we’ve made,’’ Franklin said during his weekly press conference Tuesday. “But there was a long period of time when we did nothing. We keep talking about facilities, but it’s much more than that.
“We have to compete 364 days a year. With everything. Everything matters.’’
Franklin will meet with the media after practice Wednesday.