Building on his mission to "Dominate The State," Penn State football coach James Franklin and several head coaches will embark on the Penn State Coaches Caravan tour this spring, with stops in 17 locales. Thirteen of the 17 events will take place in Pennsylvania, including four on Penn State campuses, with additional stops in Baltimore, New Jersey, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Franklin is scheduled to participate in all 17 Coaches Caravan stops and will be joined by other Penn State head coaches on the tour. At each event, Penn Staters will be treated to a message from the Nittany Lions head coach and at least one other Penn State head coach and have the opportunity to ask questions about the Nittany Lions' nationally recognized 31-sport athletic department. Each stop will feature a meet and greet with Franklin and the other Nittany Lion head coaches during the lunch or evening receptions prior to the programs. Members of the Penn State football coaching staff may also attend selected events.
"Our staff is so appreciative of the tremendous welcome from Nittany Nation," Franklin said. "The pride and passion for Penn State, the football program and all our teams are very obvious. We are looking forward to getting around Pennsylvania and the region to visit with all of our proud Penn Staters! The opportunity to share our vision for this program and bring this family back together excites our entire staff!"
Franklin was named the Nittany Lions' 16th head football coach on Jan. 11. A product of Langhorne, Pa., Franklin led Vanderbilt University to unprecedented success the past three years as head coach, including consecutive nine-win seasons and bowl victories the past two years, as well as back-to-back Top 25 finishes, all for the first time in VU history. His 24 wins, including five straight to finish the 2013 season, are tied for the most by a Vanderbilt mentor in his first three years as head coach. In his 20th year of coaching, Franklin was a two-time All-PSAC quarterback at East Stroudsburg University.
The Penn State Coaches Caravan, jointly sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association and the Nittany Lion Club, kicks off May 1 with an evening event in State College. The Coaches Caravan customized coach will roll out of Happy Valley on May 6, visiting Nittany Nation strongholds across Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic through May 22.
During each of the Coaches Caravan events, Franklin will meet with alumni and fans and talk about his core values for the program, vision for Penn State football and preparations for the 2014 season, as well as how all Penn State alumni and fans can help build on Penn State football's tradition of excellence.
Franklin will be joined by head coaches who have helped champion Penn State's "One Team" philosophy, with the 31 varsity teams, athletics, 24 campuses, communities and constituencies all playing a role in the Nittany Lions' academic and athletic success. Penn State has captured six Big Ten Championships and one NCAA title thus far in 2013-14, with 14 Big Ten crowns the past two years, while earning an NCAA Graduation Rate of 88 percent.
The Wilkes-Barre event will be held Tuesday, May 20th at The Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center. The evening event will include a coaches meet and greet, complete with heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. Attending will be head football coach James Franklin, men's hockey coach Guy Gadowsky, and men's volleyball coach Mark Pavlik. Following the meet and greet, the coaches will present, theater style, with a question and answer session to follow.
Complete details on the Wilkes-Barre Coaches Caravan stop on the tour is now available. As a benefit of membership, Penn State Alumni Association and Nittany Lion Club members will have the opportunity to register in advance, before the Caravan is open to the general public. Member registration begins later in March, with general public registration to follow.