Jim Gardner talks one-on-one with PSU coach James Franklin

EMBED </>More News Videos

Jim Garner's one-on-one series continues with new Penn State head football coach James Franklin.

Our "Jim Gardner One-on-One" series continues with new Penn State head football coach James Franklin.

We traveled to State College to meet the man who, with the start of his first training camp, now holds the Penn State football fortunes in his hands.

Still operating under NCAA sanctions, not to mention the cloud from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Franklin's job is much more than figuring out how to stop Ohio State's running attack.

Penn State's athletic revenues, football attendance and alumni athletic contributions are all down from four years ago.

Franklin has to re-energize the behemoth that is Penn State sports, but he has to do it the Penn State way.

Is there anything more important than winning?

"That's a very small part of it. I know a lot of coaches say that but I believe that - making sure these guys are prepared for life. Winning, to me, is a byproduct of all those other things. I know a lot of coaches say that, I truly believe that, that's why I got in the business," said Franklin.


VIDEO: Jim Gardner's full interview with James Franklin:
Click or tap here for video link

So who is James Franklin?

Penn State is his 12th job since 1995 - such is the life of a young coach climbing the ladder.

He was a four year starter quarterback at East Stroudsburg University and, before that, a player at Neshaminy High School.

While he has a master's degree in psychology, he acknowledges having been consumed by sports and being an immature student in high school. He has no problem with his current players knowing that.

"I was probably very similar to them and I think that's why I probably approach things like them. I don't think that I'm so far removed that I can't relate," said Franklin.



In 2013, four of Franklin's recruits at Vanderbilt were charged with raping an unconscious female student, and the case is still making its way through the courts.

The district attorney in Tennessee says there was no evidence that Franklin tried to cover it up, but Franklin says he is still haunted.

"I'm still searching. I'm still searching for answers, I'm still trying to figure it out. I think about it every day. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it, about what we could have done differently," said Franklin.

While Franklin has about 100 sons, he now has his real family with him.

His two young daughters along with his wife just arrived in State College for good last Friday.



Years from now, what does he hope that his daughters will say about him as a father?

"I hope they say a guy that was never afraid to show how much he cared, never afraid to tell them how much he cared. I tell my daughters that I love them every single day. I kiss them and I hug them like crazy because I have a lot of guilt, there's a lot of time that I'm not there. I hope they see how much I care and that I'll always be there for them no matter what. I just want them to be strong, confident women that are going to go on and do wonderful things," said Franklin.

Just by virtue of his job as Penn State's football coach, Franklin will become one of the most visible people in Pennsylvania.

I can tell you he won't be intimidated by that, nor by the prominent role he'll play in the ongoing process of recovery and healing in State College.
Related Topics:
newspa. newspenn state universitysportscollegephilly newsJim Gardner One on One
(Copyright ©2017 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments