Penn State officials released Wednesday the terms of head football coach James Franklin’s new six-year contract, which calls for total guaranteed compensation of $35.4 million.
The announcement of the contract’s finances comes more than two months after the compensation committee of the university’s board of trustees approved the deal on Dec. 6.
Franklin, a Langhorne native who is entering his seventh season as Nittany Lions coach, will receive $5.4 million in the 2020 calendar year and $5.5 million in 2021. The contract then allows for raises of $250,000 in each of the next four years, to $6.5 million in 2025, the final year of the deal.
The 2020 compensation is actually less than the $5.65 million he earned last season, but it includes a $1 million annual loan for life insurance and a $300,000 retention bonus at the end of the year. A retention bonus of $500,000 is in effect for each of the next five years.
The contract also contains incentives of up to a maximum of $1 million annually. They range from $100,000 for being named Big Ten coach of the year to $800,000 for winning the national championship game.
Should Franklin leave Penn State for another coaching position in college or the NFL, the buyout would be $5 million in 2020. The buyout then would be reduced by $1 million each year to $1 million in 2024.
Under the new terms, Franklin remains third in the Big Ten in head-coach salary, behind Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh ($7.5 million) and Purdue’s Jeff Brohm ($6.6 million).
Franklin, 48, has compiled a 56-23 record with the Nittany Lions since taking over in 2014, including a 53-39 victory over Memphis in the Dec. 28 Cotton Bowl, the team’s third New Year’s 6 bowl in the last four years. Penn State finished the season 11-2 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten East, good for second place.
The 11-win season was the Lions’ third since 2016, when they won the Big Ten championship.
As for why it was taking so long for the contract terms to be released, Franklin said earlier this month that there “really was no holdups or concerns or issues on either party” but that it was a matter “of going through all the red tape and verbiage of contracts like that.