King of Prussia Photo Gallery | Coaches Caravan Registration
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. - Leg two of the 2014 Coaches Caravan kicked off on Tuesday evening with a stop outside of Philadelphia.
The eighth stop of the 17-event caravan featured James Franklin, four-time defending NCAA national champion wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson, field hockey's Charlene Morett and women's soccer's Erica Walsh. More than 700 Penn State enthusiasts greeted the coaches inside the event room at Valley Forge Casino Resort. Take a look at some highlights from Tuesday's event.
Stop No. 8 - King of Prussia (Valley Forge Casino Resort)
More than 100,000 Penn State alums call the Philadelphia area home, and three of the four coaches on stage treated Tuesday night's Coaches Caravan event as a homecoming. Hailing from Montgomery County, Walsh was just minutes where she grew up in Huntingdon Valley.
"I tried to get the whole caravan moved to the Phillies game (tonight)," Walsh joked.
Morett, who is on the Caravan for the Philly swing, is a proud product of Delaware County. Like Walsh, she was thrilled to be in front of the home crowd on Tuesday night.
"I'm just a Philly girl coming back home," Morett said.
Morett spent a portion of her speech giving Walsh a hard time for not attending Penn State. Walsh has spent the past two weeks on the Coaches Caravan delivering a superb visualization speech of the University Park campus. Morett's response?
"After listening to your speech, how did you not go to Penn State?"
As a 27-year veteran as a head coach of the Nittany Lion field hockey program and Penn State alum, Morett is among the most passionate individuals you will find when it comes to her love for the University. She genuinely appreciates the support fans and alums give to the school that means so much to her, and it's always evident when she speaks in front of a crowd.
The third Philly product in King of Prussia on Tuesday evening was the headliner of the event. Franklin grew up in Langhorne, Pa., which is roughly 30 miles from the site of the stop. As he has said from day one, Franklin is a Pennsylvania boy with a Penn State heart. He's thrilled to be the head coach of the Nittany Lions, and he could not have been happier to be close to home.
"It's unbelievable to be here tonight," Franklin said. "...The sense of pride in Penn State is unbelievable."
Joining the trio of Philly natives this week on the Caravan is the leader of the nation's premier collegiate wrestling program. Always entertaining, Sanderson has a knack for keeping the crowd light every time he speaks in front of a group. He was clad in a "Dominate The State" T-shirt under his suit jacket to show his support of Coach Franklin.
Sanderson's introduction included a small snippet of his unmatched wrestling and coaching career. After receiving a standing ovation following the introduction, Sanderson stepped to the microphone and noted that the intro had left off his fourth-grade all-star baseball achievement. The room erupted in laughter.
Sanderson likes to have fun with the crowd, but when it comes to his appreciation for the position he holds, his feelings are clear.
"It's an awesome opportunity to be a part of Penn State, and it's because of you guys," Sanderson said.
The Coaches Caravan travels downtown Philadelphia for a lunch stop on Wednesday before moving north to Scranton for a dinner event.
Day I - 165 miles
Day II - 130 miles
Day III - 387 miles
Day IV - 175 miles
Total - 857 miles
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