VIDEO: Williamsport & Wilkes-Barre | VIDEO: East Stroudsburg & Lehigh Valley
Erie Photo Gallery
ERIE, Pa. - After more than 2,000 miles on the road, the 2014 Coaches Caravan drew to a close on Thursday night on Penn State's Behrend campus during a sold out evening event.
Nearly 6,300 fans attended the 17 stops, which spanned across 13 locations in Pennsylvania, in addition to Baltimore, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and New York City. In all, 11 different Penn State head coaches joined head football coach James Franklin during at least one stop since the Caravan began on May 1 in Pegula Ice Arena.
Thursday's finale featured a new lineup of coaches, which included Franklin, baseball's Rob Cooper and softball's Amanda Lehotak. Director of Athletics Dave Joyner joined the group, as well, addressing the crowd prior to hearing from the three head coaches. Take a look through some highlights from the final stop of the 2014 Caravan.
Stop No. 17 - Erie (Penn State Behrend)
A sold out crowd inside the McGravey Commons heard from three of the newest
coaches on the Nittany Lion roster in Franklin, Cooper and Lehotak. Cooper and
Lehotak each finished their first seasons at the helm of their respective
programs, while Franklin will lead the Blue and White onto the field for his
first game on Aug. 30 in Dublin, Ireland against UCF in the Croke Park Classic.
"The reason we are able to do the things we do and have the success in the classroom and on the competition front is because of the support and encouragement we get from our alumni and fans," said Joyner.
It may have been the last stop, but the three coaches were received with great energy and shared the visions they had for their programs. They spoke about competition, academics and representing an incredible university as a whole.
"It is an honor to represent Penn State and we all want to do what is best for this university," said Lehotak. "Coach Franklin has an incredible vision and we need to help him achieve that by packing Beaver Stadium this fall."
Thank you to the nearly 6,500 loyal Penn State fans and alums that made the
Coaches Caravan a resounding success for the third-straight year. And a big tip of the cap goes out to
Fullington Trailways ace driver Gottfried Fodor, who did a superb job behind
the wheel of the Caravan bus for the third-straight year. We look forward to seeing the fans on the
road again in 2015.
"This caravan has been outstanding," said Franklin. "These three weeks have really helped me build some great relationships with other coaches, our support staff, members of the media, and most importantly, our alumni and fans."
Day I - 165 miles
Day II - 130 miles
Day III - 387 miles
Day IV - 175 miles
Day V - 245 miles
Day VI - 267 miles
Day VII - 130 miles
Day VIII - 261 miles
Day IX - 426 miles
Total - 2,186 miles