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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 29, 2014 - Building on his mission to "Dominate The State," Penn State football coach James Franklin and nine head coaches are set to begin the 17-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan tour this week.
The Penn State Coaches Caravan begins another tour Thursday, May 1 at the new Pegula Ice Arena on the University Park campus. The Caravan's customized coach will roll out of Happy Valley May 6 for sold-out events that day at Penn State York and in Hershey to begin the road portion of the 17 stops.
In his first year as the Nittany Lions' 16th head football coach, Franklin is scheduled to participate in every Coaches Caravan stop at Nittany Nation strongholds across Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic region. Thirteen of the 17 events will take place in Pennsylvania, including five on Penn State campuses, with additional stops in Baltimore, New Jersey, New York City and Washington, D.C.
"All of the coaches and myself are excited to get out on the Coaches Caravan, and interact with all the alumni and fans," Franklin said. "I couldn't be more excited about doing it. This is what it's all about; interacting, getting to know each other and building relationships."
More than 5,000 Penn State alumni and fans have already signed up for Caravan events, with crowds of 225-plus registered at 14 of the 17 events. Six events have surpassed 400 registered guests thus far.
The nine head coaches scheduled to join Franklin during the Penn State Coaches Caravan include: Guy Gadowsky (men's hockey), Amanda Lehotak (softball), Char Morett (field hockey), Mark Pavlik (men's volleyball), Russ Rose (women's volleyball), Cael Sanderson (wrestling), Erica Walsh (women's soccer), Bob Warming (men's soccer) and Coquese Washington (Lady Lion basketball).
In addition to the nine head coaches, all nine assistant football coaches also are scheduled to attend Penn State Coaches Caravan stops, including four at Thursday's State College event.
(Please see below for complete list of coaches scheduled to attend Coaches Caravan events).
Penn State Coaches Caravan registration remains open at alumni.psu.edu/coachescaravan. As a benefit of membership, Penn State Alumni Association and Nittany Lion Club members began signing up for Coaches Caravan events in late March. Advance registration is required for all events on the Penn State Coaches Caravan, which is jointly sponsored by the Penn State Alumni Association and the Nittany Lion Club.
Cael Sanderson will attend
Four Coaches Caravan events are sold out: the May 6 lunch at Penn State York (215 guests) and evening reception in Hershey (725), the May 7 lunch in Baltimore (235) and the May 20 lunch at Williamsport's Pennsylvania College of Technology (250). There are fewer than 100 seats remaining for evening events in Pittsburgh (May 8), King of Prussia (May 13), New York City (May 15) and Erie (May 22).
At each event, Penn Staters will be treated to a message from the Nittany Lions' head coach and at least two other Penn State head coaches 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 also will attend selected events.
At 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 seven Big Ten Championships and three NCAA titles thus far in 2013-14, with a conference-best 15 Big Ten crowns the past two years, while earning an NCAA Graduation Rate of 88 percent. The Nittany Lions were No. 2 nationally in the most recent Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings.
The 2014 Coaches Caravan schedule of events, locations and coaches scheduled to participate:
May 1 State College/University Park-Pegula Ice Arena (Evening reception)
May 6 York/Penn State York (Lunch) - SOLD OUT
Hershey/Hershey Lodge (Evening reception) - SOLD OUT
May 7 Baltimore/Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards (Lunch) - SOLD OUT
Washington, D.C./Washington Marriott Wardman Park (Evening reception)
May 8 Uniontown/Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus (Lunch)
Pittsburgh/Sheraton Station Square (Evening reception)
May 13 King of Prussia/Valley Forge Casino Resort (Evening reception)
May 14 Philadelphia-Center City/The Rittenhouse (Lunch)
Scranton/Fiorelli Catering; Peckville (Dinner)
May 15 Northern New Jersey (Whippany)/Hanover Marriott (Lunch)
New York City/Marriott New York Downtown (Evening reception)
May 20 Williamsport/Pennsylvania College of Technology College (Lunch) - SOLD OUT
May 21 East Stroudsburg/East Stroudsburg University (Lunch)
Lehigh Valley/Sands Bethlehem Event Center (Evening reception)
May 22 Erie/Penn State Erie, The Behrend College (Evening reception)
For the third consecutive year, Fullington Tours will provide a customized coach to transport all the Coaches Caravan participants throughout the 17-stop tour.
Fans can follow the Penn State Alumni Association (@PennStateAlums or @PSUFBLetter), Penn State Athletics (@GoPSUsports) and the Nittany Lion Club (@NittanyLionClub