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Feb. 18, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - James Franklin, Penn State's new head football coach, will be the featured speaker at the 17th Annual Scholar-Athletes' Awards banquet sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
The banquet honors the athletic and academic achievements of high school football players in Central Pennsylvania, and also gives awards to high school coaches, game officials, trainers and players from 10 area colleges and universities. The high school honorees represent schools in Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Elk, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Juniata, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.
The college athletes being honored are from the following area institutions: Bloomsburg, Bucknell, Clarion, Indiana, Juniata, Lock Haven, Lycoming, Penn State, St. Francis and Susquehanna.
This year's event is set for Sunday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on the University Park campus, with doors opening at 12:00 p.m. for a Silent Auction. Approximately 45 scholastic student-athletes will be recognized, with at least 25 receiving a $1,000 scholarship towards their college education. Since initiating the awards banquet in 1997-98, the Central Pennsylvania chapter has presented $175,000 in scholarship money while honoring 562 deserving student-athletes.
"We appreciate Coach Franklin's enthusiastic response to our invitation to speak at the banquet," said Chapter President Al Glennon. "Although it is a busy time with spring practice and preparing for the 2014 football season, he has scheduled this event to honor student-athletes and award recipients, and to build a relationship with area coaches and fans.
Franklin was named the Nittany Lions' 16th head football coach on Jan. 11. A product of Langhorne, Pa., Franklin led Vanderbilt University to unprecedented success the past three years as head coach, including consecutive nine-win seasons and bowl victories the past two years, as well as back-to-back Top 25 finishes, all for the first time in VU history. In his 20th year of coaching, Franklin was a two-time All-PSAC quarterback at East Stroudsburg University. He set seven school records and was and a nominee for the Harlon Hill Trophy, awarded to the Player of the Year in NCAA Division II.
Prior to Vanderbilt, Franklin had spent the previous five seasons coordinating highly productive offensive units at Maryland (2008-10) and Kansas State (2006-07). Throughout his coaching career, he has demonstrated the ability to motivate players to perform at their highest levels in the classroom and on the field.
The banquet is open to the public and tickets at $25 can be ordered through Treasurer Bill Nichol, 467 Nimitz Ave., State College, PA 16801. The deadline to order tickets is Wednesday, March 5. Make checks payable to Central Pennsylvania Chapter NFF/CHF.