PSU's Franklin likes Western Pa. flavor of his staff
College Football Videos
James Franklin says he prefers to surround himself with “people who are comfortable in their own skin and people who know who they are.”
He's found a couple of those people in some native Pittsburghers.
Making his third public appearance in Pittsburgh since being hired as Penn State's 16th football coach in January, Franklin took the opportunity Thursday to compliment his two assistants who went to high schools about 20 minutes from downtown in differing directions.
“I'd always been really impressed with Terry Smith,” Franklin said of the former Gateway star player and coach who's now the Nittany Lions' cornerbacks coach.
“Terry's been on my ‘list' for a long time.”
Speaking at the Sheraton Station Square as part of the Penn State's coaches caravan, Franklin had similarly nice things to say about Riverview graduate and current Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.
“Bob's really, really sharp, and he does a great job in the film room and being creative and having answers,” Franklin said. “He has an understanding of the game.”
Maybe, but Shoop doesn't have an understanding of being among the smoothest on what is a young and energetic staff.
“Bob's ‘swag tank' is on empty,” Franklin deadpanned. “It is on empty. But the thing that's great about Bob is he knows who he is. He embraces it, and he stays true to who he is.”
Told of Franklin's good-natured ribbing, Shoop showed some of that self-assuredness when he immediately took to Twitter for a response: “Ok....CJF...My swag meter may be on empty...and I may not be a stand up comedian but I know how to build a BIG TIME DEFENSE!!#PSUCARAVAN2014.”
The Pittsburgh caravan stop was the seventh of 17 for Franklin, who is accompanied by other Penn State coaches at each one. Soccer coaches Erica Walsh (women's) and Bob Warming (men's) were on the southwestern Pennsylvania portion that took place Thursday. The three also were in Uniontown for a lunch stop at Penn State Fayette.
Shoop and Smith joined the group in Station Square.
Although Shoop was Franklin's defensive coordinator the past three years at Vanderbilt, Smith is the only member of Penn State's staff that didn't work under Franklin with the Commodores. In fact, Smith has only one year of college coaching experience. The former Nittany Lions receiver was Gateway's coach from 2002-12.
The relative lack of experience — both in the college game, or while on the same staff with Franklin — was of no concern to Franklin.
“Terry was one of those guys that when you walked into his school, he had everything ready,” Franklin said. “He had the transcripts, he had the core GPAs calculated, he had film, he had everything ready to go.
“He was highly successful. You watched him when he walked around the school, just the respect that he had. He had a presence to him.”
Franklin, Warming, Walsh and other university representatives spoke to an audience of more than 450 in a program that lasted about 90 minutes.
Franklin made a pitch for better facilities for his program, claiming they are a downgrade from those at his previous employer, Vanderbilt — which he says are the worst in the SEC.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Crosby scores twice, Malkin delivers OT goal as Penguins beat Blues
- Steelers veteran linebacker Harrison focused on stretch run
- Friends, family, history lure natives back to Western Pennsylvania
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin ends practice with third-down work
- Pirates sign free agent 1B-OF Goebbert, RHP Webster
- Artis leads Pitt to lopsided victory over Cornell
- Penguins co-owner Lemieux snuffs rumored rift with Crosby
- Emotional send-off awaits Pitt seniors
- Starkey: Artie Rowell’s incredible odyssey
- Teen charged with firing shots in Wilkins, abducting woman
- Puppies’ eyes glued shut, South Huntingdon animal shelter says