It might as well be called the James Franklin “Dominate the State Tour” — and, finally, it will feature a stop in York.
The third-straight Penn State Coaches Caravan bus tour will spend its first out-of-town time at Penn State York for lunch on May 6. More details will be coming soon, university officials promised. The tour, which seemed to drain former coach Bill O’Brien, will hit 17 locations in 10 days, including four stops outside of Pennsylvania — Baltimore, New Jersey, New York City and Washington, D.C.
This should be the perfect setting for Franklin, the high-energy, public relations-loving leader who took over on Jan. 11.
He will be the headline speaker at each event, which also will include a message from at least one other Penn State head coach. A fan meet-and-greet with Franklin and the other head coaches will be held at the lunch and evening receptions prior to the programs. Members of the Penn State football coaching staff may also attend selected events.
“Our staff is so appreciative of the tremendous welcome from Nittany Nation,” Franklin said in a university press release. “The pride and passion for Penn State, the football program and all our teams are very obvious. … The opportunity to share our vision for this program and bring this family back together excites our entire staff!”
Franklin is preparing for his first season at Penn State after leading Vanderbilt University to unprecedented success the past three years. Before that, he has worked 16 years as an assistant coach, including two stints at the University of Maryland.
The Penn State Coaches Caravan begins May 1 with an evening event in State College. The customized coach will then roll out for events in York and Hershey on May 6, followed by stops in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. (May 7) and Uniontown and Pittsburgh (May 8).
During each event, 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 Penn State alumni and fans can help build on Penn State football’s tradition.
The final week of the tour features a May 21 lunch event at East Stroudsburg University, Franklin’s alma mater.
Complete details on the other coaches participating, locations and registration information for each caravan stop will be available soon. Penn State Alumni Association and Nittany Lion Club members will be able to register in advance later this month, before the caravan is open to the public.
Other stops will include May 13 in King of Prussia, May 14 in Philadelphia and Scranton, May 15 in northern New Jersey (Whippany) and New York City, May 20 in Williamsport (Penn College) and Wilkes-Barre, May 21 in East Stroudsburg and the Lehigh Valley and May 22 in Erie (Behrend College).