James Franklin’s impact felt by Penn State women’s hoops, football facility facelift needed, and more
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Lending a helping hand
The Penn State Coaches Caravan rolled through Hazleton on Tuesday, and women’s basketball coach Coquese Washington talked about the time James Franklin spurred her team to victory.
That’s right — the football coach had a hand in the success of the women’s hoops team in a game last season.
Let the record show that Washington did fine on her own. The Lady Lions went 21-11 and reached the third round of the WNIT, their first postseason appearance in three seasons. She nonetheless felt compelled to ask Franklin to address her team before a Feb. 11 game against Purdue, writes Paul Sokoloski of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.
He held nothing back, she said:
“So he says to them, ‘Look, I’m going to talk to you like I talk to my players.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, God, what is this man going to say to my team?’ … So he talks about values and a couple of other things, and at the end, he asked who we were playing that night and the team told him Purdue. And he’s like, ‘Purdue? I hate Purdue and their ugly, freakin’ uniforms!’ ”
The game was tight that night, and during a late timeout, Washington kept Franklin’s words in mind:
“The only thing I’m thinking, the only thing I told the team, was, ‘Let’s close this thing out.’ Because we hate Purdue and their ugly, freakin’ uniforms.”
The Lady Lions went on to win, 79-73.
The goal of the coaches caravan, writes Andrew Callahan of Lions247, is quite clear — fundraising.
Specifically, Franklin continues to mention much-needed upgrades for the Lasch Building, the football headquarters, knowing full well that the only way those improvements can be made is through the generosity of donors.
Franklin said that while Lasch has undergone some changes in recent years, more are needed. Per Callahan:
“What you have is when you walk through our facilities, you see stuff that’s been done; it’s really nice. And then you walk into areas of the facilities that haven’t been touched in 16 years, so it’s a wide range. And it doesn’t flow right now that way I think it should flow.”
News on deals with Cael Sanderson, Guy Gadowsky
While Franklin’s potential contract extension has been a topic of conversation the last two days, athletic director Sandy Barbour said Tuesday that deals with wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and hockey coach Guy Gadowsky have also been addressed, or will be soon.
Gadowsky led his team to a Big Ten championship and NCAA Tournament berth this past season, and per the Centre Daily Times, Barbour said it’s “a very safe assumption” that his contract has been amended behind closed doors.
She offered no details.
Sanderson, meanwhile, has won six national championships in seven seasons, and his deal is up in June. It would obviously be lunacy to let him slip away, and according to the Times an extension was discussed at the end of this past season.
“We’re back talking about it,” Barbour said.