Penn State Head Coach James Franklin Named To the 2018 Dodd Trophy Watch List

By John Morgan on July 12, 2018 at 10:48 am
Dec 30, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin (right) accepts the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Trophy after defeating the Washington Huskies in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Billy Hardiman, The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK


The 2018 Dodd Trophy Watch List was announced on Wednesday, and for the second straight season, Penn State coach James Franklin is a candidate. The award is named after former Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Dodd, and is presented annually to the coach whose team excels on the field, while stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity. 

Franklin has a 36-17 record in his four seasons, with 22 of those wins coming in the last two. Last season, Franklin led the Nittany Lions to an 11-2 record that was capped off by a Fiesta Bowl win over Washington. Though Franklin faces the daunting task of replacing many key contributors, including All-American Saquon Barkley, the Nittany Lions are still expected to compete for the Big Ten East title. Along with the player losses, Franklin enters the season with a number of coaching changes, including Ricky Rahne Replacing Joe Moorhead as offensive coordinator.

Twenty coaches were named to the watch list this season. Franklin is joined by three other Big Ten coaches: Wisconsin's Paul Chyrst, Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, and Ohio State's Urban Meyer. Franklin looks to become the first Penn State coach to win the award since Joe Paterno won the award in 2005. Paterno also won the award in 1981 and is one of two coaches to win the award twice along with Kansas State’s Bill Snyder. David Shaw of Stanford won the award in 2017.

Here is the full list:

Coach School Conference
Paul Chryst Wisconsin Big Ten
James Franklin Penn State Big Ten
Justin Fuente Virginia Tech ACC
Mike Gundy Oklahoma State Big 12
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Big Ten
Bryan Harsin Boise State Mountain West
Clay Helton USC Pac-12
Tom Herman Texas Big 12
Brian Kelly Notre Dame Independent
Gus Malzahn Auburn SEC
Urban Meyer Ohio State Big Ten
Will Muschamp South Carolina SEC
Gary Patterson TCU Big 12
Chris Petersen Washington Pac-12
Mark Richt Miami ACC
Lincoln Riley Oklahoma Big 12
Nick Saban Alabama SEC
David Shaw Stanford Pac-12
Kirby Smart Georgia SEC
Dabo Swinney Clemson ACC