The Maxwell Football Club announced today that Penn State University’s James Franklin has been selected as the winner of the Club’s 19th Tri-State Coach of the Year Award, and that Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley was chosen as the Club’s 16th Brian Westbrook Award Tri-State Player of the Year.
Franklin has the led the Nittany Lions to an incredible 2016 campaign, culminating with their first Big Ten Championship since 2008. The No. 5 Lions are 11-2 in Franklin’s third year at the helm, and are slated to play No. 9 USC in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. on Jan. 2. It’s been a massive improvement under Franklin, who recorded 7-6 records in 2014 and 2015.
Franklin has received numerous honors this postseason, garnering the Sporting News Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year Awards. The 44-year-old has also been named one of five finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, which will be announced in January. He is the first Penn State coach to be honored with the Maxwell Club’s Tri-State Coach of the Year Award.
“Coach Franklin and his staff have engineered one of the truly amazing turnarounds in college football this season.” said Maxwell Football Club Executive Director Mark Wolpert. “The effort, spirit and determination displayed by the Penn State team were key components in its run to the Big Ten championship, and that all starts at the top with coach Franklin. He has made believers out of everyone, and we look forward to honoring his efforts and achievements at the Maxwell Awards Gala in March.”
McSorley capped of the Big Ten season with a record-setting performance in which he set the Big Ten Championship Game passing record with 384 yards and also threw for four touchdowns against a Wisconsin defense that only gave up eight passing scores all season. In his last two games against Wisconsin and Michigan State, he completed 38 passes on 54 attempts (70 percent) for 760 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. This is the best back-to-back passing performance in the history of Penn State football.
During the 2016 season, McSorley led the Big Ten Conference with 3,360 passing yards, 25 touchdown passes and a passer efficiency rating of 156.6. He was also named Second Team All-Big Ten, guiding the Lions to a conference championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl.
McSorley is now the single-season leader in passing yardage at Penn State, surpassing Matt McGloin who threw for 3,271 yards in 2012. McSorley is also the single-season passing touchdown leader for the Nittany Lions, eclipsing Daryll Clark’s mark of 24 in 2009 and McGloin who matched that output in 2012.
Franklin and McSorley will be honored Friday, March 10, 2017 at the 80th Maxwell Club National Awards Gala, which will be held at the Tropicana Casino Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Also receiving awards at this event will be; Lamar Jackson – Louisville (Maxwell Award), Jonathan Allen - Alabama (Chuck Bednarik Award), James Conner – Pittsburgh (The Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award) and Steve Spurrier – South Carolina/Florida/Duke (The Francis Reds Bagnell Award for Contributions to Football). The Maxwell Football Club will announce the winners of the Bert Bell Award (Professional Player of the Year) and Earl “Greasy” Neale Award (Professional Coach of the Year) in January. Other MFC Awards at the high school, college and professional levels will also be announced in early January.
Tickets for the Maxwell Football Club National Awards Gala are available for purchase on the Club’s website https://maxwellfootballclub.org/maxwell-football-club-national-awards-gala or by calling 215-643-3833.
Questions concerning any of the Maxwell Football Club’s awards or programs can be directed to MFC Executive Director Mark Wolpert at firstname.lastname@example.org.