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WILL GRAVES

AP Sports Writer

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Penn State has hired James Franklin as its next head coach.

Franklin, 41, who led Vanderbilt to bowls in all three of his seasons there, replaces Bill O'Brien, who left the Nittany Lions after two years to coach the NFL's Houston Texans. Penn State made the announcement Saturday, after the school's compensation committee met to finalize the contract.

That committee approved the hiring by a 6-0 vote Saturday morning.

Franklin won 24 games with the Commodores and is a Pennsylvania native with strong ties in-state. Penn State officials met with him this week in Florida. He will be asked to build off a foundation that O'Brien set amid scandal.

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