The Man For the Job


Penn State got its man.

With James Franklin’s arrival today as the Nittany Lions’ 16th head football coach, that’s the only logical conclusion. Less than two years removed from NCAA sanctions that many thought would cripple the program, Penn State has hired arguably the most dynamic and talented young coaching prospect in the nation. Continue reading

Q&A: Patrick Chambers


Photo by Steve Manuel

Patrick Chambers is one of our favorite coaches, and also one of our favorite people on campus. Since coming to Penn State from Boston University in 2011, Chambers has been a relentless bundle of positive energy, not only (but especially) when he’s patrolling the sidelines for the Nittany Lion basketball team. On Saturday, he begins his third season in charge when Penn State hosts Wagner at the BJC.

Chambers’ trademark intensity and readily apparent coaching chops aside, we wanted to catch up with him here because of his connection to Penn State football. Continue reading

Lou Prato Looks Back on an Unforgettable Season

The format for Lou Prato’s fifth and latest book was something of a happy accident. It was his publisher, Prato says, who suggested the idea for a diary of the Nittany Lions’ 2012 season. The catch was that the season was already over.


“How could I do it as a diary of the season,” Prato says now, “when I didn’t keep a diary?”

Prato ’59 tackled the challenge anyway. In the space of about four months, Prato turned his encyclopedic knowledge of Nittany Lion football—he did write the Penn State Football Encyclopedia, after all—and countless hours of intensive research into a book that does justice to the unforgettable events of last season. The result is We Are Penn State: The Remarkable Journey of the 2012 Nittany Lions, with a forward by Bill O’Brien. It’s on sale now in hardcover and as an eBook.

We had a chance last week to catch up with Lou about the project. Among other things, he says, he “didn’t want to do a game-by-game breakdown; I wanted to capture the essence of the games.” As always, it was a pleasure to talk Penn State football with a guy who knows it better than just about anyone. Here are some of the highlights… Continue reading

John Black: What to Watch

JB press box copy

Last Saturday at MetLife Stadium, John Black ’62 settled into the press box for the start of his 38th season in charge of The Football Letter. With the season opener in the books, we asked John about his expectations for the rest of the season, and for the questions he’s eager to see answered. He shares his thoughts and insights below. Enjoy—and hope to see you Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

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Exclusive Q&A: Bill O’Brien

Photo by Steve Manuel

Photo by Steve Manuel

More than once since he arrived on campus last year, Bill O’Brien has been asked what career path he might have chosen if he hadn’t gone into coaching. His answer? He’d probably be the one asking some other coach the questions.

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