Holiday cheer: James Franklin says he was able to surprise family on Christmas Eve
James Franklin had an extremely difficult 2020 season. There are multiple reasons that could be said, but the Penn State head coach had to go the entire football season without seeing his family.
Because one of his daughters has sickle cell disease, Franklin’s wife and two children spent the season in Florida while the head coach was in State College coaching the Nittany Lions. He had no time or opportunity to see his family, something he said was very challenging.
On Monday, speaking with the media in his end-of-season presser, Franklin said he was finally able to see his family, surprising them on Christmas Eve.
“I had to take two tests the day after our season ended and then I had to quarantine for five days,” Franklin said. “By doing that I was able to get to see them on Christmas Eve. They didn’t know I was coming so it was a pretty cool surprise.”
Franklin wasn’t the only coach to make sacrifices during the season. Across the country, some decided to stay away from family members for periods of time in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
But Franklin wasn’t afraid to talk about his struggle with the circumstances.
“I’ll be honest with you, one of the things that I have not done a great job of handling, personally — that I have to be honest with myself and honest with the team and honest with you guys — is that I have not done a great job of managing my family being gone,” Franklin told reporters in November. “I have not. They’re my fuel. I go home, they’re able to pour into me, and I’ve not done a great job of that.”
After going through all that, it’s pretty cool that Franklin was finally able to give his family a holiday surprise. It’s probably a Christmas Eve the Franklins won’t forget.