140 days until gameday with West Virginia

Joe Paterno, 14th Head Football Coach

Joe Paterno Joseph Vincent Paterno, named Penn State University's 14th Head Coach on February 19th, 1966, was born on December 21, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York and was a star athlete at Brooklyn Preparatory School. Paterno went on to play Quaterback and Defensive Back at Brown University where he was an accomplished defensive back and still owns the school record for interceptions in one season with 14 and interception return yards with 290.

After graduating from Brown with a Bachelors of Science degree in English literature in 1950, Paterno joined his college coach "Rip" Engle at Penn State University, serving as the assistant coach. He settled down at Penn State, marrying Suzanne Pohland in 1962. The couple had five children (Diana, Joseph Jr. aka "Jay", Mary Kay, David, and Scott) together, all of whom later became graduates of Penn State.

In 1966, Paterno became the head coach for Penn State University. His first season was a draw, with 5 wins and 5 losses, but he worked hard to build up the school's football program. Before long, Paterno racked up impressive scores, including coaching the team to five undefeated regular seasons in 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994.

Over the years, Paterno became a beloved figure at Penn State. He was known for his trademark thick, square-shaped glasses and for his leadership skills. Nicknamed "JoePa," Paterno dedicated himself to the Nittany Lions. He even turned down a chance to coach professional football with the New England Patriots in 1973.

Paterno led the Lions to two National Championships (1982 & 1986). In recognition of his contributions to his winning team, he earned the Sportsman of the Year honor from Sports Illustrated in 1986.

In all, Paterno had an impressive record as the Lions' coach. In 46 seasons, he led his team to 37 bowl appearances with 24 wins. In October 2011, Paterno set a record of his own when Penn State defeated Illinois. This victory marked his 409th career win, making him the leader in career wins for Division I coaches.

Not long after reaching his record-making win, Paterno found himself caught up in a scandal. His former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was charged with sexually abusing 8 boys during a 15-year period. Paterno had been informed by an assistant coach of a possible attack by Sandusky that took place at the university's sports complex in 2002 which he reported to his Athletic Director and the Head of University Police. When this news surfaced, Paterno came under fire for not doing enough to address this alleged assault.

On November 9, Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of the season, but Penn State's board decided to dismiss him that same day. After 46 years as a coach, the distinguished Paterno ended his career with a dark cloud hanging over him.

Still, in the end, his thoughts were with Sandusky's alleged victims, not on his job. Paterno told the press, "I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief."

Paterno later explained that "I didn't know exactly how to handle it," referring to allegations of sexual abuse against Sandusky. "So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn't turn out that way."

They ask me what I'd like written about me when I'm gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach. Joseph Vincent Paterno

After leaving Penn State, Paterno began suffering health problems. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in late 2011. While it was initially thought to be treatable, Paterno succumbed his illness two months later, on January 22, 2012, at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania.

While scandal may have marred his final days as Penn State's coach, Paterno will also be remembered for developing the university's football program into a national powerhouse, and for preparing roughly 350 of his players for the NFL. Off the field, Paterno proved to be a strong supporter of the school in general, donating more than $4 million and helping to build a library during his time there.

Paterno is survived by his wife, five children, and 17 grandchildren. In a statement, his family said: "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been ... He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

Source: biography.com

Seasons

2011 
8
1
0
2010 
7
6
0
2009 
11
2
0
2008 
11
2
0
2007 
9
4
0
2006 
9
4
0
2005 
11
1
0
2004 
4
7
0
2003 
3
9
0
2002 
9
4
0
2001 
5
6
0
2000 
5
7
0
1999 
10
3
0
1998 
9
3
0
1997 
9
3
0
1996 
11
2
0
1995 
9
3
0
1994 
12
0
0
1993 
10
2
0
1992 
7
5
0
1991 
11
2
0
1990 
9
3
0
1989 
8
3
1
1988 
5
6
0
1987 
8
4
0
1986 
12
0
0
1985 
11
1
0
1984 
6
5
0
1983 
8
4
1
1982 
11
1
0
1981 
10
2
0
1980 
10
2
0
1979 
8
4
0
1978 
11
1
0
1977 
11
1
0
1976 
7
5
0
1975 
9
3
0
1974 
10
2
0
1973 
12
0
0
1972 
10
2
0
1971 
11
1
0
1970 
7
3
0
1969 
11
0
0
1968 
11
0
0
1967 
8
2
1
1966 
5
5
0

OVERALL RECORD
WINS
409
LOSES
136
TIES
3

COACHING EXPERIENCE
POSITION TEAM YEARS
Head Coach Penn State 1966 - 2011
Asst Coach Penn State 1950 - 1965
PLAYING EXPERIENCE
POSITION TEAM YEARS
QB / DB Brown 1946 - 1949