from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Paterno
Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno (pronounced /pəˈtɜrnoʊ/; December 21, 1926 – January 22, 2012) was a college football coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 through 2011. Paterno, nicknamed "JoePa," holds the record for the most victories by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football coach with 409 and is the only FBS coach to reach 400 victories. He coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games and, in 2007, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. Paterno was fired mid-season by Penn State trustees in November 2011, after long-time assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child sexual abuse charges.
1 Early life
2 Tenure as head coach
2.1 Bowls and championships
2.2 Awards and honors
2.3 Sandusky scandal and dismissal
3 Views on college football issues
3.1 Officiating and instant replay
4 Outside of football
4.1 Philanthropy and education
4.2 Political interests
4.3 Personal life
4.3.2 Failing health and death
5 Head coaching record
6 See also
9 External links
Early lifePaterno was born December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York; he still speaks with a marked Brooklyn accent. His family is of Italian ancestry. In 1944, Paterno graduated from the now defunct Brooklyn Preparatory School. After serving a year in the Army, he attended Brown University; his tuition was paid for by Busy Arnold.
He was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Upsilon chapter). He played quarterback and cornerback, and as of 2012 shares the career record for interceptions with Greg Parker at 14. Paterno graduated with the Brown University Class of 1950. Although his father asked, "For God's sake, what did you go to college for?" after hearing of his career choice, Paterno joined his college coach Rip Engle as an assistant coach at Penn State in 1950; Engle had coached five seasons, 1944–1949, at Brown. Engle retired after the 1965 season, and Paterno was named his successor.
Tenure as head coachPaterno's abbreviated 2011 season was his 62nd on the Penn State coaching staff, which gave him the record for most seasons for any football coach at any university. The 2009 season was Paterno’s 44th as head coach of the Nittany Lions, passing Amos Alonzo Stagg for the most years as head coach at a single institution in Division I.
Paterno was well-known for his gameday image—thick glasses, rolled-up pants (by his admission, to save on cleaning bills), white socks and Brooklyn-tinged speech. Reflecting the growth in Penn State's stature during his tenure, Beaver Stadium was expanded six times during his tenure, more than doubling in size in the process (from 46,284 in 1966 to 106,572 in 2001).
The Pittsburgh Steelers offered their head coach position to Paterno in 1969, an offer he considered seriously. The Steelers hired Chuck Noll, who won four Super Bowls in his first 11 years, and coached for an additional twelve seasons.
The New York Giants reportedly offered Paterno their head coaching spot numerous times during the team's struggles during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Michigan Athletic Director Don Canham contacted Paterno in 1969 to see if Paterno (whom Canham respected and knew personally) would accept the vacant Michigan job. Paterno turned down the offer and Michigan hired Bo Schembechler. In 1972, Paterno was offered the head coaching position by the New England Patriots. He accepted their offer, but only three weeks later decided to back out of it. The Patriots hired Chuck Fairbanks of Oklahoma instead.
In 1995, Paterno was forced to apologize for a profanity-laced tirade directed at Rutgers then-head coach Doug Graber at the conclusion of a nationally televised game. He was also accused of "making light of sexual assault" in 2006 by the National Organization for Women which called for his resignation, and was involved in a road rage incident in 2007.
After five years of court battles, the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System (SERS) revealed Paterno's salary in November 2007: $512,664. He was paid $490,638 in 2006. The figure was not inclusive of other compensation, such as money from television and apparel contracts as well as other bonuses that Paterno and other football bowl subdivision coaches earned, said Robert Gentzel, SERS communications director. The release of these amounts can only come at the university's approval, which Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers said will not happen. "I'm paid well, I'm not overpaid," Paterno said during an interview with reporters Wednesday before the salary disclosure. "I got all the money I need."
In 2008, due to a litany of football players' off-the-field legal problems, including 46 Penn State football players having faced 163 criminal charges according to an ESPN analysis of Pennsylvania court records and reports dating to 2002, ESPN questioned Joe Paterno's and the university's control over the Penn State football program by producing and airing an ESPN's Outside the Lines feature covering the subject. Paterno was criticized for his response dismissing the allegations as a "witch hunt", and chiding reporters for asking about problems.
On November 6, 2010, Paterno recorded his 400th career victory with a 35–21 victory over Northwestern. Facing a 21–0 deficit, Penn State scored 35 unanswered points, tying Paterno's largest comeback victory as a coach.
On October 29, 2011, Paterno recorded his 409th career victory with a 10–7 victory over Illinois. Facing a 7–3 deficit, Penn State drove 86 yards on their final drive to score a touchdown. A missed 42-yard field goal by Illinois which would have sent the game to overtime secured Paterno's 409th victory. With this victory, Paterno passed Eddie Robinson to become the winningest head coach in Division I college football. He trails the leader, John Gagliardi of Division III Saint John's University (Minnesota), by 73 wins.
Bowls and championshipsPaterno holds more bowl victories (24) than any coach in history. He also tops the list of bowl appearances with 37. He has a bowl record of 24 wins, 12 losses, and 1 tie following a defeat in the 2011 Outback Bowl. Paterno is the only coach with the distinction of having won each of the current four major bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar—as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic, at least once. Under Paterno, Penn State has won at least three bowl games each decade since 1970.
Paterno has led Penn State to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated, untied seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994). Four of his unbeaten teams (1968, 1969, 1973, and 1994) won major bowl games and were not awarded a national championship.
Penn State under Paterno won the Orange Bowl (1968, 1969, 1973, and 2005), the Cotton Bowl Classic (1972 and 1974), the Fiesta Bowl (1977, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996), the Liberty Bowl (1979), the Sugar Bowl (1982), the Aloha Bowl (1983), the Holiday Bowl (1989), the Citrus Bowl (1993 and 2010), the Rose Bowl (1994), the Outback Bowl (1995, 1998, 2006) and the Alamo Bowl (1999 and 2007).
After Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference in 1993, the Nittany Lions under Paterno won the Big Ten championship three times (1994, 2005, and 2008). Paterno had 29 finishes in the Top 10 national rankings.
Awards and honors
Honorary statue of Paterno in front of Penn State's Beaver StadiumFollowing the 1986 championship season, Paterno was the first college football coach named "Sportsman of the Year" by Sports Illustrated magazine. In 2005, following an 11–1 comeback season in which the Lions won a share of the Big Ten title and a BCS berth, Paterno was named the 2005 AP Coach of the Year, and the 2005 Walter Camp Coach of the Year.
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year – 1986
Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award (United States Sports Academy (USSA)) – 1989, 2001
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (AFCA) – 2002
AFCA Coach of the Year – 1968, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2005
Associated Press College Football Coach of the Year Award – 2005
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award – 1981, 2005
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year – 1978, 1982, 1986
George Munger Award (Div. I Coach of the Year) – 1990, 1994, 2005
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award – 1986
Sporting News College Football Coach of the Year – 2005
The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award – 2005
Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award – 1972, 1994, 2005
Dave McClain Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year – 1994, 2005, 2008
NCAA Gerald R. Ford Award – 2011
On May 16, 2006, Paterno was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame after the National Football Foundation decided to change its rules and allow any coach over the age of 75 to be eligible for the Hall of Fame instead of having to wait until retirement. However, on November 4, 2006 he was injured during a sideline collision during a game against Wisconsin. As a result of his injuries, he was unable to travel to the induction ceremonies in New York City and the National Football Foundation announced that he would instead be inducted as a part of the Hall of Fame class of 2007. Paterno was inducted on December 4, 2007, and officially enshrined in a ceremony held July 19, 2008.
In 2009, Paterno was named to Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest coaches of all time (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, college basketball, and college football). He is listed in position 13.
In 2010, the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia established the Joseph V. Paterno Award, to be awarded annually to the college football coach "who has made a positive impact on his university, his players and his community." Following the breaking of the Penn State sex abuse scandal the following year, the award was discontinued by the club.
Also in 2010, the Big Ten Conference established the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy as the annual trophy to be awarded to the winner of the conference football championship. However, on November 14, 2011, the trophy name was changed to the Stagg Championship Trophy in light of Paterno's involvement with the Sandusky child abuse scandal.
Paterno was also nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. However, in light of Paterno's involvement with Sandusky child abuse scandal, Senators Toomey and Casey as well as Representative Thompson withdrew their support of Paterno receiving the honor.
As Penn State football struggled from 2000 to 2004, with an overall 26–33 record in those years, Paterno became the target of criticism from some Penn State faithful. Many in the media attributed Penn State's struggles to Paterno's advancing age. With no apparent plans to retire, contingents of fans and alumni began calling for him to step down. Paterno rebuffed all of this and stated he would fulfill his contract which would expire in 2008.
Paterno announced in a speech in Pittsburgh on May 12, 2005 that he would consider retirement if the 2005 football team had a disappointing season. "If we don't win some games, I've got to get my rear end out of here", Paterno said in a speech at the Duquesne Club. "Simple as that". However, Penn State finished the season with a record of 11–1 and were champions of the Big Ten in 2005. They defeated Florida State 26–23 in triple overtime in the 2006 Orange Bowl.
Sandusky scandal and dismissalMain article: Penn State sex abuse scandal
On November 5, 2011, former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts relating to sexual abuse of eight young boys over a 15-year period, including alleged incidents that occurred at Penn State. A 2011 grand jury investigation reported that then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary told Paterno in 2002 that he had seen Sandusky abusing a 10-year-old boy in Penn State football's shower facilities. The grand jury report would later detail that McQueary saw Sandusky sodomizing the boy. According to the report, Paterno notified Athletic Director Tim Curley the next day about the incident, and later notified Gary Schultz, director of business and finance, who oversaw the University Police. Schultz's role is the center of the debate over whether Paterno did or did not do enough.
Paterno said McQueary informed him that "he had witnessed an incident in the shower ... but he at no time related to me the very specific actions contained in the Grand Jury report." Prosecutors have stated that Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing, as he fulfilled his legal obligation to report the incident to his immediate supervisor, Curley. However, he was harshly criticized for not reporting the incident to police himself, or at least seeing to it that it was reported, as many have concluded from the facts that are currently known. On November 7, Pennsylvania state police Commissioner Frank Noonan said that while Paterno was not in any legal difficulty, "somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child. I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."
On the night of November 8, hundreds of students gathered in front on Paterno's home in support of the coach. Paterno thanked the crowd and said, "The kids who were victims or whatever they want to say, I think we all ought to say a prayer for them. It's a tough life when people do certain things to you." He led the crowd in "We are Penn State" cheers, which some Penn State Board of Trustees members viewed as insensitive. In part because of the scandal, Paterno announced the following day that he would retire at the end of the season, stating:
... I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.
Later that evening, however, the Board of Trustees voted to relieve Paterno of his coaching duties effective immediately. Tom Bradley, Sandusky's successor as defensive coordinator, was named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2011 season. At the same meeting, school president Graham Spanier resigned rather than face being fired as well. Because the Board of Trustee meetings were held behind closed doors and Pennsylvania has a sunshine law, the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees met in a public meeting via conference call on December 2, 2011, to "reaffirm and ratify" the Board of Trustee's earlier decision. The minutes of the meeting will reaffirmed at the January 20, 2012, meeting of the Board of Trustees.
An anonymous trustee told The Morning Call of Allentown that he and his colleagues felt they had no choice but to order Paterno to leave immediately due to growing outrage over the scandal. The board considered allowing Paterno to stay on for the rest of the season and let Bradley act as team spokesman, but feared this would further sully Penn State's image. The board was also angered that Paterno released statements on his own rather than through the university. This was confirmed in a statement issued by board chairman Steve Garban and vice chairman John Surma on January 12, 2012; which said that the board felt Paterno "could not be expected to effectively perform his duties" as head coach due to the nature of the scandal.
That night, several thousand Penn State students protested the sudden dismissal of Paterno, congregating outside of Penn State's administration building, chanting his name and overturning a television news van. The action of the Board of Trustees was further criticized by Ben Andreozzi, a Harrisburg attorney advising some of the alleged victims, who declared that the board had "got it wrong" by hastily dismissing Paterno without consulting the victims of the case. Said Andreozzi: "The school instead elected to do what it felt was in its own best interest at the time. Isn't that what put the school in this position in the first place?" Paterno was replaced by Bill O'Brien on January 7, 2012.
On January 12, the board of trustees announced that Paterno remains a tenured member of the Penn State faculty even though he is no longer coach, and Penn State is honoring his contract as if he retired at the end of the season. The details of his retirement are still being finalized as of January 2012.
Views on college football issuesPaterno has long been an advocate for some type of college football playoff system. The question has been posed to him frequently over the years, as only one of his five undefeated teams has been voted national champions.
Paterno believes that scholarship college athletes should receive a modest stipend, so that they have some spending money. As justification, Paterno points out that many scholarship athletes are from poor families and that other students have time to hold down a part-time job, whereas busy practice and conditioning schedules prevent college athletes from working during the school year.
Paterno previously preferred to not play true freshmen. Later in his career, however, Paterno played true freshmen so as not to be at a competitive disadvantage. In fact, some Penn State recruits, like recruits at many other schools, now graduate from high school a semester early so that they can enroll in college during the spring semester and participate in spring practice. Several team members from the recruiting class of 2005, including Justin King, Anthony Scirrotto, and Derrick Williams, received considerable playing time as true freshmen during the 2005–2006 season.
In 2010, Paterno and former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka suggested that concussions and other injuries in the NFL and college football might be reduced if face masks were done away with.
Penn State's football players were twice recognized for outstanding academic performance by the New America Foundation's Academic Bowl Championship Series while under the leadership of Paterno. The team was ranked number one out of the top 25 ranked BCS teams in 2009 and 2011. The criteria in the rankings include the graduation rate of the team as compared to the rest of university, the difference between the graduation rate of African-American players and the rest of the squad as well as the same statistics for the rest of the students at Penn State, and the graduation rate differences between the African American players and students.
Officiating and instant replayIn 2002, then 76 year-old Paterno chased down referee Dick Honig in a dead sprint following a 42–35 overtime home loss to Iowa. Paterno saw Tony Johnson catch a pass for a first down with both feet in bounds on the stadium's video replay board, but the play was ruled an incompletion; Penn State had rallied from a 35–13 deficit with 9 minutes left in the game to tie the score at 35, and were driving on their first possession in overtime for a touchdown to tie the game at 42. Penn State failed on fourth down and Iowa held on for the win.
Just weeks later, in the final minute of the Michigan game, the same wide receiver, Johnson, made a catch, which would have given Penn State a first down and put them in range for a game winning field goal. Although Johnson was ruled out of bounds, replays clearly showed that Johnson had both feet in bounds and the catch would have been complete.
In 2004, the Big Ten Conference became the first college football conference to adopt a form of instant replay. The previous two incidents, along with Paterno's public objections, and the Big Ten's Clockgate controversy, are often cited as catalysts for its adoption. Within the next year, almost all of the Division I-A conferences adopted a form of instant replay based on the Big Ten model.
Outside of footballPhilanthropy and educationIn addition to his legacy as a coach, Paterno is highly regarded for his contributions to academic life at Penn State. After the announcement of his hiring in 1966, Paterno set out to conduct what he called a "Grand Experiment" in melding athletics and academics in the collegiate environment, an idea that he had learned during his years at Brown. As a result, Penn State's players have consistently demonstrated above-average academic success compared to Division I-A schools nationwide. According to the NCAA's 2008 Graduation Rates Report, Penn State's four-year Graduation Success Rate of 78% easily exceeds the 67% Division I average, second to only Northwestern among Big Ten institutions.
Paterno is also renowned for his charitable contributions to academics at Penn State. He and his wife Sue have contributed over $4 million towards various departments and colleges, including support for the Penn State All-Sports Museum, which opened in 2002, and the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which opened in 2003. After helping raise over $13.5 million in funds for the 1997 expansion of Pattee Library, the University named the expansion Paterno Library in their honor.
In 2007, former player Franco Harris and his company R Super Foods honored Paterno for his contributions to Penn State by featuring his story and picture on boxes of Super Donuts and Super Buns in Central PA. A portion of the sales will be donated to an endowment fund for the university library that bears his name.
Political interestsPaterno is a political conservative and a personal friend of former President George H.W. Bush, endorsing the then-candidate in a speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention. Paterno was also a close personal friend of President Gerald R. Ford. In 2004, his son Scott Paterno, an attorney, won the Republican primary for Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district but lost in the November general election to Democratic incumbent Tim Holden.
"I brought my kids up to think for themselves since day one," Joe Paterno said in 2008. "I got a son who's a Republican, who ran for Congress, Scott. I'm a Republican. I've got a son, Jay, who's for Obama. I've got a daughter, who I'm pretty sure she's going to be for Hillary. So God bless America."
Personal lifeFamilyWhile serving as an assistant coach, Paterno met freshman Susan Pohland, an English literature honors student, at the campus library. Paterno and Pohland, a Latrobe native 13 years his junior, married in 1962, the year she graduated. They have five children: Diana, Joseph Jr. "Jay", Mary Kay, David, and Scott. All of their children are Penn State graduates, and Jay Paterno was the quarterbacks coach at Penn State until his departure following the hiring of new head coach Bill O'Brien (American football) on January 7, 2012. The Paternos have seventeen grandchildren.
Paterno and his wife co-authored the children's book We Are Penn State!, which takes place during a typical Penn State homecoming weekend.
In the wake of the Sandusky scandal, it was reported that Paterno had transferred whole interest in his house, valued at over $500,000, to his wife "for a dollar plus 'love and affection'" in July 2011. While a lawyer for Paterno stated that the transfer was part of a "multiyear estate planning program", others claimed it seemed more likely a preparatory move in case personal liability was found relative to the scandal.
Failing health and deathIn November 2006, Paterno was involved in a sideline collision during a game against Wisconsin. He was unable to avoid the play and was struck in the knee by Badgers linebacker DeAndre Levy's helmet. Paterno, then 79 years old, suffered a fractured shin bone and damage to knee ligaments. He coached the 2007 Outback Bowl from the press box before making a full recovery.
In November 2008, Paterno had successful hip replacement surgery after spraining his leg while trying to demonstrate onside kicks during a practice session. While recovering he coached the remainder of the season and the 2009 Rose Bowl from the press box. After sustaining these injuries, he made use of a motorized golf cart to move around the field during practices.
Paterno was injured again in August 2011 after colliding with a player during practice. He sustained hairline fractures to his hip and shoulder. No surgery was required, but Paterno began the 2011 regular season schedule in a wheelchair.
In November 2011, Scott Paterno reported that his father had a treatable form of lung cancer.
On January 22, 2012, Paterno succumbed to his cancer and died in State College, Pennsylvania. He had been in the hospital since January 13 of the same year.
Head coaching recordPaterno has a career record of 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties. In his 46 seasons as a head coach, he has had 38 winning seasons, one more than Bear Bryant. Based on the criteria used by the NCAA, Paterno holds the record for most victories by a Division I-A/FBS football coach, passing Eddie Robinson's 408 victories on October 29, 2011 against Illinois.
Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Penn State Nittany Lions (Independent) (1966–1992)
1966 Penn State 5–5
1967 Penn State 8–2–1 T Gator 11 10
1968 Penn State 11–0 W Orange 3 2
1969 Penn State 11–0 W Orange 2 2
1970 Penn State 7–3 19 18
1971 Penn State 11–1 W Cotton 11 5
1972 Penn State 10–2 L Sugar 8 10
1973 Penn State 12–0 W Orange 5 5
1974 Penn State 10–2 W Cotton 7 7
1975 Penn State 9–3 L Sugar Bowl 10 10
1976 Penn State 7–5 L Gator
1977 Penn State 11–1 W Fiesta 4 5
1978 Penn State 11–1 L Sugar 4 4
1979 Penn State 8–4 W Liberty 18 20
1980 Penn State 10–2 W Fiesta 8 8
1981 Penn State 10–2 W Fiesta 3 3
1982 Penn State 11–1 W Sugar 1 1
1983 Penn State 8–4–1 W Aloha 17
1984 Penn State 6–5
1985 Penn State 11–1 L Orange 3 3
1986 Penn State 12–0 W Fiesta 1 1
1987 Penn State 8–4 L Citrus
1988 Penn State 5–6
1989 Penn State 8–3–1 W Holiday 14 15
1990 Penn State 9–3 L Blockbuster 10 11
1991 Penn State 11–2 W Fiesta 3 3
1992 Penn State 7–5 L Blockbuster 24
Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten Conference) (1993–2011)
1993 Penn State 10–2 6–2 3rd W Citrus 7 8
1994 Penn State 12–0 8–0 1st W Rose 2 2
1995 Penn State 9–3 5–3 T–3rd W Outback 12 13
1996 Penn State 11–2 6–2 T–3rd W Fiesta 7 7
1997 Penn State 9–3 6–2 T–2nd L Citrus 17 16
1998 Penn State 9–3 5–3 5th W Outback 15 17
1999 Penn State 10–3 5–3 T–4th W Alamo 11 11
2000 Penn State 5–7 4–4 T–6th
2001 Penn State 5–6 4–4 T–4th
2002 Penn State 9–4 5–3 4th L Capital One 15 16
2003 Penn State 3–9 1–7 T–8th
2004 Penn State 4–7 2–6 9th
2005 Penn State 11–1 7–1 T–1st W Orange † 3 3
2006 Penn State 9–4 5–3 T–4th W Outback 25 24
2007 Penn State 9–4 4–4 T–5th W Alamo 25
2008 Penn State 11–2 7–1 T–1st L Rose † 8 8
2009 Penn State 11–2 6–2 T–2nd W Capital One 8 9
2010 Penn State 7–6 4–4 T–4th L Outback
2011 Penn State 8–1[n 1] 5–0[n 1] (Leaders)[n 1]
Penn State: 409–136–3 95–54
National championship Conference title Conference division title
†Indicates BCS bowl game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
See alsoList of College Football Hall of Fame inductees (coaches)
List of college football coaches with 200 wins
Notes^ a b c Paterno coached the first nine games of the season before he was fired on November 9. Tom Bradley was named interim head coach to replace him.