Joe Paterno passed away today after being hospitalized since January 13th for complications due to lung cancer. Honestly I could talk about Joe Paterno and the Penn State Scandal however I shall not. The man was a legend on the field and off for his coaching tactics that led Penn State to become one of the most powerful collegiate football programs out there.
Newsday released an article earlier after doctors moved Joe Paterno’s condition to serious. “Paterno was diagnosed with cancer in November, days after getting ousted as head coach in the aftermath of the child sex abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky. This was Paterno’s second time in the hospital in a month. He’s also recovering from a broken pelvis that required a weeklong stay to make it easier for cancer treatments. Paterno first hurt his pelvis in August when he was accidentally bowled over by a player in preseason practice.”
On December 21, 1926 Joe Paterno was born in Brooklyn, New York. “Joe Pa” led a life that was destined to leave behind an admirable legacy (let Penn State go for now). Paterno would go on to attend Brown University in 1950, where he would meet Charles (“Rip”) Engle. Engle went on to become head coach at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) and bought Paterno on board as his assistant. For 16 years Joe Paterno would learn and grow under the watchful eye of “Rip” until finally he succeeded him in 1966 as the head of the Penn State Football Program. Paterno lead Penn State to consecutive undefeated seasons in 1968 and 1969 and another undefeated season in 1973.
Many argue that Joe Paterno was more powerful than the President of Penn State University and personally I agree. Biography.com listed other key triumphs in Joe Paterno’s career that I believe he should be admired for.
“Penn State started playing football in the Big Ten Conference in 1993, and it won a conference title the following year after Paterno guided the Nittany Lions to a record of 12 wins and 0 losses. In 2001 Paterno posted his 324th career win, surpassing the record for all-time major college coaching victories held by Bear Bryant of the University of Alabama. (Paterno’s victory tally was bested by Florida State’s Bobby Bowden in 2003, and the two coaches remained in a close race for the record before both Bowden’s retirement and Florida State’s forfeited wins in 2010 gave Paterno the career victory record.) Paterno also owned the record for career coaching victories in bowl games.
In January 2002 Paterno became the first active coach in 20 years to receive the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, the highest honour given by the American Football Coaches Association. A four-time winner of the association’s Coach of the Year award, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Not content only to build the football program, Paterno was an advocate for academic integrity and donated millions to build up the nonsporting programs of the university.”
Tonight while covering the South Carolina Primaries, Keith Olbermann broke the news on Joe Paterno’s death. Ironically I had been researching Joe Pa’s condition after reading a few Facebook statuses regarding his health. Immediately I headed to The BQB in efforts to help those remember the man for the good things he did in life, not for the mistake he made. Football was his life. After he was fired from his position as the head coach of Penn State, what else did Joe Paterno have to live for? I still say the man did what he had to do. Rest in peace Joe Paterno, as a college athlete I can admire you as an incredible coach who meant the world to his players.