This morning, Joe Paterno died from complications from lung cancer.
His family released this statement:
“His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled. 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. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.”
Personally, I hurt for his family and his wife Sue. This last year has been one of the worst years in college football and Joe’s name has been attached to it for all of the wrong reasons. Whether he did too little or not enough to help with the arrest of Sandusky will always be a question that people have about coach Paterno, but his legacy extends beyond the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno began coaching at Penn State in 1950, as an assistant coach and became Penn State’s head coach in 1966. In that time, Paterno won 2 national championships and 3 Big Ten championships while coaching for the Nittany Lions. He is the winningest coach of all-time with a record of 409 wins, 136 losses, and 3 ties.
I wish all the best to the Paterno family and Penn State fans. I understand what this man meant to you and what he means to college football.
Sometimes it’s better to remember people for their accomplishments in life. Joe Paterno deserves just that.