Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno

Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno (/pəˈtɜrnoʊ/; December 21, 1926 – January 22, 2012), sometimes referred to as "JoePa," was an American college football coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011. His career ended with his dismissal from the team for his role in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.

Paterno was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brown University, where he played football both as the quarterback and a cornerback. Originally planning to be a lawyer, he instead signed on as an assistant football coach at Penn State in 1950, persuaded by his college coach Rip Engle who had taken over as Penn State's head coach. In 1966, Paterno was named as Engle's successor. He soon coached the team to two undefeated regular seasons in 1968 and 1969. The team won two national championships—in 1982 and 1986. Paterno coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games and, in 2007, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach. In all, he led the Nittany Lions to 37 bowl appearances with 24 wins (six of them later vacated) while turning down offers to coach NFL teams, including the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots.

In November 2011, he was fired by the university as a result of the child sex abuse scandal involving his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. An investigation conducted by former FBI director Louis Freeh found in July 2012 that Paterno concealed facts relating to Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys. The investigation also uncovered evidence that Paterno persuaded university officials not to report Sandusky to authorities in 2001. On July 23, 2012, the NCAA vacated all of Penn State's wins from 1998 through 2011 as part of its punishment for the child sex abuse scandal, eliminating 111 of the games Paterno had coached and won, dropping him from second to 12th on the list of winningest NCAA football coaches.

Paterno died of complications from lung cancer on January 22, 2012.

Read more about Joe PaternoEarly Life, Coaching History, Child Sex Abuse Scandal and Termination, Views On College Football Issues, Failing Health and Death, Head Coaching Record

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... consensus national championships, both under Joe Paterno's tenure as coach ... Year Coach Selector Record Bowl 1982 Joe Paterno AP, Coaches 11–1 Won Sugar 1986 Joe Paterno AP, Coaches 12–0 Won Fiesta Total National Titles 2 Other national championships selections ...

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