Joe Paterno has become an icon in college football. He has been the Penn State Nittany Lions head coach for forty- five years. Joe Paterno is a hard nosed, intellectual head coach. This 2010 season, against Big Ten foe Northwestern, he reached a milestone not many coaches have achieved. This milestone was capturing 400 victories. The unique part of this feat is the idea that he will probably be the only coach to do this at eighty-four years old. The other factor in this feat is his team had to come back from the biggest deficit Penn State has ever had to overcome to gain this victory.
Joe Paterno’s Life Before Penn State
Joe Paterno was born December 21st, 1926. He graduated from Brooklyn Prep School. He also graduated from Brown University. While at Brown University, Joe Paterno played corner back and quarterback. As a corner back, Joe Paterno had fourteen interceptions which was a Brown University record. Joe Paterno shared this record with Greg Parker.
Assistant Coaching Experience
Joe Paterno started his coaching career as an assistant at Penn State. At the time Rip Engle was the Penn State head football coach. Paterno played for Brown University while Rip Engle was the head coach for Brown University. Joe Paterno held a position as assistant coach for Penn State for fifteen years.
Accomplishments At Penn State
Joe Paterno became head coach at Penn State in 1966. As head coach, Joe Paterno has led the Nittany Lions to twenty-four bowl victories. Penn State has played in thirty three bowl games total. Paterno is the only collegian coach to lead a team to all four prestigious bowls. These bowls are the Rose, Orange, Fiesta and Sugar.
The Penn State University football teams under the held of Coach Paterno have had five undefeated seasons. These seasons were 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994.
College Football Hall of Fame
On July 19, 2008, Joe Paterno was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Joe Paterno has been a strong role model for athletes, coaches and fans for over sixty years. His wife Sue and himself have raised five children in the Penn State community. All five children are Penn State graduates. Their son Jay has been an assistant coach at Penn State since 1995. Paterno’s nickname is “Joe Pa”. That seems like an appropriate nickname, doesn’t it? Indeed, Joe Paterno has proved himself as a coach of all times. This writer hopes he reaches the elite 400 mark and gains many more wins.