Joe Paterno

American college football coach (1926-2012)

Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno (pronounced /pəˈtɜrnoʊ/; December 21, 1926 — January 22, 2012) was an American college football coach. He was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years from 1966 through 2011. Paterno's nickname was "JoePa".

Joe Paterno
Joe Paterno - Penn State - Outback Bowl pep rally 123110 cropped.jpg
Paterno at a 2010 rally
Biographical details
Born(1926-12-21)December 21, 1926
Brooklyn, New York
DiedJanuary 22, 2012(2012-01-22) (aged 85)
State College, Pennsylvania
Playing career
Position(s)Quarterback, cornerback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1950–1965Penn State (assistant)
1966–2011Penn State
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1980–1982Penn State
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
2 National (1982, 1986)
3 Big Ten (1994, 2005, 2009)
Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (1986)
AFCA COY (1968, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2005)
Walter Camp COY (1972, 1994, 2005)
Eddie Robinson COY (1978, 1982, 1986)
Bobby Dodd COY (1981, 2005)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (1986)
George Munger Award (1990, 1994, 2005)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Award (2002)
Home Depot Coach of the Year Award (2005)
Sporting News College Football COY (2005)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (1994, 2005, 2008)
College Football Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2007 (profile)

Paterno was an Italian-American who was born and raised in Brooklyn. His team won 409 games with him as coach, so he had the record for the most wins by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coach. He is the only FBS coach to reach 400 victories.[1] He coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games. In 2007, was entered the College Football Hall of Fame.

Penn State trustees fired Paterno in the middle of the football season in November 2011. The university was concerned about Paterno's possible responsibility after long-time assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child sexual abuse charges.[2][3]

Paterno died of lung cancer on January 22, 2012.[4]


  1. Wogenrich, Mark (November 6, 2010). "Penn State rallies to win No. 400 for Paterno". The Morning Call. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  2. Michael Sanserino (November 9, 2011). "Paterno and Spanier both out at Penn State". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  3. "Penn State president blames scandal on Sandusky". CNN. January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  4. Dominic Rushe (January 22, 2012). "Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno dies aged 85". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 January 2012.

Other websitesEdit