Joe Paterno Dead at 85
State College, PA
One of the greatest coaches in the history of college football, Joe Paterno, died Sunday morning according to reports.
The former Penn State coach, fired in the aftermath of the alleged sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, was 85 and had been undergoing chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled," the Paterno family said in a statement. "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."
Penn State officials said they will mourn the loss of the legendary coach.
"We grieve for the loss of Joe Paterno, a great man who made us a greater university. His dedication to ensuring his players were successful both on the field and in life is legendary and his commitment to education is unmatched in college football. His life, work and generosity will be remembered always," said Penn State president Rodney Erickson and the school's board of trustees in a statement. "The University plans to honor him for his many contributions and to remember his remarkable life and legacy. We are all deeply saddened."
Paterno Leaving Mixed Legacy Behind
Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno died Sunday at State College hospital due to lung cancer at the age of 85.
Paterno was a coach at Penn State for 62 years, the last 46 as head coach.
Paterno is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA FBS football with 409 career victories. He led Penn State to 37 bowl games and two national championships. He compiled a record of 409-136-3 and won national titles in 1982 and 1986.
Paterno also led the Nittany Lions to four other undefeated seasons, including back-to-back in 1968 and 1969.
He was surrounded by family members when he died at 9:25 a.m. Sunday.
"He died as he lived," Paterno's family said in a statement. "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."
The end came swiftly for Paterno in terms of both his coaching career and his life.
He was relieved of his coaching duties in November following the sordid child sexual abuse scandal of former assistant Jerry Sandusky.
The scandal brought an end to Paterno's tenure as coach and soiled the legacy of a man who was previously held up as an example of what college athletics should be
The school board of trustees and many others felt Paterno did not do enough to stop Sandusky when he first learned to the alleged abuse back in 2002. Paterno admitted to knowing about the claims but told reporters recently that he didn't know how to handle it.
Doctors diagnosed him with a treatable form of lung cancer shortly after his firing. He was in hospital receiving treatment since Jan. 13.
"As the last 61 years have shown, Joe made an incredible impact," the Paterno family said. "That impact has been felt and appreciated by our family in the form of thousands of letters and well wishes along with countless acts of kindness from people whose lives he touched.
"It is evident also in the thousands of successful student athletes who have gone on to multiply that impact as they spread out across the country."
Paterno Family, 'His Loss Leaves a Void'
Fired Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dead
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