Joe Paterno, the man who for decades was synonymous with Penn State football and was known by the college football world as just “JoePa”, has died. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer, and complications from that treatment claimed the longtime Penn State coach’s life on Saturday.
Paterno was the head coach of Penn State for 46 seasons before being fired in November as his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal came under greater scrutiny. Combined with the time he spent as an assistant, Paterno spent a total of 61 years on the Penn State sidelines. He left behind a legacy that, on the field of play, was unparalleled in Division I football. Paterno holds the all-time Division I record for football coaching wins with a 409-136-3 record, and he won two national championships while going undefeated in five different seasons.
Paterno obviously was in failing health even before the Sandusky scandal emerged, and the stress of that surely didn’t help matters. Unfortunately for Paterno his legacy is forever tarnished.
Our condolences to his family.
Update: Sources now deny the report.
Initial reports that former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had reportedly passed away Saturday night are now being retracted after a family spokesman shot down the rumors.
Penn State’s student newspaper Onward State reported that he passed away shortly before 9 p.m. EST Saturday evening. Their website crashed shortly after making the announcement hours before that he was taken off a respirator and his health was worsening.
I notice the original tweet has disappeared.