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 • Spring Creek Presbyterian Cemetery
 • State College
 • Centre County
 • Pennsylvania
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Joe "JoePa" Paterno
Original name: Joseph Vincent Paterno
Birth: Dec. 21, 1926
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Death: Jan. 22, 2012
State College
Centre County
Pennsylvania, USA

Hall of Fame College Football Coach. A veteran of the United States Army, he served during the final year of World War II and then accepted an athletic scholarship to Brown University where he was quarterback of the football team under coach Rip Engle. In 1950 Engle became the head football coach at the Pennsylvania State University and hired Paterno to be an assistant coach. When Engle retired in 1966, Paterno was hired as the head coach. During his tenure at Penn State Paterno was known for expecting his athletes to get an education and the graduation rate of his players was consistently above the national average. He and his wife also donated over four million dollars to Penn State, including a substantial donation to the library whose new wing is named after him. During the 2001 football season he earned career win number 324, moving him past Paul "Bear" Bryant to become the leader in career wins by a major college coach. His numerous accomplishments and honors as head coach of the Nittany Lions include two National Championships and five undefeated seasons. He leads the NCAA 1-A Division in both bowl appearances and bowl wins. The National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame selected him to receive its Distinguished American Award, the first active coach to do so. In 1986 he was the Sports Illustrated "Sportsman-of-the-Year" and in 1998 he was the first winner of the Eddie Robinson Coach-of-the-Year Award given to "an active college coach who is a role model to students and players, an active member of the community and an accomplished coach." On May 16, 2006 he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame, one of the two first active coaches to be so honored. On November 2, 2001 Penn State honored Paterno with a statue outside of its Beaver Stadium. The wall behind the statue reads, "Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian" and includes this quote from the honoree, "They ask me what I'd like written about me when I'm gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach." Paterno coached his last game with the Nittany Lions on November 5, 2011. His celebrated career ended in controversy, as he was fired by Penn State in mid-season due to a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant coach. Paterno had reported the allegations to his campus superiors in 2002, but no legal action was taken then. Penn State students protested the firing, believing the Board of Trustees acted in a rush to judgement. He died from complications of lung cancer less than three months later. Paterno's record of 409-136-3 made him the winningest Division 1 coach of all time. Due to his alleged involvement in the coverup of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State University, the NCAA ruled on July 23rd, 2012, to expunge all wins credited to Paterno from 1998 until his firing in 2011. His victory total now stands at 298 making Bobby Bowden the winningest collegiate football coach to date. Update: On Friday, January 16, 2015, the NCAA agreed to restore Paterno's wins which he was originally credited for, now giving him the most victories. (bio by: Melanie) 
Family links: 
  Angelo L. Paterno (1896 - 1956)
  Florence de LaSalle Cafiero Paterno (1896 - 1989)
  Joe Paterno (1926 - 2012)
  George E. Paterno (1928 - 2002)*
*Calculated relationship
Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?--Robert Browning

Spring Creek Presbyterian Cemetery
State College
Centre County
Pennsylvania, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Melanie
Record added: Jan 22, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 83834404
Joe JoePa Paterno
Added by: Anonymous
Joe JoePa Paterno
Added by: Brenda & Pete
Joe JoePa Paterno
Added by: Brenda & Pete
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