Joe Paterno is one of college football greatest coaches and the numbers prove it.
-by Braden Gall (@BradenGall on twitter)
Joe Paterno’s legacy will cause mixed emotions and create division amongst sports fans and non-sports fans alike across the country from now until the end of time. He impacted thousands of lives in the most positive and meaningful ways possible. But he also was in charge when the worst scandal in college football history hit his university.
Either way, the facts don’t lie about how successful he was as the head coach at Penn State University. He is arguably the greatest college football to ever live and the stats back it up:
December 21, 1926: Joe Paterno was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Angelo and Florence Paterno.
1944: Joe Paterno played his final season at Brooklyn Prep High School. He lost one game his senior season – the season finale against the Vince Lombardi coached St. Cecilia’s squad.
1950: Graduated from Brown University as the star quarterback — and an English major. He accepted a position on Rip Engle's Brown coaching staff. Shortly thereafter, Engle took the Penn State head coaching job and was allowed to bring one assistant. He selected a young and completely inexperience Paterno to take with him to Happy Valley.
1962: Married Suzanne Pohland, Penn State Class of 1962.
1966: Is hired as the head coach of Penn State University.
1969: Hires Jerry Sandusky as Penn State’s defensive line coach.
1970: Multiple sources indicate had the Green Bay Packers offered the head coach/General Managing job to Joe Paterno, that he would have accepted the position after only five years of leading Penn State.
5-2: The seven-man Green Bay Packers' Board of Trustees votes to hire Missouri head coach Dan Devine over second choice Joe Paterno.
2: National Championships under Joe Paterno. In 1982, Penn State defeated Georgia in the Sugar Bowl and in 1986 Penn State defeated Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.
5: Undefeated Seasons under Joe Paterno. He didn’t lose a game in 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986 and 1994. Only one of those seasons earned him a National Championship.
46: Years as head coach at Penn State University by Joe Paterno.
409: The most wins all-time by any D-1 head football coach. His final coaching record was 409-136-3.
24: The most bowl wins all-time by an D-1 head football coach. His final bowl record 24-12-1.
23: It took Joe Paterno 23 seasons to finally experience his first losing season in Happy Valley.
40: The number of winning seasons Paterno had as a head coach at Penn State. Also the initial number of counts of aggravated child sexual assault levied against Jerry Sandusky.
35: Number of Top 25 postseason rankings in 46 seasons of coaching. Also, the number of 8+ win seasons for JoePa.
21: The number of double-digit win seasons for Penn State in 46 years of coaching.
15: Number of 11-win seasons as the head coach at Penn State for Paterno.
5: Number of children with wife Sue, which eventually led to 17 grandchildren.
5: Number of major bowls Joe Paterno won. Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Cotton.
5: Number of AFCA National Coach of the Year Awards for Joe Paterno.
5: Maxwell Trophy winners coached by JoePa: Rich Lucas (1959), Glenn Ressler (1964), John Cappelletti (1973), Chuck Fusina (1978), Larry Johnson (2002)
4: Chuck Bednarik winners coached by JoePa: Lavar Arrington (1999), Paul Posluszny (2005, 2006), Dan Connor (2007)
3: Big Ten titles won while at Penn State (PSU joined the Big Ten in 1993).
1: Heisman Trophy winner John Cappaletti, who led the 1973 Nittany Lions to an unblemished record while rushing 1,522 yards and 17 touchdowns. Also, the same number of flavors of ice cream named after Joe Paterno on campus (Peachy Paterno).
8: Number of College Football Hall of Famers coached by Joe Paterno at Penn State: Mike Reid, Ted Kwalick, Jack Ham, Dennis Onkotz, John Cappelletti, Keith Dorney, Lydell Mitchell, Curt Warner
250: Over 250 NFL players played under Joe Paterno at Penn State.
$3.5 million: Dollars Joe Paterno and wife Sue donated to the brand new Paterno Library on Penn State’s campus in 1998. He and his wife gave more than $4 million total to Penn State over his the course of his career.
9: Days between being fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees via phone and when he announces that he has a “treatable” form of lung cancer.
44: Days between being fired by Penn State on November 9 and passing away at 9:25 AM on January 22.
4: Number of weeks Bear Bryant lived after retiring as the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.