Joseph Vincent Paterno, affectionately known as “Joe Pa,” recently passed away due to complications with lung cancer. He was and always will be in consideration as one of the greatest football coaches of all time. His list of accomplishments and awards is vast and numerous. He had 23 different Coach of the Year awards, won five championships, and had a 74.6 percent career win percentage. He was virtually on a level of his own; he had been coaching for 45 years as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions. In comparison, Tom Landry and Don Shula held their jobs for 28 and 25 years, respectively. Hall of Famer Paterno was the prototype of a classical coach who stayed focused on one team, overcoming any lack of talent and still having success. Paterno lived to coach, rather than coached to live; his record backs up this claim, as Paterno was named Winningest Head Coach in NCAA division 1 FBS football history in late 2011 with 409 wins total.
In his late career, Joe Paterno became an icon of college football; with his famous combed back hair and thick rimmed glasses, he defied social norms not only with his outdated style of clothes, but also with his age. Late in his career, people across the nation called on him to retire, but like the boss Joe Pa was, he always stuck it out (until his dismissal from the team over the Jerry Sandusky scandal). Paterno was the epitome of what everyone should aspire to do by doing what you love until the day you die.
R.I.P. sweet old man.