Former longtime Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has died. He was 85 years old. Paterno, who lost his job in November over the Jerry Sandusky scandal, died from complications related to his treatment for lung cancer. No matter how you felt about Paterno after what has been revealed in the last several months, we have lost a legend.
It was reported erroneously yesterday that JoePa had died, with several news outlets reporting on his death, due to a Tweet sent out by Onward State, a site run by students that covers Penn State news. Their Managing Editor apologized for the inaccuracy and has since resigned.
Paterno died this morning at 9:25 a.m. at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania. His family was at his side at the time of his death. The family released a statement of Paterno’s passing, below is an excerpt:
“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. 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.”
You can read the full statement here.
Paterno coached the Penn State Nittany Lions for 46 years, boasting a record of 409 wins and 136 losses. A true football legend. Sadly, his legacy has been marred by what has come to light over the last few months surrounding the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Paterno had said, “This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”