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Monday, January 01, 2007

Joe Paterno

I'm watching the Outback Bowl at this moment, the college game between Penn State and Tennessee. (It's currently tied at halftime.) 80 year old Joe Paterno has been the coach of the Penn State football team since 1966. Both my dad and mom grew up not far from the hometown of the Nittany Lions. My dad went to PSU. So it's only natural that I'm loyal to the team! There are many coaches that I've been impressed by, but few I've admired as much as Paterno.

Here are some interesting facts about him that go beyond the normal football stats.
  • He majored in English Literature at Brown University.
  • He listens to opera while planning the next day's practice and plays.
  • He feels very strongly about his players getting a good education...there are no free rides for his boys.
  • He and his wife donated $3.5 million to PSU, believed to be "the most generous gift ever made by a collegiate coach and his family to a university."
  • He and his wife are helping to expand the campus library. In his words: "I've said it a hundred times, a great library is the heart of a great university, and if we want to remain a big league university, we've got to have a big league library."
  • His players don't have their names on their jerseys or logos on their helmets, due to his team oriented philosophy.
"Just winning is a silly reason to be serious about a game," he said in his autobiography, Paterno: By the Book. "For a kid still in school, devotion to winning football games at nearly any cost may cripple his mind for life. Institutions of higher learning don't have the moral right to exploit and mislead inexperienced kids that way.

"The purpose of college football is to serve education," Paterno said, "not the other way around. I hound my players to get involved. Ten years from now I want them to look back on college as a wonderful time of expanding themselves -- not just four years of playing football."
(Information collected from Wikipedia and PSU's biography.)


Nancy said...

I tagged ya!

Nancy said...


OH, and I'm tagging you again on Thursdsay.

Robin said...

I have no interest in football whatsoever... and yet I found your observations about Joe Paterno fascinating. Thanks!