This week was a tough week for coach Joe Paterno of Penn State University. The 84-year-old coach has been holding a tight grip on the job of head coach for quite some time. Only few times could it be said in his history as coach that “Today was not his day’. Amongst a child-abuse scandal involving a former coach, the university decided to fire its head coach, Paterno, as well as its school president Graham Spanier.

Thousands of students caused a mini-riot at Penn State when news broke that their football leader “JoePa” was fired. These students expressed care for their coach as he cared for the team for over 60 years coaching. They recognize all that he has done by winning two National Championships and setting records for most wins (409) and bowl wins (24) as head coach.

If there is anything to remember Paterno by it must be the impact he had, not only on the football program, but how he impacted Penn State University and how he impacted his student-athletes because after all, they are also students. As of results in 2011, Penn State’s football graduation success rate (GSR) was 84%. This is good for 2nd best in the Big Ten Conference, trailing only Northwestern. This demonstrates his care for his student-athletes not only as students, but men preparing for the future as his program has produced 47 academic All-Americans.

“You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That’s the true mark of a professional” –Joe Paterno

Whether its preparing his men to be professionals in the business world or professional football players, it seems as though Paterno had them ready for anything. His program is nicknamed “Linebacker U” for its production of NFL Linebackers. One alum from “Linebacker U”, Jacksonville’s Paul Posluszny, had this to say about his former coach, “Besides the football, he’s preparing us to be good men in life.”

Paterno’s motto for his program was “Success With Honor”. He will be remembered for his success on the field and be honored by all those he has made an impact on at Penn State and beyond.

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