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Joe Paterno Biography Penn State Nittany Lions

Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno is 83 years old, born in Brooklyn in 1926, he graduated from Brown, and he is a diehard Nittany Lion fan for life.  He is the head coach for Penn State in his 60th year.

Paterno served in the Army during World War II, and then accepted an athletic scholarship to Brown University.  He studied English literature and was a quarterback for the football team. Upon graduation in 1950, his former coach at Brown, became the head coach at Penn State. After 16 years as Engle’s assistant, Paterno became head coach in 1966.

Paterno lead Penn State to consecutive undefeated seasons in 1968 and 1969, and another undefeated season in 1973.  Penn State won its first national championship (under Paterno) in 1982, and another undefeated season in 1986.  

Penn State entered the Big Ten Conference in 1993, and won a conference title in 1994.

In 2002, Paterno became the first active coach in 20 years to receive the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award, the highest honor for the American Football Coaches Association.  He won Coach of the Year award four times, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007.

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