In the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the statue of Joe Paterno was removed on Sunday, July 22, 2012. For now, the statue is stored in a garage at the stadium. Its final disposition remains unclear.
I was just looking at my website’s stats and realized that this is my 400th post! It also happens to feature a Pennsylvania football legend and my very own newly-graduated nephew, Sean!
Joe Paterno has been a Penn State University football coach since 1950! (16 as an assistant coach and 44 as head coach). I have had the pleasure of meeting him on two occasions … and though he can appear on the gruff side, he was very warm and engaging when I spoke with him.
The bronze statue, honoring Joe’s contributions to Penn State University, stands just outside PSU’s Beaver Stadium. It rises to just over 7-feet tall and weighs nearly 900 pounds.
There is a three-sided stone wall behind the statue. The left section of the wall reads, “Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian.” The section behind the tribute features four Nittany Lion football players following Paterno onto the field. The quote to the right of the the coach is: “They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach.” The other side of the wall features plaques with the scores of the games coached by Paterno from 1966-to present.
Congratulations to Coach Paterno for a coaching career that will likely never be duplicated, and to my nephew who is just beginning his own stellar career!