Joe Paterno came to Penn State as an assistant coach in 1950. As Head Coach from 1966 through 2011 he won a record 409 games, 2 National Championships, 27 Eastern and Big Ten Championships, and led Penn State to 5 Undefeated seasons, 23 National Top Ten finishes and an NCAA Record 24 Bowl wins. He coached 48 Academic All-Americans, 79 First-Team All-Americans, over 250 NFL Draft Picks, 9 College Football Hall of Famers and 3 NFL Hall of Famers. He was a 2007 College Football Hall of Fame inductee and Sports Illustrated’s 1986 Sportsman of the Year; the only college football coach ever honored. His teams consistently posted graduation rates that were among the nation’s best.
He was also an important fund-raiser for Penn State. He and his wife Sue personally committed millions of dollars to Penn State academics and helped to raise hundreds of millions more. Their philanthropy also included seven-figure gifts to hospitals and churches as well as a commitment of their money and time to Pennsylvania Special Olympics and many other worthy causes.