Thursday, January 26, 2012

     "They asked me what I'd like written about me when I am gone.  I hope they write I made Penn State a better place,  not that I was a good football coach."  (Quote appears on the Joe Paterno Statue outside Beaver Stadium).  Joe Paterno not only made Penn State a better place, Paterno was the face of Penn State.  Joseph Vincent Paterno  passed away Sunday Morning January 22, 2012.  His loss leaves a void in many lives that will never be filled.  His family commented that "He died as he lived.  He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others, and constantly reminded everyonehow blessed his life had been.  He was a man dedicated to his family, his university, his players, and his community.

     When he decided to forego a career in law, his father Angelo had but one command..."Make an Impact."  And in the past 61 years, Joe has made an incredible impact.  An impact that goes far beyond the 409 wins, 5 undefeated seasons, 24 bowl wins, 2 national championships, 47 Academic-All Americans, and 1 heisman trophy winner.  What is Joe Paterno's Legacy?  His life cannot be measured in wins or championships, because to do so would be a grave injustice.  The greatness of Joe's Legacy lies with each of life lessons that he taught to so many people he came in contact with and set a standard that will live forever. 

     Joe Paterno has been many things in life:  a soldier, scholar, mentor, coach, friend, husband, father, and grandfather.  Joe Paterno has taught many life lessons.  A few of these lessons are..."If you hustle, something good will happen."  "You were never as good as you think you are when you win, and your never as bad as you think you are when you lost."  Probably the one lesson that resonates the most among players above all else:  "It is not about you, it is about the team.  The name on the front of the jersey is more important than the name on the back." 

     Terrell Golden, a former lion receiver said this about the legendary coach.  "Many of his players have the same stories and share the same sayings; be on time, look appropriate, present yourself well, and treat people with respect.  Times change, but what Joe stood for never did."

     Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski:  "Few people are responsible for building something that will last forever...Coach Paterno was first and foremost an educator, whose immeasurable contributions to Penn State, the coaching profession, and the entirety of college sports will be felt permanently.  That is the legacy of a great leader."

     It is with great saddness that the Penn State Altoona Hockey team sends our condolences to Sue and the Paterno family.  Paterno belongs to the ages now.  He was a teacher whose life lessons affected thousands.  He helped numerous young individuals achieve their goals on and off the field.  How do you replace a legend?  Simply put, "You Don't!"

     Rest in Peace Coach Paterno.  "WE ARE...BECAUSE YOU WERE"