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Happy 84th Birthday to Coach Paterno

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It is with great pleasure to wish college football's greatest coach a Happy 84th Birthday, today.  Coach Paterno will be celebrating in Clearwater on the practice field as the Nittany Lions go through a double session.



What he has done for Penn State University cannot be expressed in words.  He has spent 61 of his 84 years on the Nittany Lion coaching staff.  He is the Division I all-time leader in victories.  He has two national championships.  He is the only Division I coach to reach 400 victories.  His coaching resume is second to none in college football.


But it's the people Coach Paterno has produced that will carry on his legacy long after his football career is over.  He has impacted so many lives in his time at Penn State.  Most Penn State fans will remember the star athletes he has produced, but you forget about the hundreds of players who went on to have successful careers outside of football as doctors, entrepreneurs or lawyers, to name a few.


He and wife Sue have donated millions of dollars to Penn State, which includes helping lead a $13.75 million dollar fundraising effort to create what is now known as the Paterno Library.  The 140,000 square-foot portion of the library dedicated to the Paterno family for their fundraising efforts opened in 2000.  His contribution to the library is probably the most well-known donation to the university.


The Paterno family has lived in the same house on McKee Street in State College for virtually his entire tenure as head coach.  When driving past, onlookers would have no idea that a Hall of Fame head coach lives inside.  And he wouldn't want it any other way.  He is the most generous man in the community and does not seek any attention from the media. 


Coach Paterno will be spending his birthday where he belongs - on the practice field with khaki pants, black Nike shoes and a plain gray sweatshirt.  People from around the country wonder why a man, who is now 84, still has an interest in coaching 18-22 year-olds, but football is what he knows best and he wouldn't change a thing.


For those of you who have not had the pleasure to meet Coach Paterno in person, it is nearly impossible to exactly describe what his personality is like.  He is truly a special human being.


With that in mind, we have compiled a collection of Coach Paterno quotes to help commemorate this special day for the legend in charge of the Penn State football program.



"Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks."


"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality."


"Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good."


"Losing a game is heartbreaking. Losing your sense of excellence or worth is a tragedy."


"You need to play with supreme confidence, or else you'll lose again, and then losing becomes a habit."


"The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."


"Believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great things."


"You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That's the mark of a true professional."


"Publicity is like poison; it doesn't hurt unless you swallow it."


"It's the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back."


"I don't know exactly where to start. It's been fun. I have enjoyed every minute of my career or I never would have stayed in it. Never intended to coach when I came here, but I enjoyed the town so much and enjoyed the competition and the people and made me comfortable and I just decided, 'hey, this might be the best for me.'"



He has seen countless football games.  His lifetime has spanned 14 different presidents.  Coach Paterno was born on Dec. 21, 1926 in Brooklyn.   He may be 84, but he doesn't coach like he is a day over 60.  Enjoy the day and flip on an old game as a reminder for how lucky Penn State has been to have an iconic figure leading its football program for the past half century.


Happy Birthday, Coach Paterno.  Enjoy the sunshine.  We look forward to seeing you on the sidelines for the Outback Bowl in less than two weeks.

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Happy Birthday to a very special man who has brought and gave so much to our Penn State community. May God bless you on your special day and through the years to come.

Happy Birthday to the greatest Pennsylvanian and greatest college football coach. Your contribution to the development of young kids into productive adults is your greatest and most long lasting achievement. Your fans are proud of you and Sue.

Happy Birthday Joe!!!
Thank you for your many years of service to the University, Teams, Community and everyone who knows or knows of you. God bless you and your family and we know the Good Lord took a likin' to you.

Stan, Elly, Jen, Rob and Lucky

Words cannot properly express what Coach Paterno has meant to generations of Penn Staters. All of our lives have been changed by this remarkable man and we wish you the happiest of birthdays! Looking forward to a great Outback Bowl!

Happy Birthday to a GREAT human being, first and foremost. Secondly, thank you for ALL you have done and continue to do for Penn State. YOU MAKE US ALL PENN STATE PROUD!!!
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday and many more to come. Love to Sue and the family.
Sandi & Harvey Schneider

Coach Paterno, You are a legend in the best sense of the word! You are a role model to your players, an invaluable asset to the Penn State community and to all college football fans everywhere. Happy Birthday and many more!!
YOU are Penn State!


Happy Birthday to you Coach from every Nittany Lion here in Atlanta Georgia. May you have many more to come. NOW LETS GO BEAT THOSE GATORS!!!!!

Happy Birthday to the greatest football coach of all time. God Bless you and thanks.

Happy Birthday Coach,
Many happy and healthy more, enjoy your day and good luck in the Outback Bowl, I'll be there.

Happy Birthday Coach Paterno and many more!! There is no one like you and will never be!!!

Happy Birthday JoePa!!

You are THE LEGEND and cheers to many many more birthdays as our Nittany Lion head coach!!


Tim, Sheryl & Megan
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Happy Birthday Joe and we wish only good things in the years ahead. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. See you in Tampa

Happy Birthday Coach Paterno! Through thick and thin you have been an outstanding person and role model within our University. Your presence has been a guiding principle to many young people including myself and it makes me proud to be affiliated with Penn State. Keep doing what you are doing and I wish you and your family the best.

Happy Birthday Coach Paterno,

I was 19 when you first became Head Coach at Penn State. As a 1973 graduate of Penn State HBG, before you guided the Penn State football team to any National Championships, I only desired that the Penn State Football Program would be competitive and "clean". Thanks to your leadership and selection of fine assistant coaches and players, the program has been at the top in both competitiveness and integrity.

Thank you so much for all that you have done and continue to do as a person for the university and the people you influence. Your humility is a example for all to follow.

Bill Farmer
Milwaukee, WI

Happy Birthday Joe! May next year be the best yet.

Your positive influence continues with those who have been blessed to have had the privilege and opportunity to work with you.

All the best to you, your family and the football staff. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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