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Jan. 28, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., - Penn State coach Joe Paterno is featured on the cover of Feb. 1 issue of Sporting News, which hits newsstands today.
The Hall of Fame mentor is featured in a five-page Sporting News Conversation with SN writer Steve Greenberg ,who visited with Paterno shortly after he led the Nittany Lions past LSU in the Capital One Bowl to cap a second consecutive 11-2 campaign.
Among the subjects Paterno discusses with Greenberg are loyalty and longevity in coaching, as the legendary teacher and coach prepares for his 45th season leading the Nittany Lions.
The all-time leader in bowl victories (24) and appearances (36), Paterno's 68.0 bowl winning percentage (24-11-1 mark) is No. 2 all-time among coaches with at least 15 post-season appearances, trailing only Bobby Bowden, who recently finished his career with a 22-10-1 (68.2) record. The Nittany Lions are 17-7 in New Year's bowls under Paterno.
Paterno concluded his 60th season on the Penn State coaching staff by extending his Football Bowl Subdivision record to 394 career victories with the decision over LSU. He owns an all-time mark of 394-129-3 and his 75.2 winning percentage is second-best among active coaches with at least 10 years as an FBS head coach.
Paterno has led Penn State to national championships in 1982 and '86, five unbeaten and untied seasons (1968, '69, '73, '86, '94) and 15 seasons with at least 11 victories, including three in the past five years. He is college football's all-time leader in 10-win (21 years) and 11-win seasons.
A 1950 graduate of Brown University, Paterno has led Penn State to 23 Top 10 finishes in the final polls, also a record for a major college coach. The Nittany Lions were ranked No. 8 in the final 2009 USA Today Coaches poll and No. 9 in the Associated Press poll.
Paterno also has seen more than 350 of his players sign NFL contracts, and produced 77 first team All-Americans, 45 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-Americans (34 first team), 15 National Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar Athletes and 18 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners during his legendary career. Penn State has had 12 Academic All-Americans over the past four seasons, leading the nation in each of the past two years (five in 2008, three in 2009).
Under Paterno's leadership, Penn State led all teams ranked in the final 2009 AP poll with an 89 percent federal graduation rate and an 85 percent Graduation Success Rate, according to NCAA data released in November, 2009.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Paterno was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2007, becoming one of three active coaches to gain induction at the time. He was selected the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) National Coach of the Year for an unprecedented fifth time in 2005. Paterno also has been selected the Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year three times, second only to Michigan's Bo Schembechler (four times).
Paterno and his wife, Sue, have contributed more than $4 million to Penn State for multiple academic and athletic building projects and to endow scholarships and faculty positions. In 2009, the Paternos pledged $1 million to the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College to assist with a 42,000-square foot expansion of the region's primary medical facility.
Penn State is 51-13 (79.7) since the start of the 2005 season, tied for the nation's No. 7 winning percentage over that span. The Nittany Lions have won two Big Ten Championships, made two Bowl Championship Series appearances and won four of their five bowl games over the past five seasons.
The Nittany Lions return 13 starters for the 2010 season, (7 offense, 5 defense, 1 specialist), as well as 11 players that have starting experience. Penn State opens the season Sept. 4 vs. Youngstown State in Beaver Stadium and visits 2009 national champion Alabama on Sept. 11.