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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A trio of legendary Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno, Chuck Fusina and Matt Bahr, will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame as part of the group's 53rd annual ceremony. The induction celebration will take place on Saturday, October 24 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia.
In addition to Paterno, Fusina and Bahr, Philadelphia Flyer Bernie Parent, basketball coach PJ Carlesimo, swimmer Kristy Kowal, Super Bowl-winning linebacker Neal Olkewicz, Pitt football coach Foge Fazio, college and NFL football player Bill Koman, college and NFL football player Eric Crabtree, golfer Chip Lutz and wrestler Gray Simons will also be inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. Former Governor Ed Rendell will be the recipient of the first ever Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame Award for Pioneering Leadership in Pennsylvania Sports.
Paterno guided the Nittany Lion football program for 46 years, proceeded by 16 years as an assistant coach, and accumulated an NCAA Division I-record 409 victories, including five undefeated, untied seasons. He led Penn State to National Championships in 1982 and 1986 and Big Ten titles in 1994, 2005 and 2008. The College Football Hall of Fame member posted 23 Top 10 finishes in the national rankings, as well as an NCAA-record 24 bowl victories. A five-time AFCA Coach of the Year, Paterno had more than 350 former players sign NFL contracts, including 32 that were first round NFL Draft picks. Paterno also helped produced 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes, 37 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-Americans® (47 overall) and 18 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners. The Penn State football program had an 87 percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate in the year prior to his passing on January 22, 2012.
Fusina was a quarterback for the Nittany Lions from 1975-78. He was selected an All-American as a senior by the Associated Press, Football Writers, Football Coaches, NEA, United Press International and Walter Camp. In 1978, Fusina led the Nittany Lions to an 11-0 regular-season and a spot in the Sugar Bowl vs. Alabama for the national title. He threw for 1,859 yards and 11 touchdowns (137-for-242), while winning the Maxwell Award as the nation's outstanding player. Fusina ranks sixth in Penn State history in career passing yards with 5,382 to go with 37 touchdown passes, which is seventh in program history. He played in the National Football League with Tampa Bay and Green Bay.
Bahr was a placekicker for the Nittany Lions from 1975-78. He was an All-American choice by The Football News, NEA, The Sporting News, United Press International and Walter Camp in 1978. Bahr broke his brother's (Chris) NCAA field goal percentage record, hitting 22-of-27 attempts (81.5 percent), holding the record for several years. Bahr's mark stood as the Penn State record until Sam Ficken (24-29; 82.8) broke the mark in 2014. In his final two seasons in the Blue and White, Bahr went 70-for-72 on extra point attempts and 36-for-51 in field goal attempts. He spent 17 years in the National Football League, which ties for the most years in the NFL by a Penn State player (Kerry Collins).
Tickets to the Pennsylvania's Sports Hall of Fame October 24 awards dinner are available at $75 each ($750 for a 10-person table) online at www.MontcoSportsHoF.org, or from Chapter president David Ritting at 476 Brookwood Rd., Wayne, PA 19087; phone 610 256-0300. Issue checks or money orders to PSHoF, Montco Chapter.