Paterno was a part of the Penn State coaching staff from 1950-2011. He became head coach in 1966 and amassed a 409-136-3 record over his tenure. He led two national champion squads and won three Big Ten championships with the Nittany Lions.
His football legacy took a hit when sexual abuse allegations surrounding Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky came to light. Paterno was criticized for what some felt was inaction on his part to stop the child abuse that Sandusky is charged with. The accusations led to Paterno’s dismissal from the head coaching role mid-way through the 2011 season.
After he was released from his head coaching position, Paterno began treatment for lung cancer. The disease eventually took his life.
Paterno was 85 years old.