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Hall awaits Penn State's Paterno

| Sunday, July 13, 2008

Joe Paterno's induction into the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame last December in New York City was a homecoming of sorts for the Brooklyn native, with all the attendant emotion.

"I'm a New Yorker. I'll always be a New Yorker," Paterno had said. "It's great to come back."

The locale shifts to the midwest later this week for the second part of the Hall experience, the enshrinement celebrations Friday and Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Paterno had downplayed the honor in advance of the December dinner.

"Obviously, I'm flattered and it's nice to be in the Hall of Fame," he'd said. "I just hope that people understand nobody gets there by themselves."

It's understood. Also understood is that Paterno's accomplishment is greater than merely having ridden on the shoulders of others.

Penn State players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame, with their year of induction:

• Hugo Bezdek, coach, 1954

• John Cappelletti, player, 1993

• Keith Dorney, player, 2005

• Rip Engle, coach, 1974

• Jack Ham, player, 1990

• Dick Harlow, player and coach, 1954

• Bob Higgins, player and coach, 1954

• Glenn Killinger, player, 1971

• Ted Kwalick, player, 1989

• Rich Lucas, player, 1986

• Pete Mauthe, player, 1957

• Shorty Miller, player, 1974

• Lydell Mitchell, player, 2004

• Dennis Onkotz, player, 1995

• Joe Paterno, coach, 2007

• Mike Reid, player, 1987

• Glenn Ressler, player, 2001

• Dave Robinson, player, 1997

• Steve Suhey, player, 1985

• Dexter Very, player, 1976

• Harry Wilson, player, 1973

Celebrities, who, like Paterno, were born in 1926:

• Leslie Nielsen, actor, 2-11-26

• Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman, 3-6-26

• Joe Garagiola, former baseball player and announcer, 2-12-26

• Jerry Lewis, comedian and actor, 3-16-26

• Hugh Hefner, Playboy executive, 4-9-26

• Elizabeth II, Queen of England, 4-21-26

• Tony Bennett, singer, 8-3-26

• Fidel Castro, president of Cuba, 8-13-26

• Chuck Berry, rock and roll legend, 10-18-26

• Y.A. Tittle, Hall of Fame quarterback, 10-24-26

Unburdened by term limits, Joe Paterno's tenure as head coach at Penn State has outlasted many a U. S. President. The list:

1) Lyndon B. Johnson

2) Richard M. Nixon (one full term and one partial)

3) Gerald Ford (part of Nixon's second term)

4) Jimmy Carter

5) Ronald Reagan (two terms)

6) George H.W. Bush

7) Bill Clinton (two terms)

8) George W. Bush (two terms)

Some other Joes in the College Football Hall of Fame:

To get in the College Football Hall of Fame takes more than just being an ordinary Joe. A list of some of the more-notable Joes who have made it, with their college and year of induction:

• Joe Bellino, Navy, 1977

• Joe Greene, North Texas, 1984

• Joe Kapp, California, 2004

• Joe Schmidt, Pitt, 1971

• Joe Theismann, Notre Dame, 2003

Joe Paterno by the numbers vs. another Brooklyn-born guy who made the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach:

Category Joe Paterno Vince Lombardi
Seasons as head coach 42 10
Overall record 372-125-3 105-35-6
Bowl/postseason record 23-10-1 9-1
Age when became head coach 39 45
National/NFL championships 2 (National) 5 (NFL)
Losing seasons 5 0


Vince Lombardi:

• "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."

• "The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."

Joe Paterno:

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

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

Milestone wins for Joe Paterno:

Sept. 17, 1966: Penn State beats Maryland, 15-7, in Paterno's first game as head coach

Jan. 1, 1969: Penn State's 15-14 win over Kansas in the Orange Bowl gives Paterno his first perfect season at 11-0

Jan. 1, 1983: Penn State beats No. 1 Georgia, 27-23, in the Sugar Bowl to claim Paterno's first national championship.

Jan. 2, 1987: Penn State beats No. 1 Miami, 14-10, in the Fiesta Bowl to claim Paterno's second national championship

Jan. 2, 1995: Penn State caps its fifth, and most recent, perfect season under Paterno, beating Oregon, 38-20, in the Rose Bowl and finishing 12-0

Sept. 12, 1998: Paterno becomes the sixth coach in NCAA history to reach 300 career wins when Penn State beats Bowling Green, 48-3.

Oct. 27, 2001: Paterno becomes the NCAA Division I-A all-time wins leader at 324 when Penn State beats Ohio State, 29-27. (Paterno since has been passed by Florida State's Bobby Bowden, who has 373 wins to Paterno's 372)

How Joe Paterno compares to other coaches or managers in various sports who were active at an advanced age:

Major League Baseball

• Connie Mack retired in 1950 as manager of the Philadelphia Athletics at age 88 after 50 seasons.


• Marv Levy retired in 1997 as coach of the Buffalo Bills at age 72

• George Halas retired in 1967 as Chicago Bears coach at age 72.

College football

• Amos Alonzo Stagg retired in 1946 from the College of the Pacific at age 84

• John Gagliardi, 81, who was born seven weeks before Paterno, on Nov. 1, 1926, remains active at St. John's (Minn.) University

• Eddie Robinson retired in 1997 from Grambling at age 78.

• Glenn "Pop" Warner retired in 1938 at age 67.

College basketball

• Adolph Rupp retired from Kentucky in 1972 at age 70

• "Phog" Allen retired from Kansas in 1956 at age 70

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