Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dies at 85

The college football legend, fired amid controversy last year, passed away from lung cancer.

Posted: 01/22/2012 01:03 PM EST
R.I.P., Sports News, Joe Paterno, Penn State, college football

Famed college football coach Joe Paterno lost his battle with lung cancer, TMZ reports. Paterno, lovingly referred to as "Joe Pa" by his team and fans, passed away Sunday morning from complications stemming from chemotherapy treatments.

The Big Ten coach was once the face of integrity in college sports before being forced to end his 46-year-long career last November amid the child sex abuse scandal surrounding his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. In a sad twist of irony, Paterno was diagnosed with cancer that same month.

Paterno's family issued a statement saying, "He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."

Coach Paterno was 85 years old.

 

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