It’s been confirmed. Penn State coach, Joe Paterno, passed away Sunday morning of lung cancer at the age of 85. Although, reports surfaced late Saturday night that the coach had passed, his family have now confirmed his passing wasn’t until this morning. As head coach of Penn State, Paterno has won more games than any other coach in major college football history. He was, however, fired last November amidst the child abuse sex scandal of a former coaching assistant, Jerry Sandusky. Paterno was accused on not taking appropriate action after discovering the allegations against Sandusky.
In an official statement Paterno’s family states,
“It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled…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.”
Following the university’s Board of Trustees decision to fire Paterno, he was diagnosed with, what his family called, a “treatable” form of lung cancer.
He was later hospitalized in December after breaking his pelvis in a fall at his home and again in January for what his son called minor complications from his cancer treatments.
Paterno leaves behind five children, 17 grandchildren and wife, of nearly 50 years, Suzanne Paterno.
His family ask that any donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON, a charity dance marathon held by Penn State fraternities and sororities