But a summer Saturday proved to be important, too, as the legendary Nittany Lion mentor was officially enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., yesterday.
Paterno was elected to the Hall in 2006, but delayed his entry a year after sustaining a serious leg injury that season. He was inducted at a ceremony in New York last December.
Typically, Paterno deflected the attention away from himself and credited others with his success.
“For me, it's all the players, and the environment and commitment an institution makes to the program,” he told ESPN. “All of that has been tied together at Penn State.”
Paterno became head coach of the Nittany Lions in 1966 and has a career record of 372-125-3, including two national titles. He is one win behind Florida State's Bobby Bowden on the all-time Division I-A win list.