The Eyes Have It
Joe Paterno
Joe Paterno
Posted Feb 11, 2010

After surgery to correct his vision, legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno no longer has to wear his trademark thick-lens glasses.

The most famous eyewear in college football is a thing of the past.

Sort of.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno, whose thick-lens glasses had become a trademark in his 44 years at the helm of the Nittany Lions, has had surgery to correct his vision.

“I had trouble reading for the last six months, so I went down to Philadelphia to the Penn Scheie Eye Institute,” the 83-year-old said. “And the guy says to me … I think we can fix that up. So they went in and did it. I don't really need glasses any more.”

The ophthalmologist was Dr. Stuart Fine, who Paterno has known for more than four decades.

But anyone expecting the spectacle of major college football's all-time wins leader showing up on the sideline with a completely new look next fall will be disappointed. Paterno said when he walks around without glasses, “I feel strange.”

“When I don't wear 'em, and I put on a sweater, I reach to take the glasses off and I don't have them on,” he said.

So he had a set of glasses fashioned with similar frames to the ones he wore in the past, only with much thinner lenses.

See Paterno talking about his vision:
Watch Video

Paterno discussed his vision at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility Thursday, where he and his wife Sue were recognized for their roles as honorary coaches for the Centre County Volunteers in Medicine 2010 Boston Marathon Challenge.

The Challenge raises money to help uninsured citizens of the county receive free medical and dental care. Local runners who participate in the Boston Marathon generate the funds by soliciting donations on behalf of their efforts in the race.

Paterno said it is “nice to be a part of,” then added: “Obviously I'd prefer to be running a little bit, but at my age, those days are gone.”

Even at his age, however, he does have plenty to look forward to. And if he chooses, he can do it without his glasses. As if to prove it, he took them off and provided a demonstration.

“I can do everything now,” he said, rolling up his sleeve and looking at his wrist. “I can see my watch. I can tell you what time it is.”



Related Stories
Paterno Talks Recruiting
 -by  Feb 11, 2010
Should They Stay or Should They Go?
 -by  Feb 11, 2010
FOS-TV: Paterno Pep Rally
 -by  Dec 30, 2009

Get the 2014 Recruiting Yearbook and a full year of Fight On State Magazine with an Annual Total Access Pass.
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
C Joe Paterno (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Brown > Alumni
Football > Penn State
[View My HotList]