(STATE COLLEGE, Pa.) — The college football world is mourning the death of former longtime Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno. The 85-year-old Paterno passed away Sunday in State College after battling lung cancer.
“I really think that Joe Paterno probably gave his life to college football,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Gave his life to his players in college football.”
Paterno coached the Nittany Lions for 46 seasons, winning a record 409 games and two national championships.
“Testimony to his loyalty,” Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said of Paterno’s legacy. “Obviously his loyalty to his family is well documented and the school is well documented. In my opinion, it will never happen again.”
Despite his success on the field, Paterno was fired last November amid the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse scandal.
“All this things that have gone on in the last couple of months, I just can’t help but think that he died of a broken heart and that just bothers me,” Former Penn State linebacker Matt Millen said.
Paterno’s family released a statement saying, “He leaves us with a peaceful mind, comforted by his “living legacy” of five kids, 17 grandchildren, and hundreds of young men whose lives he changed in more ways than can begin to be counted.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire