Culture

Joe Paterno’s Legacy Lives! The Black Men of Penn State

Sun., Jan. 22, 2012 3:25 PM EDT
by Renee Gardner

 

The legendary Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno,  left more than a legacy as he passed only a day ago.  At the age of 85, Paterno held more bowl victories than any coach in history and has infuenced the lives of many of our young black men that have picked up a football. He made a connection with his students that will last forever in the men that still live on.

The hospital says Paterno was surrounded by family members, who have requested privacy, but did release a statement early this morning to announce his death:

“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.”

Paterno has led Penn State to two national championships (1982 and 1986) and five undefeated, untied seasons (1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994)

Joe Paterno was not only a coach, but a leader and mentor to many black men that have paved the way for many of us today on and off the field.

Being Wallace (“Wally”) Triplett was a big thing. In 1945-1949, Wally Triplett was one of the first African-Americans to take the field in a varsity football game for Penn State and was the first to be drafted by and play for a National Football League team. While he was at Penn State, Triplett also co-founded the Gamma Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Upon his passing many people far and wide shared their memories and love for the legendary Joe Paterno.  Take a look at a few of the black men that Joe Paterno led to success.

 

 “We came to Penn State as young kids and when we left there we were men and the reason for that was Joe Paterno.”

-Lydell Mitchell-  1968 – 1972      

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