Joe Paterno was born on December 21, 1926 and has since become the "winningest" football coach in collegiate history. He graduated from Brown University in 1950 and immediately became an assistant coach at the Pennsylvania State University. He spent sixteen years as an assistant coach until he was awarded the head coaching job in 1966 when Rip Engle retired. He has since become a fixture at the university.
Paterno's system focuses on discipline and attention to fundamentals. Penn State is one of the few universities left in the country that does not place the names of its players on the backs of their jerseys. It seems to be working; he has nineteen bowl wins under his belt, a record in the NCAA.
"Joepa" is almost a religious icon in Pennsylvania. For example, one of my professors recounted a story of how he was arguing with his wife in a local grocery store. The argument escalated. The words got more heated. Then the man turned around and saw Joe Paterno sadly shaking his head in disappointment. The man apologized to his wife, returned to his car, and wept. I don't even think the pope could beat that.