Joe Paterno dies of lung cancer

Joe Paterno, one of the most decorated coaches in college football history after 46 years and 409 victories at Penn State, died of lung cancer Sunday morning in State College, Pa. He was 85 years old.\nPaterno won more games than any NCAA Division I FBS coach in history and coached the Nittany Lions to 24 bowl wins, five undefeated seasons and two national championships from 1966 to 2011.

Affectionately known as "JoePa," Paterno also contributed millions of dollars in philanthropic endeavors at Penn State and garnered an impeccable reputation for molding his players into more than X's and O's. Penn State boasts 49 all-time academic All-Americans - third-most among FBS schools - and Paterno's teams have produced hundreds of professional football players while also achieving excellent graduation rates.

Paterno was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2007, four years before a maelstrom of scandal and sickness engulfed the coach's life.

Three days after former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested Nov. 5, 2011 on sexual abuse charges occurring during Paterno's tenure, Paterno announced his retirement effective at season's end. The Penn State Board of Trustees, however, relieved Paterno of his coaching duties later that night via phone amid a grand jury investigation of the Sandusky scandal.\nProsecutors maintained that Paterno was not accused of any wrongdoing as he fulfilled his legal obligation to report the incident to his supervisors.

Paterno's defensive coordinator, Tom Bradley, assumed coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011-12 season. Penn State hired Bill O'Brien, the offensive coordinator for the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots, as the new football coach Jan. 7.

Paterno began treatment for lung cancer November of last year. He had been hospitalized since Jan. 13 for observation after suffering complications from the cancer treatment.

Paterno is survived by his wife, Sue, five children and 17 grandchildren.

-compiled by Matt Welsh

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