Posted by Tom Fornelli
Though Joe Paterno spent his entire coaching career at Penn State, his impact on the world of college football is one that has been felt all over the country. After all, Penn State didn't begin playing in the Big Ten until 1990.
That impact includes the Big 12 conference, where Paterno's presence was felt all over. Former Nebraska head coach and current athletic director Tom Osborne, who spent his coaching career at Nebraska as a member of the Big 8 and Big 12, released a statement about Paterno on Sunday.
"I am saddened to hear the news of Joe Paterno’s passing," said Osborne. "Joe was a genuinely good person. Whenever you recruited or played against Joe you knew how he operated and that he always stood for the right things. Of course, his longevity over time and his impact on college football is remarkable. Anybody who knew Joe feels badly about the circumstances. I suspect the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it. We offer our condolences to his family and wish them the very best."
Current Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville released a statement as well.
"When you think of college football and its tradition, you can't help but picture those dark glasses, black shoes and plain uniforms that were his style and mark on Penn State University," said Tuberville. "I have had the great fortune to coach against Coach Paterno four times during my career and each time I came away from those contests with a greater understanding of the game of football. A true highlight of my career, has been a 30-year relationship with Coach and his wife Sue.
"Like many coaches, I grew up watching and learning from one of the greatest tutors and mentors of the game. I am deeply saddened to learn of his passing and wish to extend my condolences to Sue and the rest of the Paterno family."
"I've known Coach Paterno since I started coaching," said Texas head coach Mack Brown in a statement. "Sally and I built a great relationship with him and Sue over the last 10 to 15 years, and we shared many great times. I know our lives are better because we had the opportunity to spend time with them. He was a gift to us, and when we heard the sad news today, we both openly wept, not only because college football lost a great man, but we lost a great friend. I appreciate all of the advice, the attention and the time he's given us over the years. We will miss him dearly and will always cherish the wonderful memories. College football will be left with a major void because he has done so much for our game and for Penn State. It's a very sad day, and with his passing, we have lost one of the greatest coaches our game, and all sports, will ever have. He leaves us with great stories, memories and records that may never be broken. There will never be another Joe Paterno. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sue and the family."
Even former President and Texas resident George H.W. Bush knew Paterno, as the Penn State coach was one of the men who seconded Bush's presidential nomination at the 1988 Republican National Convention.
"I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Paterno," the former president said in a statement released Sunday. "He was an outstanding American who was respected not only on the field of play but in life generally — and he was, without a doubt, a true icon in the world of sports. I was proud that he was a friend of mine. Barbara and I send our condolences to his devoted wife Suzanne and to his wonderful family."
During Paterno's long career as a head coach at Penn State, he faced teams currently in the Big 12 in nine different bowl games -- including four of his first five -- going 7-2. In his tenure as the head coach at Penn State, the ten schools currently in the Big 12 hired 88 new head coaches -- 86 coaches total as Bill Snyder was hired twice at Kansas State, and Don Fambrough was hired twice at Kansas --whether interim or permanent.
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