Student reflects on life and legacy of Joe Paterno

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Written by Josh Lutz
Senior Josh Lutz reflects on the life and passing of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno (photo from AP)
Not only a coach, but a mentor, a father and an encourager to the many he encountered over his 46 years as head coach at Penn State University. Joseph Vincent Paterno will forever be remembered as one of the figure heads of college football.
On Jan. 21, 2012, the Penn State community lost its long-time head coach Joe Paterno. Growing up as a young kid, and even now, Joe Paterno is the only coach I’ve ever known to lead the Nittany Lions onto the field each Saturday afternoon. Despite all of Paterno’s accolades, that is not what I will remember him for. Joe was a man of integrity, and it was more than just football to him. Many  criticize the plain uniforms Penn State players have worn since time began, but Joe Paterno's philosophy remained strong: "It’s the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one on the back." Paterno's mindset of unity and strong character has shaped the lives of many well-respected men, most of whom blossomed under his leadership. For as long as I live, Joe Paterno is and will always be Penn State University. Although the days ahead seem dark, as the cloud of the Jerry Sandusky scandal looms overhead, the best thing we can do for coach is "fight on Nittany Lions, fight on!"  
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