STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WJZ) — Penn State students and alumni are in mourning. The winningest major college football coach of all time, Joe Paterno, passed away at the age of 85.
Fans left flowers, lit candles and said goodbye to the man known as “Joe Pa.” Joe Paterno died Sunday, 65 days after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
WJZ’s Bernadette Woods is a Penn State alum.
“The world lost a wonderful man today,” Woods said.
“People will remember what a great man he was and how much he did for this university—not just the football program but the entire university,” said Steve Lampert.
Paterno donated more than $4 million to Penn State during his record-breaking career.
“People ask me why I stayed here so long. Look around. I stayed here because I love you all,” Paterno said.
Then, in the middle of his 46th season, the Hall of Fame coach was accused of not doing enough after his former assistant coach was accused of molesting a young boy in a team bathroom. Despite the scandal, fans remained loyal.
“He was like a father figure. A role model,” said Malcolm Taylor.
Paterno is survived by his wife, Sue, five children and 17 grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements haven’t been announced yet.