Posts Tagged ‘College Football Hall of Fame’

Joe Paterno – The Final Football Chapter

In Joe Paterno on January 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm

There have been so many great things written about Joe Paterno this week following his passing and very few of them talked about the football coach. That in itself is truly amazing when you’re talking about the winningest coach in FBS history. This is a lengthy list but one I think that’s worth reading. His accomplishments over 61 years in Happy Valley will never be surpassed.

  • Donated more than $4 million to Penn State, and funded the school’s library.
  • College Football Hall of Fame – 2007
  • Most Wins – 409
  • Most Bowl Wins – 24
  • National Championships – 2, 1982, 1986
  • Undefeated Season – 5, 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, 1994
  • Big 10 Championships – 3, 1994, 2005, 2008
  • Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year – 1986
  • AFCA Coach of the Year – 5, 1968, 1978, 1982, 1986, 2005
  • Walter Camp Coach of the Year – 3, 1972, 1994, 2005
  • Big 10 Coach of the Year – 3, 1994, 2005, 2008
  • George Munger Award – – 3, 1990, 1994, 2005
  • Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year – 3, 1978, 1982, 1986
  • Paul “Bear” Bryant Award – 1, 1986
  • Amos Alonzo Stagg Award – 1, 2002
  • The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award – 1, 2005
  • Sporting News Coach of the Year Award – 1, 2005
  • Most seasons as Head Coach at one university – 44
  • Years on the Penn State staff – 62
  • Beaver Stadium capacity in 1966 – 46,284
  • Beaver Stadium capacity in 2012 – 106,572
  • Winning Seasons – 38, one more than Bear Bryant.
  • 1st Team All Americans – 79.
  • National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes – 16
  • First-team Capital One/CoSIDA All-Americans – 37
  • NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners – 18
  • 1st Team Academic All-American – 13 since 2006.
  • NFL Players – 350+
  • NFL 1st Round Draft Choices – 32
  • U.S, Presidents during his PSU career – 13 starting with Harry Truman
  • Since he became head coach in 1966, there have been 886 coaching changes at FBS schools.
  • Head Coaching Record – 409-136-3
  • Bowl Record – 24-12-1
  • The only coach to win each of the four major bowls—Rose, Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar—as well as the Cotton Bowl Classic, at least once.
  • Penn State won at least three bowl games each decade since 1970.
  • Fiesta Bowl Wins – 6, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996
  • Orange Bowl Wins –  4, 1968, 1969, 1973, and 2005
  • Outback Bowl Wins – 3, 1995, 1998, 2006
  • Cotton Bowl Wins – 2, 1972 and 1974
  • Citrus Bowl Wins – 2, 1993 and 2010
  • Alamo Bowl Wins – 2, 1999 and 2007
  • Rose Bowl Wins – 1, 1994
  • Sugar Bowl Wins – 1, 1982
  • Liberty Bowl Wins – 1, 1979
  • Aloha Bowl Wins – 1, 1983
  • Holiday bowl Wins – 1, 1989



  • May 27, 1950 – Hired by Rip Engle to coach the quarterbacks.
  • September 30, 1950 – 1st game – Penn State defeated Georgetown, 34-14, before a crowd of 16,617 at New Beaver Field.
  • October 29, 1960 – Game #100 Penn State 34 West Virginia 13.


  • September 17, 1966 – Win #1. In front of a crowd of 40,911 inside Beaver Stadium a 15-7 win over Maryland. 
  • January 1, 1969: Penn State 15, Kansas 14; first perfect season, 11-0
  • September 26, 1970 – Game #200 Penn State lost to Colorado 41-23, snapping the Nittany Lions’ 31-game unbeaten streak.
  • January 1, 1970: Penn State 10, Missouri 3; second perfect season, 11-0
  • January 1, 1974: Penn State 16, LSU 9; third perfect season, 12-0
  • November. 6, 1976: WIN #100, Penn State 41, N.C. State 20
  • October 21, 1978 – Game #300. Penn State 45-15 Syracuse 15.
  • January 1, 1983 – Penn State won its first National Championship defeating No. 1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. 
  • November 22, 1986 – Game #400 Penn State 34 Pittsburgh 14.
  • January 2, 1987 – The Nittany Lions claimed their second National Championship with a 14-10 upset of then No. 1 Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.
  • September. 5, 1987: WIN #200 – Penn State 45, Bowling Green 19
  • January. 2, 1995: Penn State 38, Oregon 20; fifth perfect season, 12-0
  • September 23, 1995 – Game #500 Penn State defeated Rutgers in Giants Stadium, 59-34.
  • September. 12, 1998: WIN #300 – Penn State 48, Bowling Green 3
  • October 27, 2001 – WIN #324. In one of the greatest Penn State comebacks in Beaver Stadium history, the Nittany Lions rallied from a 27-9 deficit to defeat rival Ohio State  The win moved Coach Paterno past Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant into the all-time victories lead in Division I college football history.
  • September 27, 2003 – Game #600 Penn State was upset 20-14 by Minnesota.
  • November 6, 2010 – WIN #400 at Beaver Stadium. Wins 100, 200, 300, 324 and 400 and 409 were all played at Beaver Stadium.  The game was the biggest comeback in Beaver Stadium history under Joe.  Penn State scored 35 unanswered points to overcome a 21-0 deficit to beat Northwestern 35-21. 
  • October 1, 2011 – Game #700 Penn State beat Indiana 16-10 in Bloomington.
  • October 29, 2011 – Win #409 Penn State beat Illinois 10-7 at Beaver Stadium. This would be the final game and final win for Coach Paterno. This was also Game #704.

Penn State Football All Time Team – Part 5

In Penn State All Time Team, Penn State Football on January 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

PART 5– Now that the Joe Paterno era of Penn State football has officially ended I wanted to have some fun and come up with my All Time Joe Paterno Penn State football team. There was actually a lot of thought that went in to this. I did a good bit of statistical research, used my long memory of Penn State football games and seasons gone bye and of course a lot of my opinion. I also tried to base my picks on their Penn State career and not their NFL career which leaves a few NFL Hall of Famers off the 1st Team. Please feel free to leave your comments. All positions can easily be disputed since there have been many great players to come through Happy Valley. I’ve even taken the liberty to add a few extra players because I couldn’t split the hair on who to pick. It was tough enough as it was. Part 1, I will pick the Offensive Line (5) and TE (1). Part 2, I will pick the WR (3) and QB (1). Part 3 I will pick the RB (3) and it was tough. Part 4 the DL (4), and DB’s (4) and Part 5 I will pick the LB’s (4), it was impossible and I may still change my mind at the last second, the kicker (1) and punter (1).  I’ve added a 2nd Team and an Honorable Mention list.

Although selecting the Running Backs was very difficult selecting the Linebackers was nearly impossible. I’m sure you will have comments and your own opinions. I’d take the 2nd Team and put it against the 1st Team and still have a great group.

Also, I have decided to have an additional article to cover the Kickers and Punters. That wasn’t as easy as I thought so I’m doing to separately. It also won’t take away from this list of Linebackers.


I have selected 4 LINEBACKERS on my 1st Team.

Dennis Onkotz: 2 Time 1st Team All American (’68 & ‘69), both teams were undefeated.  2nd Team All America (’67). Dennis was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Onkotz was the original All American of what would become ”Linebacker U” under Joe Paterno.  Dennis ranks #6 on the All Time Career Tackles list with 287. This was accomplished in 3 seasons since freshman were not eligible at that time. An outstanding athlete Dennis was also the teams punt returner, returning 47 punts for an average return of 13.2 yards and 2 TD’s. He had one return for 71 yards that was not a TD. Dennis was a 3rd round draft pick of the New York Jets but his career was cut short by an injury.

Greg Buttle – 1st Team All American (’75). Arguably the best LB in PSU history. Buttle was a tackling machine. He was the all time tackles leader for over 30 years before he was passed by Paul Posluszny in 2006. He only played 3 seasons due to freshman being ineligible at the time. He holds the PSU records for tackles in a season with 165 and solo tackles in a season with 86. Buttle had individual games throughout his career with 24, 23 and 19 tackles. In 2001 he was awarded the Silver Anniversary Butkus Award for the 1975 season. Greg was a 3rd round draft pick of the New York Jets. He played in the NFL from 1976-1984.

Shane Conlan – 2 Time 1st Team All American (’85 & ’86). The leader of the 1986 defense considered one of the greatest of all time not allowing any opponents to score more than 19 points. Shane was the MVP of the 1987 National Championship Fiesta Bowl win over Miami. Conlan ranks #8th on the All Time tackles list with 274. He also ranks #7 in career tackles for loss. Conlan was selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was selected NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He played in 3 Pro Bowls. He played in the NFL from 1897-1995. 

LaVar Arrington – 2 Time 1st Team All American (’98 & ’99). In his junior season, his last season, he won the Bednarik, Butkus and Lambert Awards. Possibly the finest athlete to ever play on the defensive side of the ball at PSU. LaVar is not in the Top 10 in all time tackles in a career or in a season. He does rank #8 in career QB sacks and #8 in career tackles for loss. LaVar was the 2nd pick in the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins. He and Courtney Brown are the only teammates ever selected as the top 2 picks in the same draft. He played in 3 Pro Bowls. LaVar played in the NFL from 2000-2006.


Dan Connor – 2 Time All American (’06 & ’07). The All time Career Leader in tackles with 419 passing his teammate Paul Posluszney. He ranks 2nd in tackles in a season to Buttle with 145. His 4 year tackles totals were 85, 76, 113 & 145. Connor won the 2007 Bednarik Award. He had 18 tackles in one game against Ohio State in 2007. Dan was a 3rd round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2008. He is still playing in the NFL.

Paul Posluszny – 2 Time All American (’05 & ’06).  He was only the 2nd 2 time winner of the Bednarik Award. He won the Butkus Award as well in 2005. Poz broke Greg Buttles 30 year record to become the all time career tackles leader in 2006 which was broken by teammate Dan Connor the next season. He’s the only Penn State linebacker to ever record 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons (2004-2006). His career consistency as a linebacker is second to none. His yearly tackles were 36, 104, 136 and 136. He recorded 22 tackles against Northwestern in 2005. Poz was a 2nd round draft pick of the Buffalo Bills. He is still playing in the NFL.

Jack Ham – 1st Team All American (’70). Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. He teamed with Dennis Onkotz to lay the foundation for the legacy that would go on to become “ Linebacker U”. Ham was a three year starter who ranks #14 on the all time career tackles list. He only played 3 years since freshman were not eligible at that time. He is tied with Andre Collins for both Blocked Punts in a season with 3 and Most Blocked Punts in a career with 4. Jack was selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played in 8 Pro Bowls and won 4 Super Bowls. He was selected to the NFL 75th Anniversary Team the 1990 All Decade Team and the Steelers All Time Team. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Andre Collins – 1st team All American (’89). Andre ranks #10 on the All Time Career Tackles List with 257. He is tied with Jack Ham for both Blocked Punts in a season with 3 and Most Blocked Punts in a career with 4. Collins career consisted of 2 seasons in which he played very little and 2 seasons that he was spectacular. He had 110 tackles as a junior and 130 tackles as a senior. He was a 2nd round draft pick of the Washington Redskins. He played in the NFL from 1990-1999.

 Honorable Mention:

Sean Lee, John Skorupan, Brandon Short, Jim Kates, Pete Giftopoulos, Brian Gelzheiser, Trey Bauer, Jim Nelson, Mark D‘Onofrio, Gary Gray, Ed O’Neil, Kurt Allerman, Lance Mehl, Chet Parlavecchio, Scott Radecic, Gerald Filardi, Navarro Bowman, Josh Hull, Charlie Zapiac, Don Graham, Mac Morrison, Jim Rosecrans, Trey Bauer, Brian Chizmar, John Ebersole, Phil Yaboah-Kodie, Jim Laslavic, Doug Allen, Ron Crosby, Rich Milot, Keith Goganious, Rich McKenzie, Reggie Givins, Josh Hull, Tim Shaw

There it is!!! How do you have a 1st Team that doesn’t include the top 2 tacklers of all time and an NFL Hall of Famer? I’m not sure either but that’s the way it worked out. The first two teams consist of 13 seasons of 1st Team All Americans and another 5 seasons on the Honorable Mention list. The Honorable Mention list is long due to so many great players that have been part of the “Linebacker U” legacy. What a tremendous group of players!!!

%d bloggers like this: