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H.Res. 276 (107th): Praising Joseph Vincent Paterno for his steadfast commitment to academics, service, and citizenship, and congratulating Joseph Vincent Paterno for his many coaching accomplishments, including his 324th career coaching victory.

The text of the bill below is as of Nov 14, 2001 (Passed the House).


H. Res. 276

In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

November 14, 2001.

Whereas Joseph Vincent Paterno coached the Penn State Nittany Lions football team to a 29 to 27 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes on October 27, 2001, at Beaver Stadium in Happy Valley with 108,327 patrons in attendance;

Whereas that victory was Joe Paterno’s 324th career coaching victory, making him the winningest Division I-A football coach in NCAA history;

Whereas Joe Paterno launched what he termed ‘The Great Experiment’ on February 19, 1966, upon being named the head football coach at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State);

Whereas Joe Paterno defined ‘The Great Experiment’ as a demonstration that Division I student-athletes can achieve greatness on the field while excelling in the classroom, and can become valuable assets to the community in their postgraduate endeavors;

Whereas Joe Paterno has nurtured 21 first-team Academic All-Americans, 14 Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes, and 17 NCAA postgraduate scholarship winners;

Whereas from 1996 to 2000 Joe Paterno nurtured 69 Academic All-Big Ten football honorees, more than any other Big Ten Conference institution during that period;

Whereas according to the 2000 NCAA Graduation Rate Report, the 4-year graduation rate of Joe Paterno’s Penn State players was 76.5 percent, significantly above the 48 percent national average;

Whereas Joe Paterno and his wife Sue have continually demonstrated their loyalty and commitment to Penn State through volunteer efforts and contributions, including a $3,500,000 gift--the most generous gift ever given to a university by a coach and his family--for academic scholarships, faculty endowments, and campus construction projects;

Whereas immediately following his first national championship in January of 1983, Joe Paterno bypassed the customary acceptance speech and instead pressed the University’s Board of Trustees to make Penn State number one in academics as well as athletics and began advocating for the libraries of Penn State;

Whereas Joe and Sue Paterno subsequently served as Co-Chairs of the Campaign for the Library which raised $11,000,000 for an expansion effort that would double the size of the existing library at Penn State’s University Park campus;

Whereas the Paternos’ generosity and vision were recognized by the vote of Penn State’s Board of Trustees to name the new world-class library after the Paternos, and at the dedication of the Paterno Library at Penn State’s University Park campus that occurred on September 8, 2000;

Whereas Joe Paterno has received countless awards for being a role model and mentor for his players, a community leader, and a humanitarian and philanthropist who exhibits and promotes the time-honored values of selflessness, equality, dignity, educational achievement, and community service;

Whereas Joe Paterno has accumulated all 324 of his coaching wins at Penn State, where he is currently in his 52d season as an assistant or head coach;

Whereas Joe Paterno has been on the coaching staff during more than half of all the football games played at Penn State since the football program began in 1887;

Whereas Joe Paterno’s coaching career has spanned 11 United States Presidential administrations;

Whereas Joe Paterno led Penn State to 2 national championships, in 1982 and 1986;

Whereas Joe Paterno led Penn State to 5 perfect seasons, in 1968, 1969, 1973, 1986, and 1994;

Whereas Joe Paterno has won 20 bowl games at Penn State, an NCAA record;

Whereas Joe Paterno is the only coach to have won all 4 traditional New Year’s Day Bowl games--the Rose, Sugar, Cotton, and Orange Bowls--as well as the Fiesta Bowl;

Whereas the American Football Coaches Association has named Joe Paterno the Coach of the Year an unprecedented 4 times, in 1968, 1978, 1982, and 1986;

Whereas Joe Paterno has coached 55 first-team All-Americans;

Whereas Joe and Sue Paterno are blessed with 5 children and 9 grandchildren;

Whereas Joe Paterno’s traditional game-day attire of coat and tie, rolled pantleg cuffs, white socks, and black football shoes is recognized in sporting circles across the Nation;

Whereas Joe Paterno is affectionately known as ‘JoePa’ to his extended Penn State family and to the rest of the football world; and

Whereas Joe Paterno received a touching retrospective from his high school mentor at the Brooklyn Preparatory School, the late Father Thomas Bermingham, who said: ‘The Father gave me the sense that I was being handed a treasure. Joe is a treasure.’: Now, therefore, be it



    The House of Representatives--

      (1) praises Joseph Vincent Paterno for his steadfast commitment to academics, service, and citizenship;

      (2) congratulates Joseph Vincent Paterno for his many coaching accomplishments, including his 324th career coaching victory; and

      (3) thanks Joseph Vincent Paterno for his contributions to college football, to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and to the Nation.


    The Clerk of the House of Representatives shall transmit a copy of this resolution to Joseph Vincent Paterno and to the President of the Pennsylvania State University.