Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno announced his retirement in a statement released Wednesday. The retirement marks the end of Paterno’s storied 61-year career at the university, which is now marred in the wake of a devastating child abuse sex scandal involving retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.
I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.
The coach’s retirement was first reported by the Associated Press and then confirmed by Paterno’s son, Scott. Paterno has reportedly planned a meeting with his players set for Wednesday morning. The legendary coach is expected to coach Saturday against Nebraska and may be allowed to finish out the season.
JoePa first spoke out about the Sandusky allegations in a statement released Sunday after the scandal reached the mainstream public.
Paterno has coached the Penn State Nittany Lions since 1966, winning two national titles and becoming college football’s all-time winningest coach. He is one of three active coaches to be named to the College Football Hall of Fame.