WORDS SEEM to pale in a moment such as this. The terms "icon'' and "legend'' have been often used to describe Joe Paterno. Certainly, he was both within the world of college athletics. But to those of us who played for him, to those of us who coached with him and to those of us who had the privilege to call him a friend, Joe Paterno was much more.
To me, he was my mentor for 37 years and the lessons that I learned from him as a player, coach and friend will live on with me forever. It was Coach Paterno who saw what I could be and helped me to realize that potential. He was a tremendous teacher not because he knew all of the answers but because he challenged us to find the answers for ourselves. He made us better men than we believed we could be - both on and off the field. And when we lost our way or became unsure of ourselves, it was Coach Paterno who was there to encourage us, guide us and remind us that we must always strive to succeed with honor.