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Joe Paterno Will Retire At End Of Season

Joe Paterno
Rob Carr, Getty Images

After forty-five years at the helm, Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2011 season. This decision comes just four days after former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts of child abuse.

Sources have told ESPN that Paterno still plans on coaching the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions for what will be his final home game this Saturday against #19 Nebraska. The man who is affectionately known as “Joe-Pa” has a Division 1 record 409 career victories, along with two National Championships.

Since Paterno was hired back in 1966 as head coach, there have been 889 head coaching changes among FBS schools. In a statement released this morning, Paterno stated the following:

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.

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