Penn State head coach Joe Paterno addresses the media after the game against the Indiana State Sycamores on September 3, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)more pics » Joe Paterno (Getty Images) Joe Paterno
, the legendary Penn State football coach, passed away this morning at the age of 85 after a short battle with lung cancer. The coach's family issued a statement about his passing immediately following the news.
"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been," reads his family's statement (via TMZ
). "His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."
The Penn State Board of Trustees and University President Rodney Erickson released a statement as well. It reads, "We grieve for the loss of Joe Paterno, a great man who made us a greater university. His dedication to ensuring his players were successful both on the field and in life is legendary and his commitment to education is unmatched in college football. His life, work and generosity will be remembered always."
Paterno was diagnosed with cancer just days after being ousted from his position in November, amidst the Jerry Sandusky
child sex scandal. He was at the helm of the school's football program for an impressive 46 years.
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