Today, Joe Paterno officially enters what a friend of mine would phrase as his "mid-to-late 70's" by turning 79. In a landslide, Joe Paterno has won his third AP Coach of the Year Honor. I consider this award to be (in order):
- (1) A reward for delivering a Big Ten title and an amazing turnaround season
- (2)A vindication that his coaching prowess has not left him
- (3) A defacto apology by the media for their irreverent and ignorant hounding of a great coach to retire in 2004.
In this article, the AP says that "Despite going 4-7 in 2004, Paterno was convinced that the Nittany Lions were on the verge of good things." Having watched every single game, and having written about just how close we were to winning, I can tell you he wasn't full of it. But nothing I could say then would have convinced anyone, so I put my faith in my coach and my team. I also made a preseason bet with a naysayer that Penn State would be in the BCS. He eagerly shook my hand on that one. Who could've predicted? I did. I'm proud of my coach for not listening to his critics, to doing things the way he wants, to being the greatest. Happy Birthday Joe, and many more.
Bonus: Joe was also selected Home Depot Coach of the Year.