- Mark Schlabach, ESPN Senior Writer
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Joe Paterno is no longer major college football's winningest coach.
As part of the punishment delivered to Penn State on Monday for its inaction in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, the NCAA ordered the Nittany Lions to vacate their victories from the 1998 to 2011 seasons.
Paterno, who died of lung cancer in January, had a career record of 409-136-3 in 46 seasons at Penn State when he was fired on Nov. 9. Under the NCAA's decision, the Nittany Lions will have to vacate 111 victories, leaving Paterno with a career record of 298-136-3.
Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who went toe-to-toe with Paterno for the NCAA coaching record at the end of their careers, becomes major college football's winningest coach with a career record of 377-129-4. Bowden was forced to vacate 12 victories from the 2006 and 2007 seasons, after the NCAA ruled the Seminoles used academically ineligible players during those seasons.
Former Grambling coach Eddie Robinson is NCAA Division I's all-time winningest coach with a 408-165-15 record in 55 seasons from 1941 to 1997. John Gagliardi, who is still coaching at Division III St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., has a 484-133-11 record after 63 seasons.
Bowden and Paterno were close friends until Paterno's death.
Bowden, who was forced to retire as FSU's coach after the 2009 season, was playing golf with a former assistant coach on Monday morning, when the NCAA ruled Penn State would have to vacate the victories.
"He's not happy about what happened to Penn State and he's not happy that Joe's wins are being taken away," Bowden's wife, Ann, said. "Joe was very sympathetic when the NCAA took away wins from Bobby."