Timeline: PSU coach Joe Paterno

Updated: July 12, 2012, 4:32 PM ET
ESPN.com

A timeline of Joe Paterno's life, starting from Brooklyn to his career in State College, Pa.:

1926: Joseph Vincent Paterno was born on Dec. 21 in Brooklyn, N.Y. His parents were Florence and Angelo Paterno.

[+] EnlargeJoePa and Bear Bryant
AP PhotoJoe Paterno never beat Bear Bryant on the field, but passed him in the win column.

1945: Paterno graduated from Brooklyn Preparatory School, a now-defunct, all-boys, Catholic Jesuit school. Among Paterno's classmates was William Peter Blatty, author of "The Exorcist."

1950: Paterno graduated from Brown University in Providence, R.I., where he played quarterback and defensive back on the football team. Paterno still shares the school's career interceptions record with 14.

1950: Paterno had planned to attend Boston University's law school, but instead decided to join his college coach, Charles "Rip" Engle, as an assistant coach at Penn State University.

1962: Paterno married Suzanne Pohland, his college sweetheart, of Latrobe, Pa. All five of the Paterno's children would graduate from Penn State.

1966: After serving as Engle's assistant for 16 seasons, Paterno was named PSU's 14th coach on Feb. 19. Paterno won his first game as PSU's coach, 15-7 over Maryland, on Sept. 17. He was awarded the game ball by his team.

1968: Paterno produced his first unbeaten season, as the Nittany Lions finished 11-0. They were ranked No. 2 in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll after defeating Kansas 15-14 in the Orange Bowl.

1969: The Nittany Lions finished 11-0 for the second straight season and were again No. 2 in the final AP poll after beating Missouri 10-3 in the Orange Bowl. Paterno chastised U.S. President Richard Nixon for naming Texas the country's No. 1 team.

1973: Penn State posted its third unbeaten season under Paterno with a 12-0 record, and star player John Cappelletti won the Heisman Trophy.

1976: Paterno won his 100th game as coach, a 41-20 victory over North Carolina State on Nov. 6.

1977: Paterno missed the Nittany Lions' game against Syracuse on Oct. 15, a day after his son David was seriously injured in a trampoline accident.

1978: After finishing 11-0 in the regular season, Penn State lost to Alabama 14-7 in the Sugar Bowl, costing the Nittany Lions a national championship.

1982: Penn State finished 11-1 and defeated Georgia 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl to win its first national title under Paterno.

1986: The Nittany Lions upset heavily favored Miami 14-10 in the Fiesta Bowl to win Paterno's second national championship.

1987: Paterno won his 200th game as Penn State's coach, 45-19 over Bowling Green on Sept. 5.

1988: The Nittany Lions lost five of their last six games, including a 21-3 loss to Notre Dame in the finale, to finish 5-6, Paterno's first losing season as a coach.

1993: After joining the Big Ten Conference, Penn State opened the season with a 38-20 victory over Minnesota on Sept. 4.

1994: Penn State finished the season with a 12-0 record, but was ranked No. 2 behind Nebraska in the final polls.

1997: Penn State broke ground on the $34 million Paterno Library, after Paterno spearheaded fundraising and personally donated $225,000 to the project.

1998: Paterno and his family donated $3.5 million to Penn State for faculty positions, scholarships and two building projects.

1998: Paterno won his 300th game as Penn State's coach, 48-3 over Bowling Green on Sept. 12. The Nittany Lions finished 9-3 and Paterno won the inaugural Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.

2001: Paterno became the winningest coach in NCAA Division I-A history after a 29-27 victory over Ohio State on Oct. 7. Paterno passed legendary Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant with 324 career victories.

2002: Paterno received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award from the American Football Coaches Association, its highest honor for those "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football."

2003: Penn State limped through a 3-9 record, the worst finish in school history. PSU had losing seasons in four of five seasons from 2000 to 2004.

2004: Despite critics calling for Paterno to retire, the school approved a four-year contract extension in May.

2005: Penn State rebounded with an 11-1 record and won a share of the Big Ten title. The Nittany Lions made their first Bowl Championship Series appearance, defeating Florida State 26-23 in the Orange Bowl. Paterno was named national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association for an unprecedented fifth time.

2006: Paterno, 79, suffered a broken left leg and knee ligament damage when two players ran into him on the sideline during a 13-3 loss to Wisconsin on Nov. 4. He missed PSU's next game against Temple while recovering, only the third time he'd missed a game as coach.

2007: Paterno was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, along with longtime friend and Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. The Hall of Fame changed its rules which required a coach to be retired to be inducted.

2007: Penn State finished 9-4 and won Paterno's 500th game as its head coach, defeating Texas A&M 24-17 in the Alamo Bowl.

[+] EnlargeJoe Paterno
Charles LeClaire/US PressiwreJoe Paterno won his 400th career game by defeating Northwestern in 2010.

2008: With a 45-3 victory over Temple on Sept. 20, Paterno passed Bowden as major college football's winningest coach with 376 wins. Paterno had hip replacement surgery in the offseason and agreed to a contract extension through the 2011 season.

2009: Paterno and his wife announced a $1 million pledge to the Mount Nittany Medical Center.

2010: In March, the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia announced it was renaming its coach of the year award to the Joseph V. Paterno College Coach of the Year Award.

2010: Paterno won his 400th game as Penn State's coach, a 35-21 victory over Northwestern on Nov. 6.

2010: In December, the Big Ten announced the winner of its football championship game would receive the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy. The trophy honors Paterno and Amos Alonzo Stagg, who won 199 games as the University of Chicago's coach when the Maroons were Big Ten members.

2011: NCAA president Mark Emmert presented the Gerald R. Ford Award to Paterno at the NCAA Convention in January. The award honors an individual who has "provided significant leadership as an advocate for intercollegiate athletics on a continuous basis throughout his or her career."

2011: Paterno injured his right arm and hip after a player ran into him in a preseason practice on Aug. 8. He coached the Nittany Lions' first three games from the press box while recovering from his injuries, before returning to the sideline for a 34-6 victory over Eastern Michigan on Sept. 24.

2011: Paterno, 84, passed legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson as the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history with 409 career victories after a 10-7 win over Illinois on Oct. 29.

2011: Jerry Sandusky, who served as Paterno's assistant from 1969 to 1999, was charged with 40 counts of sex crimes against boys. It is alleged that Paterno became aware of a 2002 incident involving Sandusky and a 10-year-old boy in a Penn State locker room shower. Authorities said Paterno notified PSU athletic director Tim Curley of the allegation.

2011: Paterno announces that he will retire at season's end on Nov. 9. Later that evening, Paterno and school president Graham Spanier were fired by the university.

2011: Paterno's family announces he is suffering from lung cancer on Nov. 18.

2012: Paterno passes away on Jan. 22 at the age of 85.

2012: Paterno's role in the Sandusky scandal is detailed in the investigative report by Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, on July 12. Freeh's report concluded that Paterno and other officials "failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized."