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Sunday, January 22, 2012
Updated: January 23, 1:19 PM ET
Fans, athletes remember Joe Paterno


Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, college football's all-time leader in wins (409), died Sunday morning from complications from lung cancer, Paterno's family announced.

His son Scott Paterno responded to those remembering the longtime coach by tweeting (@ScottPaterno): "Finally, to Penn Staters, past and present, know that Dad loves you all and has always loved being part of your family."

Join other fans from SportsNation as we remember this coaching legend. Share your thoughts below the reaction of fans, athletes and friends.

Fan reaction

RedLegJim: Say the cancer killed him if you would like but there is more than just a coincidence here. This whole scandal is what killed the man. I don't care at all for what he did and how he handled it but I do respect what he did for the previous 60 years. RIP JoePa.

rhesse866: This "MAN" did more for his Football Players and Football then we could do in a entire life time. Beside the lung cancer, stress, and all the negative comments people had to say about him eventually he the loss the battle for his life. Regardless, what you believe he was a great man and he will be miss. RIP Mr. Paterno and safe journey to your next life and a peacful one at that. We will miss you and Thank you for all you have done!!!!!!!!!

dahosack: We'll never see another one like JoePa - 50+ years devoted to one university, one football team, one community - long live JoePa's legacy, one of living right and giving endlessly!

mattolli: We should all be sorry for how we treated this man in his final days. A claim was reported to him and he reported upwards for investigation. HE DID NOTHING WRONG AND HE DID EXACTLY WHAT HE SHOULD HAVE DONE. HINDSIGHT IS 20-20. We all love you Joe. RIP and hopefully people can open their eyes and hearts in this time of tragedy and remember you for the kind, giving, loving, and outstanding human that you were.

canuckschoke2011: what sandusky did was disguisting but i never lost repect for Joe , hes a legend R.I.P.

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Twitter reaction from athletes

Michael Robinson (@RealMikeRob) Beaver stadium=Joe Paterno Stadium from now on
A morning I will never 4get. Thoughts/Prayers go out to the Paterno family. Thank u Joe 4 helping me become a man. #Greatness #PSU

Derrick Williams (@DWheelz12) The lessons I have learned from you will be passed on...my thoughts and prayers are with the Paterno family. I love you Coach

David Ragan (@David_Ragan ) Sad to see Joe Pa pass away after the last few months of not coaching. He probably had no will to hang in there.

Chris Ogbonnaya (@ChrisOgbonnaya) Anyone that plays football, or is a fan of it, should recognize that we lost a patriarch of the game. Prayers to JoePa's family and PSU.

Jason Witten (@JasonWitten) So sad to hear the news of Joe Pa's passing! What an impact he made on college football! Many prayers for the family

Damien Woody (@damienwoody) It's crazy how ppl bringing up the scandal....respect that man 4 his accomplishments! #RIPJoePa

DANNY CLARK (@dannyclark55) RIP to Joe Paterno. My heart goes out to he entire Nittany Lion family. #bigten

Tom Bradley (@TomBradleyPSU) He made us better men than we believed we could be -- both on and off the field. And when we lost our way or became unsure of ourselves, it was Coach Paterno who was there to encourage us, guide us and remind us that we must always strive to succeed with honor. Full text

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Released in a statement

Jerry Sandusky (via his attorney Joe Amendola):

This is a sad day! Our family, Dottie and I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to Sue and her family. Nobody did more for the academic reputation of Penn State than Joe Paterno. He maintained a high standard in a very difficult profession. Joe preached toughness, hard work and clean competition. Most importantly, he had the courage to practice what he preached. Nobody will be able to take away the memories we all shared of a great man, his family, and all the wonderful people who were a part of his life.

Former PSU athletic director Tim Curley Words cannot express the sorrow my family and I feel. Joe has been an integral part of my life for more than 35 years. Joe coached me, mentored me, taught me what it meant to compete with integrity and honor, and above all demonstrated with each day that he lived, the power of humility. Our thoughts, prayers and sincere condolences go out to the Paterno family.

Former PSU vice president Gary Schultz: With profound sadness, my family and I want to express our heartfelt condolences for the Paterno family today. I had the sincere honor and distinct pleasure to work with Joe for many, many years at Penn State. No one loved Penn State more than Joe. We will all miss him.

Bill O'Brien, Penn State head football coach: "It is with great sadness that I am compelled to deliver this message of condolence and tribute to a great man, husband, father and someone who is more than just a coach, Joe Paterno. First, on behalf of Penn State Football, we offer our sincerest condolences to the Paterno family for their loss. We also offer our condolences to the Penn State community and, in particular, to those who wore the Penn State colors, our Nittany Lion football players and alumni. Today they lost a great man, coach, mentor and, in many cases, a father figure, and we extend our deepest sympathies. The Penn State Football program is one of college football's iconic programs because it was led by an icon in the coaching profession in Joe Paterno. There are no words to express my respect for him as a man and as a coach. To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor. Our families, our football program, our university and all of college football have suffered a great loss, and we will be eternally grateful for Coach Paterno's immeasurable contributions."

Former president George H.W. Bush: I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Paterno. He was an outstanding American who was respected not only on the field of play but in life generally -- and he was, without a doubt, a true icon in the world of sports. I was proud that he was a friend of mine. Barbara and I send our condolences to his devoted wife Suzanne and to his wonderful family.

Florida State coach Bobby Bowden: "I'm just going to remember the good things because he did so many good things at Penn State. ..."

"It's amazing. You can do so many good things in your life and then have one mistake. You can't ignore the great years he had at Penn State and the great things he did for Penn State. That university is known for Joe Paterno and [his wife] Sue. It's just a great tragedy."
-- As told to ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach)

Pittsburgh and Tennessee coach Johnny Majors: "Without question, it's on record that he's the greatest coach in the history of Division I football. I don't think that will ever be passed because very few people will be able to survive that long at one school and have the kind of power that Joe had. It won't happen. He'll have the legacy of being a sound, fundamental and excellent football coach. Penn State is one of the best jobs in the country, probably one of the best 10 jobs in the country. Joe knew what he had there and wasn't going to complicate it. He had talent and a pretty conservative game plan and always coached to his players' strengths.

"The tragic events at Penn State have just been traumatic to so many people, particularly the victims of the alleged crimes. His football legacy will be long lasting with many of the people who went to school there and revered and respected him. The tragedy is another area of great sadness. I have no idea how to predict how it will be remembered. We have a deep sadness for Joe and Sue because they've lost a loyal husband and father and a great family man."
-- As told to ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach)

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier: "I've coached around 300 college games and only once when I've met the other coach at midfield prior to the game have I asked a photographer to take a picture of me with the other coach. That happened in the Citrus Bowl after the '97 season when we were playing Penn State. I had one of our university photographers take the picture with me and Coach Paterno, and I still have that photo in the den at my house. That's the admiration I have for Joe Paterno. It was sad how it ended, but he was a great person and coach."

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer: "I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Coach Joe Paterno. He was a man who I have deep respect for as a human being, as a husband and father, as a leader and as a football coach. I was very fortunate to have been able to develop a personal relationship with him, especially over the course of the last several years, and it is something that I will always cherish.

"My prayers and thoughts go out to his wife, Sue, and to their family, and also to the family he had at Penn State University. We have lost a remarkable person and someone who affected the lives of so many people in so many positive ways. His presence will be dearly missed. His legacy as a coach, as a winner and as a champion will carry on forever."

Tom Osborne: "I am saddened to hear the news of Joe Paterno's passing. Joe was a genuinely good person. Whenever you recruited or played against Joe you knew how he operated and that he always stood for the right things. Of course, his longevity over time and his impact on college football is remarkable. Anybody who knew Joe feels badly about the circumstances. I suspect the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it. We offer our condolences to his family and wish them the very best."

PSU President emeritus Dr. Graham Spanier: It was my privilege and honor to work with Joe Paterno for more than 16 years. He was a distinguished American, a legendary coach, and Penn State's greatest ambassador. He provided unprecedented leadership for academic advancement, philanthropy, and athletic excellence and integrity for more than 60 years. I join Penn Staters and others in mourning his passing.

Editor's note: All grammar has been left as it was written by each person.