Penn State’s Joe Paterno made the Top 10 of ESPN’s 150 greatest coaches in college football history.
Was he ranked high enough?
The list was compiled by media members, administrators, former players and coaches to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the game.
Actually, three Penn State coaches made the rankings. Paterno comes in at No. 7 and is joined by Rip Engle (48) and Hugo Bezdek (120).
Alabama owns the top two spots with Bear Bryant followed by Nick Saban. Notre Dame’s Knute Rockne, Nebraska’s Tom Osborne, Grambling’s Eddie Robinson and Oklahoma’s Bud Wilkinson round out the top six.
Paterno’s 409 victories are the most by anyone in major college football history. Of course, his legacy is clouded by the Jerry Sandusky scandal, which led to his firing in 2011.
Here is the ESPN entry for his ranking:
“After 16 seasons as a Nittany Lions assistant, Paterno ascended to the head coaching job. Penn State soon ascended, too — to national prominence, to two national championships in the 1980s, and to the Big Ten, the first team to shift from independence to a conference in what would become the realignment era. Paterno called his plan the Grand Experiment, believing that Penn State could be a national power without sacrificing academics. He pulled it off, too, including five unbeaten seasons. Paterno was fired in November 2011 for his involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He died two months later.”
Engle is famous for consistent winning over 16 years and for tutoring Paterno. Interestingly enough, Engle is ranked two spots behind Urban Meyer and one spot ahead of Jimmy Johnson.
Bezdek coached at Oregon and Arkansas before arriving at Penn State. He led the Nittany Lions to their first bowl game, the Rose, in 1923.