Penn State Football

Franklin discusses Joe Paterno’s legacy on eve of death anniversary

Five years to the day on Sunday, former Penn State coach Joe Paterno died of complications from lung cancer.

When asked about Paterno’s legacy on the eve of the five-year anniversary, Penn State coach James Franklin said it’s about what the two-time national champion accomplished off the field.

“It’s not about the wins and the losses,” Franklin said at Saturday’s end-of-season press conference. “It’s about how many people did you have a positive impact on, and all the players that came through here, he was able to have a positive impact on.”

Paterno is the winningest coach in FBS history with 409 victories. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame and a five-time AFCA Coach of the Year recipient, Paterno had an impressive resume.

But Franklin believes “there’s a greater purpose to this”, in regards to coaching.

“That’s where I hope 20 years from now that it’s not about the wins,” Franklin said. “I hope it’s about how many people have gone on and done wonderful things as fathers and husbands and as businessmen and feel that Penn State and our coaching staff and me had a positive impact on them. I think that’s really his legacy...That’s what I can speak on.”

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9