- Associated Press - Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reactions to the death of longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno:

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“He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far-reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.” _ Paterno family.

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“History will say that he’s one of the greatest. Who’s coached longer, who’s coached better, who’s won more games, who’s been more successful than Joe? Who’s done more for his university than Joe? You’ve lost one of the greatest. He probably means the same thing up there that Bear Bryant meant down here. He’s an icon.” _ retired Florida State coach Bobby Bowden.

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“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. … To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor.” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien.

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“You could have become a good football player at many places but you wouldn’t have become the man you are if you didn’t go to Penn State.” _ former Penn State running back Mike Guman.

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“My first thoughts about Joe are not as a coach because he was well beyond that. He was an educator and a teacher. He taught lessons, some about football, mostly about life. He taught us how to treat others and how to conduct life. He did it with his life.” _ former Penn State linebacker Matt Millen.

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“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.” _ Nebraska athletic director and former coach Tom Osborne.

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“We came to Penn State as young kids and when we left there we were men and the reason for that was Joe Paterno.” _ Lydell Mitchell, a star running back at Penn State from 1968 to 1972.

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