'Captains Letters to Joe' book now available to public

August 26, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- At the 2010 State College Quarterback Club banquet, which traditionally honors the seniors from the football team, a special gift was given to Coach Joe Paterno, in honor of a career with more than 400 wins.

Knowing that Paterno already had an adequate collection of plaques and trophies, the Penn State Football Letterman's Club and the Quarterback Club created a unique gift. Their intention was to capture the impact Coach Paterno has on players' lives, long after they have passed through the Beaver Stadium tunnel for the final time.

The Letterman's Club placed a call to the former captains of Coach Paterno back to his first team in1966. The captains were asked to write a Letter To Joe, about the impact he and Penn State made on their lives. Some told stories, others revealed feelings long kept inside. Nearly all recounted the same, consistent lessons taught through the years. The letters were put into a single book and presented at the 2010 Senior Banquet. It was called, "Captains' Letters To Joe."

That gift to Coach Paterno is now being made available to the public, in an effort to raise funds for the Penn State Football Letterman's Club Scholarships, including one in the name of Joe and Sue Paterno. "Captains' Letters To Joe" includes 119 personalized letters to Joe Paterno from the leaders of each team he has coached.

The names of the players who wrote a letter for "Captains' Letters To Joe" is a litany of Penn State football legends, pro and college Hall of Famers, All-Americans, All-Big Ten performers and Academic All-Americans. The list begins with Mike Irwin and John Runnells in 1966 and goes to Brett Brackett and Ollie Ogbu from the 2010 season. The complete list can be found at: LettersToJoe.org.

"Captains' Letters To Joe" can be purchased at Penn State and State College area retailers or at LettersToJoe.org for $39.95 plus shipping and handling.

Penn State fans can find out more about the "Captains' Letters To Joe" at LettersToJoe.org. The website includes a listing of the State College area retail locations where the book is being sold. A schedule of autograph signings with former captains who authored letters will be added to the website during the season.

In his 46th season as head coach, Paterno's Nittany Lions return 43 letterwinners and 15 starters, as well as 16 players that have starting experience. No. 25 Penn State opens its 125th season Sept. 3 vs. Indiana State at 12:00 p.m. on the Big Ten Network, Penn State Sports Network and GoPSUsports.com. No. 2 Alabama visits Beaver Stadium on Sept. 10 for a 3:30 p.m. kick and all Penn State fans are encouraged to wear white.

Penn State Football Eve launches the season on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Beaver Stadium. The event and parking are free.

  • Sales of 'Captains' Letters to Joe' support Football Letterman's Club scholarships

    IMAGE: GoPSUsports.com

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Last Updated August 26, 2011