Paterno inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

November 30, 2007

New York — Penn State's Joe Paterno was joined by 12 former standout players and another coach Dec. 4, as members of the National Football Foundation's College Hall of Fame Class of 2007.

Paterno and the others in the class were inducted during the Foundation's 50th Annual Awards Dinner. The sold out, black tie event was held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The class of 14 will be officially enshrined at the Hall in South Bend, Ind., during ceremonies next summer.

In his 42nd season as head coach of the Nittany Lions, Paterno was selected to join the Hall in 2006, but his induction was delayed for one year after the legendary coach was injured in a sideline collision during the Nov. 4, 2006, game at Wisconsin. He would have joined Florida State's Bobby Bowden and St. John's (Minn.) mentor John Gagliardi as the first active coaches to be inducted into the Hall.

Paterno received the Gold Medal, the Foundation's highest honor, along with Bowden, in a video presentation at the 2006 Hall of Fame Awards Dinner.

Former Central Michigan coach Herb Deromedi will join Paterno as the two coaches to gain induction this year. The 2007 Class was selected from a national ballot of 75 candidates and a pool of hundreds of eligible nominees.

A five-time National Coach of the Year honoree, Paterno has 371 career victories to rank second to Bowden (373) among major college coaches. Paterno's teams have recorded five undefeated seasons, 21 finishes in the AP Top 10 and two National Championships. With a record of 22-10-1, he is the all-time leader among coaches in bowl appearances and victories.

Paterno has coached 74 first ream All-Americans, 15 NFF National Scholar-Athletes, including Paul Posluszny in 2006, more than 300 future NFL players and seven members of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Paterno will become the 21st member of the Penn State Football family to gain induction into the Hall, joining four former coaches and 16 players, seven of whom he coached - John Cappelletti, Keith Dorney, Jack Ham, Ted Kwalick, Lydell Mitchell, Dennis Onkotz and Mike Reid. Former Nittany Lion coaches Dick Harlow (1915-17), Hugo Bezdek (1918-29), Bob Higgins (1930-48) and Rip Engle (1950-65) also are members of the Hall of Fame.

2007 College Football Hall of Fame - Bowl Subdivision Class
COACHES
Joe Paterno - Penn State, 1966-present (371-125-3)
HERB DEROMEDI - Central Michigan, 1978-93 (110-55-10)

PLAYERS
TOM BRAHANEY, C - Oklahoma, 1970-72
DAVE BROWN*, DB - Michigan, 1972-74
JEFF DAVIS, LB - Clemson, 1978-81
DOUG FLUTIE, QB - Boston College, 1981-84
JOHNNIE JOHNSON, DB - Texas, 1976-79
REX KERN, QB - Ohio State, 1968-70
AHMAD RASHAD, RB /WR - Oregon, 1969-71
ANTHONY THOMPSON, RB - Indiana, 1986-89
WILSON WHITLEY*, DT - Houston, 1973-76
REGGIE WILLIAMS, LB - Dartmouth, 1973-75
RICHARD WOOD, LB - Southern California, 1972-74
CHRIS ZORICH, DT - Notre Dame, 1988-90
*Deceased

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009