UGA football coaches remember Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno is carried off the field on the shoulders of his players after his 1983 Penn State team defted No. 1 Georgia 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1983. (AP photo)

Joe Paterno is carried off the field on the shoulders of his players after his 1983 Penn State team defted No. 1 Georgia 27-23 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1983. (AP photo)

ATHENS – The University of Georgia has a connection to Joe Paterno and Penn State. Vince Dooley’s undefeated 1982 SEC championship team played Paterno’s Nittany Lions in the the 1983 Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

As any Dogs’ fan from those days can tell you, the Bulldogs lost 27-23. It was a great game in which the Todd Blackledge-led Nittany Lions came in as the consensus No. 2 team and Georgia No. 1. The Bulldogs were led, of course, by Heisman Trophy recipient Herschel Walker, who finished with 103 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. However, he was out-shined that day by another pretty good running back. Curt Warner had 177 yards and two TDs on 18 carries.

Penn State led throughout the first half, but the Bulldogs came roaring back in the second and closed it to 20-17 in third quarter. But Blackledge hit Greg Garrity with 47-yard TD pass early in the fourth quarter and that proved to be the difference in the game.

It remains the only time Penn State and Georgia have played in football.

Dooley issued a statement about Paterno upon learning of his death late Sunday night.

“Barbara and I are saddened by the sudden and untimely loss of our long time dear friend Joe Paterno,” Dooley said. “His wife Sue was a special friend and our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family. Joe was a great role model and represented all that was good about college football. It was tragic that such a person had to endure the heartbreaks of his last months on Earth. God Bless Joe and Sue.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt also got to know the Paternos as a member of the Nike coaches’ fraternity.

“Katharyn and I got to know Coach Paterno and Sue at a Nike coaches retreat,” Richt said in a statement. “We were the new kids on the block at that time, but the Paternos were very gracious in welcoming us into the head coaching fraternity. His record stands alone and his immense contributions to Penn State and the game of college football make him one of the greatest coaches of all time.”

84 comments Add your comment


January 23rd, 2012
9:04 am


January 23rd, 2012
9:08 am

All the good the man did was tainted by his inaction in 2002-2011. I bet if it had been one of his grandchildren in the shower he would’ve acted differently….

Double g

January 23rd, 2012
9:12 am

Give his legacy a few years to simmer. I believe history will be kinder to Paterno once the emotions of the recent occurances have been settled. Paterno didn’t go far enough in keeping Sandusky away from children (he’s been accused), and that’s true. But Joe Pa’s years of good will eventually shine through.

n ga dawg

January 23rd, 2012
9:13 am

Well said. Completely true.


January 23rd, 2012
9:13 am

I wonder how many kids he could’ve saved if he’d have followed up on what he knew?


January 23rd, 2012
9:21 am

Wow. I didn’t expect this. Well said everyone. I’m sure this blog will turn ugly soon but I have some hope in humanity with these first few comments.

THE Dixie Redcoat Band

January 23rd, 2012
9:30 am

Never cared for his post game interviews…just seemed not friendly to the reporters..always had that unhappy frown. He should have done a follow up years ago…but he ran PSU and didn’t have to.


January 23rd, 2012
9:39 am

It’s about time for the regular rug rat minded venters to finish their pablum and join in the blog. They will get their jollies by bashing this man who they know nothing about. They are sad and ignorant ranters.


January 23rd, 2012
9:40 am

God knows the truth.

ole dawg

January 23rd, 2012
9:47 am

Come on people… let the man have a funeral before you start bashing him and trying to have your 10 seconds of fame on a blog. He reported a second hand incident to his AD and the PSU President. Campus Police (the only policy in Happy Valley) were notified. Hindsight is always 20/20. Nobody is happy about Sandusky’s alleged actions. Spend a little time bashing his superiors until his family has his funeral. Have a little class..


January 23rd, 2012
9:51 am

He without sin, cast the first stone!


January 23rd, 2012
9:53 am

I don’t agree with the way Joe Pa reacted to what was going on, but that is now between himself and God. Who are we to judge! I guess, for some, it’s easy when your veiwing it from the cheap seats.


January 23rd, 2012
9:55 am

No doubts about his skills as a football coach. The doubt come in regarding his inaction where it really counted.

The CMR backers would say we’ll take a good man over a great coach. I think in regards to jopa, that would really have held true.

Judge Judy

January 23rd, 2012
10:13 am

If we are going to blame Joe for what Sandusky did, shouldn’t we blame Al Gore for Bill Clinton?

Top Row Dog

January 23rd, 2012
10:14 am

The only man to win all 5 of the major bowls

4 Orange Bowls
6 Fiesta Bowls
2 Cotton Bowls
1 Rose Bowl
1 very painful Sugar Bowl

24 Bowl wins more than Georgia Tech as a school.
More than all the NCAA schools except seven.


January 23rd, 2012
10:17 am

Sorry, but you can NEVER defend your actions when any defenseless child is being harmed and you didn’t do EVERYTHING possible in your powers to stop it. A great coach, but I will never be able to overlook this incident.


January 23rd, 2012
10:26 am

“If we are going to blame Joe for what Sandusky did, shouldn’t we blame Al Gore for Bill Clinton?”

We are not blaming Joe Paterno for what Sandusky did, we are blaming Joe Paterno for what he DIDN’T do by calling the police and following up on the rape of defenseless boys. As mentioned earlier, i bet Joe would have done more if it was one of his grandchildren.


January 23rd, 2012
10:33 am

I hated Penn State and Joe Paterno after the Sugar Bowl loss. Devastating loss. But at least I could (love to) hate a great coach and great program. The recent developments took away much of the respect I had for Mr. Paterno.

Frank Lane

January 23rd, 2012
10:39 am

I think that the grandkid post is right on. When faced with a decision over what is right or wrong, seeing in the light of one’s own is a good discipline. E>G>, I have to fire someone today. How would I handle if it were my grandson?

I suspect strongly that he would have reacted differently had it been his grandchild.


January 23rd, 2012
10:44 am

Great coach? Yes. He was selfish for sticking around as long as he did. Great man? I would have said yes until all this blew up. Who are we to judge? Well, the prisons are full of people because we pay people, and elected people to,arrest and sentence for us. Am I a hypocrite and a sinner? Absolutely and thankfully I believe in God’s mercy and for the price his Son paid for my sins. The point is this, and you guys can belittle all you want to, but if Joe Paterno knew his friend was killing children, or punching childen in the face, you too would be appalled. Somehow this systematic molestation is minimized. That said, the same God who judged David (the adulterer), Moses (the murderer), Noah (the drunk) will judge Paterno and myself. I’m saying he made a terrible decision, took the easy way out, and more kids suffered. Unfortunately, for those who love him, this will be a part of his legacy. If you want to feel sorry for someone feel sorry for Kelvin Williams or Billy Cundiff today. Those guys did their best and are getting killed today.

For the record, I don’t believe that anyone in the Paterno family will be reading my comments today so I don’t believe “the let the man get buried” argument holds water. I do think that the odds are much greater that someone who has been affected by sexual abuse might read the insensitive remarks written on here and will be mortified. I mentor kids who have fell victim to these monstrous acts so I have a little idea of damage left behind.


January 23rd, 2012
10:53 am

It has been said before, the man died of a broken heart! Even though Paterno was fired, he would have retired at the end of this season. If you will remember, Bear Bryant died soon after his retirement from FB as well.


January 23rd, 2012
10:55 am

Wow, Dawglasville….

I can’t imagine it being said any better. 100% correct on all points.


January 23rd, 2012
11:06 am

The question asked was how are we going to remember Joe Paterno? The answer, since I was asked, is I’ll remember him as a good guy and coach who loved his University and players dearly. He was a man who chose to ignore (whether it was loyalty to his friend or fear of a tarnished image)claims of a heinous act that impacted lives forever. That is how I will remember him. You guys can remember him however you want to.


January 23rd, 2012
11:09 am

Shows you the power and loyalty of the coaching profession. It’s really why Bobo is still the OC at UGA. Most head coach’s sacrifice OC’s and DC’s often when goals aren’t met. Paterno got rid of this guy….sort of…..He was allowed to hang around the program and run clinics…..With young boys. How would you feel about Joe if it was your son? Forgiveness comes from one place.


January 23rd, 2012
11:14 am

R.I.P JoePa. I wont judge you. What was said between you and the authorities above you will never be known….. I personally feel, you were scared into silence. God Speed.


January 23rd, 2012
11:20 am

@Dawglasville well said, it is so utter disturbing that a man so highly thought of for so many years and rightfully so , could allow so much damage to be done by simply not ensuring that the right thing was being done.


January 23rd, 2012
11:22 am

Joe relayed the 2nd hand info to his superior while he was buried in his day-to-day operation. I cannot blame him for his inaction at all.

Rest in peace, Joe.


January 23rd, 2012
11:25 am

Steven – Thanks. I’m kinda passionate about this. I’ve been inspired by a lot of blogs today including yours. I can’t imagine how deeply rooted and branched this tree of evil is that Sandusky planted. It has found it’s way into so many lives, the Paterno family included.


January 23rd, 2012
11:29 am


*1.CB 19 Sanders Commings | 6-2, 217, Sr., 3V – suspended for Mizzou & Buffalo at least
2.DE 93 Abry Jones | 6-3, 309, Sr., 3V
3.NT 6 John Jenkins | 6-3, 351, Sr., 1V
4.LB 83 Cornelius Washington | 6-4, 269, Sr., 3V
5.LB 35 Mike Gilliard | 6-2, 220, Sr., 3V
6.CB 1 Branden Smith | 5-11, 176, Sr., 3V started 7 games 2011
7.S 36 Shawn Williams | 6-1, 220, Sr., 3V
8.S 18 Bacarri Rambo | 6-0, 218, Sr., 3V

9.LB 45 Christian Robinson | 6-2, 233, Sr., 3V started 4 games 2011

10.29 Jarvis Jones | 6-3, 241, Jr., 1V should have gone Pro already
11.9 Alec Ogletree | 6-3, 236, Jr., 2V has not played much at all

**DE 56 Garrison Smith | 6-3, 294, Jr., 2V started 2 games and could leave after 2012 as well. If Garrison Smith does not leave after 2012, then he will be the ONLY Defensive Starter who will return for 2013.**

We lose 11 senior starters after 2012 on Defense alone. This is most assuredly not a young team for The Georgia Bulldogs’ football team 2012. By direct contrast, YOUNG cannot be used in describing this situation – COMPLETE AND UTTER GUTTING OF THE DEFENSE AFTER 2012, and NO COMMITMENTS for the SECONDARY AT ALL WHATSOEVER OF ANYONE IN THE ENTIRE NATION. Amazing.

Jarvis Jones is the most celebrated linebacker, ever, in Georgia Bulldogs’ history, and has won the most Post-Season Awards All-Time for us at linebacker.

Alec Ogletree is clearly our best defender of the forward pass and Erk Russell would have had him playing Rover, not at our stacked linebacker position. 8 games last 2010 season and this 2011 season just ended, Alec Ogletree did not play in. The 1st five games last 2010 season, he was barely given any playing time. Alec Ogletree has 1 year, in my opinion, for us to watch him. With Jarvis Jones coming back 2012, when his sprain neck with still be a question after this up-coming season, Alec Ogletree with be recognized as the


O-J Defense of UGA. These are two (2) Consensus All-America players. Both also leave after this up-coming 2012 season. There is no way we keep either player after this season.

But, you heard it here first :

O-J DEFENSE Ogletree-Jones Defense for UGA 2012.

Sophomore Mike Thornton CANNOT be moved to Fullback, by this analysis.


There could be as many as 12 Drafted from our Defense after 2012. 11 for sure.

That is my analysis of it, 3 weeks into the Off-Season.


On Offense after 2012, we lose 5 seniors 2012 all of whom have started as well, including walk-on snapper Ty Frix – one of many walk-ons awarded with multiple season scholarships who none of them played offense or defense, yet. Basically, the whole cruddy special teams. JoePa got the shaft when he told Penn State about it and they did nothing. Yes, he should have, then.

joe t

January 23rd, 2012
11:37 am

Hey top row dog

you seem to be good with numbers, so how many children were abused at those bowl games?

Typical human behavior

January 23rd, 2012
11:58 am

Whenever this topic comes up you see the “High and Mighty” folks come out of the woodwork, proclaiming and judging others misdeeds. You’ve been painted a picture by the media and that’s a fact. Not one of you was present at the time of the incident. Most of you blame Joe more than Sandusky because of the notoriety of the name “Joe Paterno”. It’s easy for you. The guy was a class act and someone that 99% of you will never be – that’s why it’s so easy for you to cast your stones. You all are so morally competent and want everyone to know that you would NEVER make a mis-step such as the one Joe is being accused of. The lot of you are hypocrites and you aren’t even worthy of licking the dirt from the man’s shoes.


January 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

Penn State’s administration let Joe Paterno down when he reported the incident to them and they broke his heart with the way they treated him in the end. Our institutions are no longer led by men of courage. They are led by nancies who are looking to cover their rear ends in any given situation.


January 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

Never cared for the guy,

bitter dawgs fan

January 23rd, 2012
12:21 pm

@13-1——-you talk to much——like a women————-shut up and close your trailer door


January 23rd, 2012
12:41 pm

I LIKED BILL CLINTON!!! I have the dress to prove it.


January 23rd, 2012
12:45 pm

And Bill Clinton will tell you, ” I LOOK SO MUCH CUTER WITH SOMETHING IN MY MOUTH!!!”


January 23rd, 2012
12:47 pm

Dawglasville with the best post in a long time.

Ga.Tech #1

January 23rd, 2012
12:48 pm

Typical Human Behavior—I agree with you 100%; couldn’t have said it better. Folks that harden their opinions before all the facts are known are dangerous. Heck, we haven’t even had Sandusky’s trial yet.


January 23rd, 2012
12:51 pm

I despise it when the AJC blocks posts that deal with things they do not want posted. I just posted some information that people like “Typical Human Behavior” needs to know and they removed it. Where is the 1st Amendment on these posts?


January 23rd, 2012
12:55 pm

@Typical human behavior — Not saying that there isn’t at least a little bit of your post that I agree with, but really dude? Not worthy of licking the dirt off his shoes? Speak for yourself. I just found it ironic that a rant like that comes from someone who in the same rant used terms like “high and mighty” and “hypocrites” and “judging others deeds”.


January 23rd, 2012
12:59 pm

Hey I wonder how many lives Bill Clinton could have saved if he would have caught and hung Bin Laden when he had the chance? Joe was wrongly convicted of something someone else was doing….sad

A person SMART enough to know......

January 23rd, 2012
1:16 pm

Makes it easier to forget Comming Arrest I guess.


January 23rd, 2012
1:21 pm

A person SMART enough to know......

January 23rd, 2012
1:22 pm

I love the comments. I make a joke or 2 When Larry passed and I get chewed up and spit out. You people jump on Joe Pa and slap each other on the back for kicking a man upon his death. UGa fans if it ain’t a dwag is don’t matter.
I KNOW plenty of you have seen things done that were wrong and did nothing to stop it too.

UGA Golfer

January 23rd, 2012
1:29 pm

Unfortunately the worst game plan of Vince Dooley’s coaching career. He would not make adjustments to Sandusky’s defensive scheme to stop Walker that day. Walker catching passes out of the backfield just behind the linebackers would have produced several scores. Instead, he just kept pounding him off tackle. Georgia was by far the better team that day (Penn State lost 41-21 to Alabama earlier that year). Also at the top of the list of worst decisions was Dooley’s decision after the 1968 season to opt for the Sugar Bowl instead of the Orange Bowl and a matchup for the national championship.

Morgan Tucker

January 23rd, 2012
1:39 pm

My dad died way too early this week and there was still much left for him to enjoy in life, like grandkids and the convertible he was going to buy this past weekend…

A situation like this is not a time for people to post negative comments or be straight up nasty to the deceased. It’s about the family and what they’re going through, my thoughts and prayers are with the Paterno family with the passing of Joe Pa as they have lost a very big part of their lives. I can’t speak for what Joe Pa did or didn’t do, should or shouldn’t have done… but I understand what they’re going through. Anyone who has ever experienced this, knows what I am talking about.

Make every day, every situation, every second counts in life because you never know when it will be the last time… I didn’t. My last conversation with my dad was about this years Georgia recruiting class and my english bulldog (his granddog) Georgia… and that’s the way he would’ve wanted it.

Long story, short… Call those that mean the most to you today and make sure they know that you love them. I feel as though I’ve finished growing up now and my dad will be there with me for every success and failure I will endure from now until the time I see him again.

RIP: Tommy Tucker – Augusta, Ga (certified DGD)

11/03/1948 – 01/19/2012

RIP: Joe Pa


January 23rd, 2012
1:44 pm

As far as recent developments go… I refuse to believe it’s as black and white as some of you think. There is just no way Joe knew just how bad things were and still allowed Sandusky to hang around the program and it’s kids. I mean, think about if that got out about someone you work with. What do you think it’d be like passing that guy in the hall?


January 23rd, 2012
1:46 pm

Joe Paterno said this ” I wish I had done more.” In his heart he knew he should have put a stop to all of this. He was at the time arguably the second most powerful man in the entire state. By going public back in 1999 he could have blown the top off of this and Sandusky would be in prison and many boys would have been spared this horrible fate.


January 23rd, 2012
1:51 pm

I loved the fact that he always wore a tie on the sidelines. (he and Jim Tressel)

Hate the fact coaches don’t wear them today. Tuberville ruined it for Ole Miss. Thanks Tub

Prez Obozo

January 23rd, 2012
1:53 pm

A great role model???? I’ll bet the child victims are not feeling this way! Guess Dooly has to be politically correct.