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JoePa still a ‘bargain basement’ HOF head coach

Joe Paterno

Compared to Joe Six-Pack, Joe Paterno is a very well-paid individual.

Compared to his contemporaries at the Div. 1-A level?  Yeah, not so much.  Still.

According to both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and thanks to Pennsylvania’s expanded Right-to-Know Law, the legendary Penn State coach’s total compensation for 2009 was $1,022,794.  That total is just over $87,000 less than what he had earned the previous year.

And it also places Coach Paterno very much in the middle of the pack when it comes to the other 119 Div. 1-A coaches.

USA Today’s coaches salaries database puts Paterno’s total compensation for 2010 — 2009 was the most recent tax information released by Penn State to the papers Friday — at $1,109,977.  By our count, there are 54 coaches who made more than Coach Paterno’s $1.1 million in 2010, and that doesn’t even include 10 mostly private schools — including USC (Lane Kiffin) and Notre Dame (Brian Kelly) — for which compensation information wasn’t available.

For in-state comparison sakes, first-year Pittsburgh head coach Todd Graham will reportedly average in the neighborhood of $2 million a year during his five-year deal with the Panthers.

So what does all of this mean?  I have no clue, other than Penn State better enjoy getting a helluva bargain because they likely won’t be able to do the same when it comes time to hire a replacement.  Based on the 84-year-old’s history, however, that could be five, 10 years down the road, so the university may have plenty of time to continue pinching and/or saving their pennies for a successor.

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21 Responses to “JoePa still a ‘bargain basement’ HOF head coach”
  1. bigd88 says: May 28, 2011 11:42 AM

    Is it really a bargain if he doesn’t do anything anymore besides hurt recruiting and refuse to upgrade an outdated S&C program that uses Smith machines and doesn’t include powercleans, deadlifts, and squats?
    Yes the man is a legend and one of, if not the greatest figure in College Football history, but at this point in time he is only holding the program back. The last thing Penn State fans want to remember about Joe Paterno is an old man hanging on way too long and refusing to accept that his time has come; sadly, it is getting to that point.

  2. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 28, 2011 12:02 PM

    $1,022,794 a season to spend half his time wandering aimlessly around the practice field and on the sidelines and the other half of his time napping is called highway robbery.

    JoePa is nothing more than a human mascot at this point and it’s becoming sad.

    It’s time for new blood at that school and it’s time for JoePa to go and give someone else a shot and let go, it looks like nothing more than greed at this point and The school is starting to look like elderly abusers

  3. gatorprof says: May 28, 2011 12:11 PM

    JoPa was a great coach, now he is average at best, so the salary is commensurate with the performance and expectation.

    That being said, PSU shouldn’t pull a Bowden on him as he is a total class act who made PSU football.

  4. 78lion says: May 28, 2011 1:05 PM

    bigD88, here’s a nickel. Go buy a clue.

  5. bigd88 says: May 28, 2011 1:13 PM

    78, enlighten me as to how involved Joe Paterno is in recruiting. Enlighten me on the strength and conditioning program. Enlighten me on the great qualifications of Jay Paterno as part of the staff. Then, tell me how many recruits Joe Paterno has visited in the past 5 years not names Terrelle Pryor.
    I’m a student at Penn State and can promise you bleed blue & white much deeper than you do. I’m so proud ofthe fact that I can tell my children that I was privileged enough to be a student and watch Paterno on the sidelines of Beaver Stadium and even privileged enough to meet him recently. That doesn’t mean I have to look through homer, rose-colored glasses, stick my head in the sand, and act like there is nothing wrong with JoePa still being head coach of the team, yet performing less than 10% of the duties of an actual head coach anymore.
    It will be a sad day the day Paterno is no longer on the sidelines for Penn State; however, he should no longer be there at this point. Unfortunately, his time has passed and the program needs to move forward in the best interest of both parties involved.

  6. chefklm says: May 28, 2011 1:42 PM

    Paterno made his “legendary” carrer on the Temples, Akrons, Kent States of college football. Against top ten or even top 25 his record is abysmal.

    Further proof? Since joining the Big Ten Paterno hasn’t exactly ruled the conference. Ohio State, Iowa, and until recently Michigan have all had Penn State’s number. Hardly the resume of a legendary coaching icon…

  7. gatorprof says: May 28, 2011 2:02 PM


    Bullsh!t on so many levels. Yes, the guy has some lean years about a decade ago, but they rebounded nicely. Yes, he is long in the tooth and average, but that does not obscure the entire body of work.

    To state that he has had anything but a legendary career is to violently display your ignorance of college football.

    Let’s start with him being the all time most winning coach: 401-134-3 for a .748 winning percentage.

    He has won 2 national titles and has 5 undefeated seasons. He is 24-12 in bowl games and is the only coach to ever win the 4 major bowls.

    In the last 5 years, he has 2 Big Ten titles. His winning percentage in the Big Ten is 90-54 .625.

    I also don’t ever recall that program being on probation since he became coach in 1966.

  8. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: May 28, 2011 3:45 PM

    Thank you gatorprof, could not have summed it up better.

    His teams may not be competing for national titles, but his teams are competing. Without those mysterious 2 seconds in the Michigan game a few years ago they would have finished unbeaten, so to say the game has passed him by or that he is not involved is rubbish.

    Having said that, I’m not sure the correct decisions are being made. Think Robert Bolden in the doghouse while McGloin lights up the int column.

    I was born a mile(or a tad more) from Beaver Stadium. I was at wins 300 and 400. I will let Joe walk when HE is ready.

    And JT – if you think his salary is modest, you should see his house. It is even more modest nestled in the back of a nice neighborhood.

  9. stairwayto7 says: May 28, 2011 4:46 PM

    Joe has beaten Tenn 3 times in bowls, UGA, USC,Miami numerous times, Bama so please get facts right about Kent State’s of the world!

  10. pjduffey says: May 28, 2011 6:51 PM


    Hell, he should have beaten Florida in the Outback bowl this year (though that wouldn’t have been all that impressive–we sucked).

  11. chefklm says: May 28, 2011 7:22 PM


    I don’t know the reason why you need to stalk me, I already punked you out about UF and their notoriously dirty program.

    But neither you or the Penn State homers have debunked my statements. Facts are facts, and I’m not even gonna mention the fact that if it weren’t for a bogus pass reception in ’81, Penn State would have never seen the ’82 championship.

    So either prove me wrong or continue to get embarrassed as a know nothing, mouth breathing fool.

  12. fatfreddystubbs says: May 28, 2011 7:32 PM


    If by “bogus pass reception in ’81” you’re talking about Mike McCloskey against Nebraska, that actually happened in ’82. How could a bad call in one season give a team a National Title the next year?

  13. fatfreddystubbs says: May 28, 2011 9:32 PM

    just to give a little perspective on where Joe is right now (and i say this as a Penn State fan that has worshipped the guy for years), for the longest time, i saved the copy of Sports Illustrated where Joe was named Sportsman of the Year in 1986. In that interview, he makes a statement where he says something to the effect of “I’m not the same coach i was 10-15 years ago”, and then mentions things he did better 10-15 years before that.

    so, at the time he was a spry young guy of 60, and even then he was saying he couldn’t do some of the things he used to do (although he was giving that interview weeks before winning the National Title and totally out-coaching Jimmy Johnson, or at least Sandusky outcoached Miami’s offensive staff). It’s now 25 years later. Think about that. How can he possibly be any where near the top of his coaching game?

  14. tellemallrex says: May 29, 2011 10:08 AM

    All of those bashing Joe today, will sometime in the future long for the good old days of Joe Paterno as HC of Penn State. You all should be thankful to experience during your lifetime a class act role model living legend. Shame on all of you.Let’s see how successful your lives are in comparison to his!

  15. cup0pizza says: May 29, 2011 12:57 PM

    chefklm is a belligerent moron, obviously.

  16. jw731 says: May 29, 2011 3:04 PM

    JoePa coaches and helps mold young men until God himself says enough…simple as that….A wicked competitor,a selfless human being, who gave back as much as he earned, a model of what men should be, it discourages me that anyone could talk bad about a man that simply lived a life, most can only dream of…..

  17. imsmartandyouarenot says: May 29, 2011 7:04 PM

    I notice the comments made by CHEFKLM are VERY VERY similar to the wordings used by that jerk BuckeyeBoy that got run from this site

  18. edgy says: May 29, 2011 7:36 PM

    You guys are nuts. His teams have won 11 games 3 times out of the last 6 years, 9 games twice and 7 games last year when he took a team that looked all but out of the bowl picture and rallied them to a better season than expected. His biggest problem recruiting are those who are whispering into his recruits ears about how he’s leaving any day now and that’s what they been doing for 20 years. FYI, for those who don’t know as much about recruiting as they think, the best recruiters on most teams are NOT the head coach and in fact, a good recruiting coach can be in high demand, even if he was a crappy position coach.

  19. edgy and imtalking are one in the same says: May 30, 2011 10:31 AM

    i knew it, imsmartandyouarenot is the same as iamtalkingsolisten

    and btw who was run from the site, the guy with the same screenname, or the one who was forced off the website and had to get a new screen name

  20. chefklm says: May 30, 2011 5:41 PM

    @ iamretarded

    Don’t quit your job as assistant fry basket operator, your detective skills are on par with gatorprof’s football knowledge. I am myself and never been anyone else.

    @ cupofpiss

    Do everyone a favor and just die.

    Bottom line here is that I never said sh*t about Paterno’s contributions outside of football. But none of you geniuses couldn’t dispute my claim about padding his record with the bottom feeders of college football, nor his abysmal record against the elite of college football.

    So suck it…

  21. blueinok says: Jun 2, 2011 10:11 AM

    He salary really is a bargain when you take into consideration how much of it he donates back to the university. JoePa is a class act. I wish we had more like him

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