When Joe Paterno was unceremoniously dumped by Penn State last November, he exited as the winningest head coach in Div. 1 football history.
Eight months after his dismissal, and seven months after his death, Paterno’s not even the winningest coach in FBS history.
As part of the NCAA’s sanctions against the football program, the Nittany Lions were forced to vacate all wins from 1998 — the first year, according to the Freeh report, that university officials became aware of potentially sexually deviant activity on the part of Jerry Sandusky — through the 2011 season. That totals 112 victories, 111 of which belonged to Paterno.
That means Paterno’s career total will forever be reflected as 298, not the 409 with which he left the sport.
And, as a result, former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden‘s 377 are the new standard for FBS head football coaches. Ironically, Bowden was forced to vacate 12 wins from his total by the NCAA as part of the organization’s sanctions against FSU in 2009. Additionally, Paterno has fallen behind the likes of Alabama’s Bear Bryant and others to seventh on the all-time win list.
Thanks to the NCAA’s decision today to vacate 111 Paterno wins, Grambling’s Eddie Robinson is now Div. 1’s winningest coach with 408 victories. John Gagliardi of St. Johns University, a Div. III program in Minnesota, is the all-time winningest coach at any level with 484.
The 85-year-old Gagliardi is still St. Johns’ head coach and will have the opportunity to reach 500 wins as early as 2014, Lord willing of course.