Paterno not ready to say goodbye

Originally Published: August 31, 2004
By Beano Cook | ESPN Insider
Joe Paterno might become the first person to work for the same employer in three straight centuries.

Paterno has worked for Penn State for 54 years and has the same wife, Sue Paterno (part Laura Bush, part Teresa Heinz-Kerry), for 42 years. That's a Las Vegas parlay that seems unbeatable in today's society.

When he came to Penn State in 1950, shortly after graduating from Brown, a university that lacks available PSU majors like Tourism and Parks & Recreation, Paterno planned to stay a year or so before going to law school.

The last thing this country needs is another lawyer. So instead of the next Perry Mason, America got a coaching legend.

Earlier this year, Penn State decided to extend the 77-year-old coach's contract through 2008. The decision got mixed reviews from the media and the alumni. So did the 1940s movie classic "It's a Wonderful Life."


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Beano Cook

College Football
Carroll H. "Beano" Cook joined ESPN in March 1986 and served as a college football studio commentator and occasional sideline reporter, in addition to offering college football commentary on ESPN Radio. He died in October 2012.

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