Despite needing to get ready for the AFC Championship game, newly hired Penn State football head coach, Bill O'Brien, took time to release a statement that addressed the death of former Nittany Lion head coach Joe Paterno, who passed away at the age of 85 Sunday morning after losing a battle with lung cancer.
"It is with great sadness that I am compelled to deliver this message of condolence and tribute to a great man, husband, father and someone who is more than just a coach, Joe Paterno. First, on behalf of Penn State Football, we offer our sincerest condolences to the Paterno family for their loss. We also offer our condolences to the Penn State community and, in particular, to those who wore the Penn State colors, our Nittany Lion football players and alumni. Today they lost a great man, coach, mentor and, in many cases, a father figure, and we extend our deepest sympathies. The Penn State Football program is one of college football's iconic programs because it was led by an icon in the coaching profession in Joe Paterno. There are no words to express my respect for him as a man and as a coach. To be following in his footsteps at Penn State is an honor. Our families, our football program, our university and all of college football have suffered a great loss, and we will be eternally grateful for Coach Paterno's immeasurable contributions."
Currently, O'Brien is fulfilling his duties as the Offensive Coordinator of the New England Patriots, who host the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon in the AFC Championship game.