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Jay Paterno Will Not Be On O'Brien's Staff

by on January 10, 2012 5:21 PM

Jay Paterno is leaving the Penn State football program, he announced via a statement issued Tuesday afternoon to The Associated Press.

Paterno served as an assistant on the Nittany Lions’ coaching staff led by his father, Joe Paterno, for 17 years – the past dozen seasons as the quarterbacks coach.

He remained with the Nittany Lions for the team’s final four games in 2011 after the elder Paterno was fired on Nov. 9 in the wake of the Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Jay Paterno said he met with Penn State’s new head coach, Bill O’Brien, and the two “reached the conclusion” he would not be part of the new staff.

"I wish the program the best of luck in carrying on the academic and athletic excellence that have been a hallmark of this university for decades," Paterno said in a statement.

He said "it will take some time think about what to do next."

"As for Penn Staters, I cannot even begin to express what your support has meant to me and my family over the past seventeen seasons and in particular the past two months," he said in the statement. "Through the tumult of the past several weeks, it has been your stalwart support combined with life lessons learned from Joe Paterno that has and continue to sustain us."

A State College native, the younger Paterno was a walk-on quarterback for the Nittany Lions, and is a 1990 graduate of Penn State.

He joined the Penn State staff in 1995, and served as tight ends coach (1995-99), recruiting coordinator (1995-2003) and quarterbacks coach (2001-2011). Under his tutelage, quarterback Michael Robinson was named the Big Ten Conference’s top offensive player in 2005, and Darryl Clark was an All-Big Ten selection at quarterback in 2008-09. Under Paterno, quarterback Zack Mills set 18 Penn State records.

Prior to Penn State, he had coaching stops at James Madison, Virginia and UConn. 

Paterno was active campaigner for President Barack Obama in 2008, authors a regular column for and is a frequent guest lecturer in the College of Communications, as well as selected other colleges at Penn State.

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