MADISON - Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's death is bringing reaction and reflection from across the world of college athletics, including from the University of Wisconsin. Wisconsin released statements Sunday afternoon, talking about the former Nittany Lions coach.
“Today is a sad day," said UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez in a statement. "Joe made a difference. He impacted a lot of people. He made a difference in a community, in a college and in college football. He was truly special and an icon. For someone to continue to do what he did through different generations and for such a long period of time and be effective was amazing. I’ve considered Joe a friend and a mentor. This is sad day for college football and the Penn State community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them and the Paterno family.”
Current Badgers head coach Bret Bielema also shared his thoughts.
“Coach Paterno obviously did so many wonderful things for a number of years, not only with the success of his teams on the field but the number of lives he shaped," said Bielema. "I hope people remember his lifetime achievements. From day one, when I joined the head coaching ranks and was fortunate enough to cross paths with him at coaches meetings and various functions, he was always very engaging and complimentary of the way we did things at Wisconsin and how we played. I enjoyed competing with him at every level. Our Badger football family sends our condolences and deepest sympathies to the Penn State community and the Paterno family.”