Words of Thanks, Support Pour In

The Penn State community and college football world react to the passing of Hall of Famer Joe Paterno. See who is saying what.

Since the news of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's passing broke Sunday morning, the reactions from people associated with the program have been pouring in. We will update this file with new comments as we find them.

Scott Paterno (Joe's son) via Twitter: @ScottPaterno

My family wants to express our heartfelt thanks to the hospital staff and doctors. They were amazing and caring - Thanks isn't enough.

We would also like to thank all of the tens of thousands of people who have been praying - your kindness continues to sustain us.

Finally, to Penn Staters, past and present, know that Dad loves you all and has always loved being part of your family.

Jay Paterno (Joe's son) via Twitter: @JayPaterno

A special thanks to the Hospital staff. They helped us all through the past few days. Can not begin to express our gratitude.

Our family thanks Penn Staters, students & all people for prayers & support for my Dad. He felt your support in his fight.

Bill O'Brien (new Penn State head coach) via statement:

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.

Daryll Clark (former player) via Twitter: @CaptainClark17

The GREATEST... The Legend.. My Coach.. My friend.. You've meant so much to me and millions of others.. You will live on in my heart..

I love you coach.. Thanks for believing in me

A.Q Shipley (former player) via Facebook:

Joe believed in an undersized kid from moon township 8 years ago! He believed in my will and passion for the game and he believed in my character! He gave me an opportunity to play big time college football and most importantly get my degree from a first class institution! Thank you so much for an opportunity to live the most amazing 5 years of my life under your tutelage! R.I.P COACH JOE PATERNO

Greg Harrison (former player) via Facebook:

The positive impact you had on me and countless others will never be forgotten and I thank you for that. Finally you can rest coach, there's no doubt you fought till the end. We are

OJ McDuffie (former player) via Facebook:

Words can't express how I feel about the loss of Joe Paterno. No one will ever know how much that man meant to thousands of young people like myself. He was an incredible family and he made us all want to be the best fathers and best person we can be. This isn't right. And it wasn't right the way he left us. Not fair. Not fair at all. JVP, please say hi to my buddy Ray. Miss you both so much.. You finally can get some peace coach....

Graham Zug (former player) via Twitter:

It's not easy to see you go but it easy to follow your legacy. You have impacted so many people and made many boys mature into men.

Chaz Powell (former player) via Twitter:

There's a party up in heaven right now to welcome home one of the greatest.

Matt Hahn (former player) via Facebook:

RIP Coach, Thank you for believing in me. It was an honor to play for you

Scott Shirley (former player and founder of Uplifting Athletes) via Facebook:

My senior year of high school, Joe walked my dad and me to the 50-yard line before the Michigan State game. With his arms wrapped around both of us, he asked "does it get any better than this?" I have faith that when they meet in heaven, they'll look down on us and say the same thing. Rest in peace, Coach Paterno

Mike Krzyzewski (Duke basketball head coach) via ESPN interview:

There's no one I respected more in coaching.

George H.W. Bush (41st U.S. President) via statement:

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Paterno. He was an outstanding American who was respected not only on the field of play but in life generally — and he was, without a doubt, a true icon in the world of sports. I was proud that he was a friend of mine. Barbara and I send our condolences to his devoted wife Suzanne and to his wonderful family.

Lydell Mitchell (former player) via statement:

We came to Penn State as young kids and when we left there we were men and the reason for that was Joe Paterno.

Paul Posluszny (former player) via statement:

His influence on me personally was a lot more far-reaching than the playing field. Coach Paterno should be remembered and revered for his 61 years of service to the Penn State community, the many games and championships he won, and the positive influence he was.

Tom Osborne (former Nebraska head coach) via statement:

Whenever you recruited or played against Joe, you knew how he operated and that he always stood for the right things. Of course, his longevity over time and his impact on college football is remarkable. Anybody who knew Joe feels badly about the circumstances. I suspect the emotional turmoil of the last few weeks might have played into it.

Tom Bradley (former player and Penn State head coach):

The world has lost a great man who will live on in so many of our hearts forever.

Bobby Bowden (former FSU head coach) via statement:

History will say that he's one of the greatest. Who's coached longer, who's coached better, who's won more games, who's been more successful than Joe? Who's done more for his university than Joe? You've lost one of the greatest. He probably means the same thing up there that Bear Bryant meant down here. He's an icon.

Steve Spurrier (South Carolina head coach) via interview:

I've coached around 300 college games and only once when I've met the other coach at midfield prior to the game have I asked a photographer to take a picture of me with the other coach. That happened in the Citrus Bowl after the '97 season when we were playing Penn State.

Tommy Tuberville (Texas Tech head coach) via interview:

When you think of college football and its tradition, you can't help but picture those dark glasses, black shoes and plain uniforms that were his style and mark on Penn State.

Brett Conway (former player) via Facebook:

I am a better person for learning from Joe Paterno. One of the best humans I have ever met in my life. We have lost a great man but his legend will never die! Thanks Joe! We are...

National Football Foundation via statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Coach Paterno. He stands at the very top of the mountain in terms of his coaching accomplishments, and his dedication to the education of his players set the standard for entire college football world. On multiple occasions, the National Football Foundation saluted his never-ending passion and commitment to the game. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sue, his family, and the entire Penn State community."

Kerry Collins (former player) via statement:

It was truly an honor and a privilege to have played for him...He was a great man who led a great life.

Larry Johnson (Penn State coach) via statement:

We've lost a living legend. He was a great man, a great father and a great coach.

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