I opened my laptop this morning and immediately found out the legendary Joe Paterno had passed away. I wasn’t surprised.
I’m a football fan; I love the game. My favorite aspect of football is coaching. In fact, I claim “coaching is everything." I’ll use this year’s 49ers as a prime example. The only real change from last year’s team to this year’s team? The Coach.
One observation I’ve made about the greatest college coaches of all time is they have troubles leaving the game they love.
When Bear Bryant left Alabama as the winningest coach of all time he was asked about his future plans. “Probably just croak", he replied and did just that only 4 weeks later.
Similarly, Joe Pa–current record holder for most wins of all time–was forced out of the game this fall. Just as he surpassed Bear Bryant’s record in wins, Joe also surpassed the coach in life after coaching. He made it 2 months.
If Joe Pa’s win record ever falls, I’ll be curious to see how long the next legendary coach makes it in life after coaching. I’m willing to wager it’s not long. I realize two data points aren’t statistically significant, but I do believe life after coaching for the truly GREAT is tough.
And, this doesn’t only pertain to coaching. RIP Joe Pa.