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Happy 84th Birthday, Joe Paterno!

84 years young and still roaming the sidelines, Joe Paterno is mere days away from coaching in his 539th game as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Outback Bowl against Florida will also be his 37th bowl appearance (a record), with 24 of the previous 36 ending in victory for the Nittany Lions (another record).

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Paterno was 25 years old when outgoing head coaches Dave Wannstedt and Bill Stewart were born, and 37 and 44 years old when new Pitt coach Mike Haywood and West Virginia offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, respectively, were born. Further, Paterno has seen numerous father-son combinations come through Penn State in his 44-year stint as head coach:

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Including seven current squad members, Joe Paterno has coached a total of 25 father-son combinations during his 44 seasons as head coach at Penn State. Some of the combinations include more than one son, and several include uncles.

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And, of course, Paterno coached one of his sons, Jay, from 1986-89. Jay has been a member of the Nittany Lions' coaching staff in 1995.

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Happy Birthday, Joe. Now go out there and get us all a present, a victory over the Florida Gators in the 2011 Outback Bowl!

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.