Did you know Joe Paterno (and John Heisman) went to Brown?November 8th, 2011 at 1:38 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
Paterno came to Penn State in 1950 as a 23-year-old assistant coach making $3,600 a year. He planned to stay for two seasons, to pay off his student loans from Brown University, where he earned a degree in English literature.
Joseph V. Paterno ’50 was quarterback and co-captain of Brown’s 1949 football squad, “considered to be Brown’s finest,” which finished the year with an 8-1 record – one short of their goal, “9 for 9 in ’49.” They finished the season “with a spectacular victory over Colgate, coming from behind to score three touchdowns in the last four minutes for a final score of 41-26.”
Paterno received the Brown Alumni Association’s Williams Rogers Award in 1998 – which “honors an alumnus or alumna whose service to society illustrates the words of the Brown Charter: living a life of ‘usefulness and reputation’” – and delivered one of the university’s annual Commencement Forums in 2000. In 1996, one of his fellow alums donated $1 million to endow the Williams/Paterno Chair in Football at Brown.
Paterno isn’t Brown’s only famous football alum. John Heisman of Heisman Trophy fame was in the Class of 1891. But apparently Heisman didn’t do anything on the gridiron here in Providence. “There were no [football] games between 1886 and 1889, when Brown might have made use of a student named John Heisman 1891, who stayed for only two years,” the Encyclopedia Brunoniana says.
Update: One of my wise readers – a Brown alum himself – points out the 1915 football team appeared “in what is referred to as the first annual Rose Bowl game,” a factoid backed up by Encyclopedia Brunoniana. Who knew?
(photo: Brown University)