Says ESPN’s poll which rated Alabama’s Bear Bryant No. 1:
7. Joe Paterno, 409-136-3/Penn State (1966-2011)
After 16 seasons as a Nittany Lions assistant, Paterno ascended to the head coaching job.
Penn State soon ascended, too — to national prominence, to two national championships in the 1980s, and to the Big Ten, the first team to shift from independence to a conference in what would become the realignment era.
Paterno called his plan the Grand Experiment, believing that Penn State could be a national power without sacrificing academics.
He pulled it off, too, including five unbeaten seasons.
Paterno was fired in November 2011 for his involvement in the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He died two months later.