A Salute to Former Penn State Coach Rip Engle On His Birthday

Kevin McGuireSenior Analyst IMarch 26, 2009

Born on this day in 1906, Engle passed away on March 7, 1983 at the age of 76.

"A team that defeats a far inferior team has accomplished nothing." 
—Rip Engle


Rip Engle was the head coach at Penn State before Joe Paterno. Engle, in fact, is responsible for Paterno being the coach at Penn State.

Engle coached Paterno at Brown, helping Paterno to develop his quarterback skills and become a leader of the team. After Paterno graduated, Engle brought young Joe to Penn State to act as an assistant coach. After Engle retired from Penn State, with a career record of 132-68-8, Paterno was named the successor in 1966.

Paterno still holds many of the same philosophies that his mentor tutored him with. The rest, as they say, is history.

Engle's best season came in 1962, when the Nittany Lions went 9-2 and finished with a No. 9 ranking. Penn State never had a losing season under Engle, but his final season was the lone .500 season.

Engle was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973.