Jay Paterno

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Jay Paterno
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born State College, Pennsylvania
Playing career
1986–1990 Penn State
Position(s) Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1990–1992 Virginia (GA)
1993 Connecticut (WR/TE)
1994 James Madison (QB)
1995–1998 Penn State (TE/RC)
1999–2011 Penn State (QB)

Joseph Vincent "Jay" Paterno Jr.[1] is an American football coach who was most recently the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team and his father Joe Paterno, former head coach of the team. Also active in politics, Paterno unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in 2014. He is currently a member of the Penn State board of trustees.[2][3]

Playing career[edit]

Paterno played on the Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 1986-1990 under his father Joe Paterno. He was a reserve quarterback during his senior year, in which he lettered. He also played for State College Area High School.

Coaching career[edit]

Paterno was on Penn State's staff for 17 seasons, 12 of which he served as the quarterbacks coach. He was the mastermind for creating Penn State's "HD offense" which utilized skill players to touch the ball in a variety of ways. Derrick Williams is one of many players who thrived in this system. He also coached Michael Robinson to a Heisman Trophy finalist season in 2005. Paterno also served as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Prior to being on the PSU staff, he served as a graduate assistant at Virginia from 1990 to 1992, wide receivers and tight ends coach at Connecticut in 1993, and as the quarterbacks coach at James Madison in 1994.[4] Paterno's coaching career at Penn State came to an end following the hiring of new head coach Bill O'Brien on January 7, 2012.

In 2011 Paterno was named best quarterbacks coach in the Big Ten by rivals.com. In 2008, he was named one of the best offensive coaches in the country following a Rose Bowl season.

After Penn State[edit]

Since his father's death and his dismissal, Paterno has written several guest columns. He has spoken at several young voters rallies including one in one sponsored by PSU Votes, a nonpartisan political initiative where both he and Penn State women's basketball coach Coquese Washington spoke.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Jay has four siblings: Diana, Mary Kay, David, and Scott. Unlike his late father, who was a staunch Republican, Jay is a Democrat, and supported Barack Obama during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections.[6]

In October 2013, several outlets reported that Paterno was considering running as a Democrat in Pennsylvania's 5th congressional district, which is based in State College.[7] Instead, Paterno announced in February 2014 that he would be a candidate in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania in the 2014 election.[8] Ultimately, he withdrew from the race in March 2014, citing the desire to avoid a legal battle over a challenge to his petition to achieve ballot access.[3] Paterno has five children, including a son named Joseph Vincent Paterno III. His son is mentioned many times in his book.


  1. ^ "Jay Paterno". Penn State Football. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Joe Paterno's Son Running For Lieutenant Governor In Pennsylvania". Huffington Post. 20 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Paterno Drops Out Of Lt. Gov. Race". PoliticsPA. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 3 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Jay Paterno". Penn State Football. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Nichols, Laura. "Jay Paterno, Coquese Washington Rally Young Voters". State College, PA. 
  6. ^ "Jay Paterno jumps into politics". NCAAF Truth and Rumors. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  7. ^ Isenstadt, Alex. Joe Paterno’s son looks at run for Congress. The Politico, 2013-10-24.
  8. ^ Foster, Brittany (20 February 2014). "Jay Paterno To Run For Lt. Gov". PoliticsPA. Retrieved 22 February 2014.