joe pa: success vs excellence

I listened to Joe Paterno’s son this morning remember one of his dad’s comparisons of success verses excellence.  He always wanted to focus on excellence.

I agree with Joe.  If you focus on success, you will do anything to achieve the goal.  Focus on excellence and you will not have to worry about the outcome.

Success is the byproduct of a job well done.  Success is the byproduct of excellence.  Focus on excellence and you will never have to worry about success.

Above is the picture of Joe in 1971 when Penn State came to Knoxville to play The University of Tennessee.  I was on the sideline during that game working for the UT football team.  I was one of the student assistants to the kicking coach George Cafego.  I never saw much of the game because the amount of work to be done during the game.  You never wanted Coach Cafego to see you watching the game.  The most significant thing about the game was this was the first game to be played under the lights in Neyland Stadium.  The game was nationally broad-casted by ABC which insisted it be played during prime time under the lights.  This required lights for the fist time which were installed very quickly to meet the December game date.  Tennessee won 33-11 beating Joe Paterno and the #4 Penn State Lions.  Life was BIG.

I only saw him in person two times.  1971 & 1972 when Penn State played in Knoxville.  Tennessee won both times.  In my opinion Joe’s appearance never changed.  Goofy walk, big glasses, bowling shoes and appears to be the same clothes every time he walked on the football field.  Remembered well by all.