'Joe Pa's' Impact Goes Beyond Football

joe paterno

Ask 79-year-old Penn State football coach Joe Paterno about his resume and you'll get modesty. He laughs off two national titles and five undefeated seasons with an "oh, that's a lot of hooey!

"That doesn't mean a thing to me. Really," Paterno says.

Affectionately known as "Joe Pa," Paterno isn't simply one of the winningest coaches in college football history — he's also one of its most respected figures, CBS News national correspondent Byron Pitts reports.

In an age when big-time coaches demand multimillion-dollar contracts, Paterno has donated $4 million to Penn State for scholarships and a new library.

"I've had an impact, I hope, on a lot of kids who've come through here, and I feel good about that part," Paterno says. "I feel when they bury me, it's not going to be a question of 'hey, he won X number of games, period.'"

Watch the complete Paterno interview
What Paterno hopes to be remembered for is graduating 84 percent of his players. That's 20 percent higher than the national average for all four-year college students. He does it with mandatory study halls and a zero-tolerance approach.

Take Tamba Hali, a first-round NFL draft pick who came back to get his diploma.

"I'm so proud of you," Paterno tells Hali.

He says he doesn't think there is much difference between being a coach and a professor.

"I think most good professors, most of the good professors you get in college, and the ones I had in college had a little bit more than just getting up on a blackboard or giving an assignment," Paterno says.

Paterno is nearing 80, but he's still "very sharp, very witty," All-America linebacker Paul Posluskny says.

"He knows everything that's going on. He might not know what an iPod is, but he still knows how to deal with young players," Posluskny adds.

Paterno knows football from his years at Brown University. His dad wanted him to be a lawyer; Joe only took up coaching to pay off his college loans.

"I got hooked, so I called my dad and I said to my dad, 'I'm going to coach,' and he said, 'Oh, God.' And my mom, crying, said 'What did you go to college for? And then my dad said, 'You better have an impact,'" Paterno says.

Paterno's father never saw him make head coach. Only the heavens know how many fathers and mothers and sons are grateful that he did.