Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history, has died, ESPN reports
. He was 85.
Paterno's passing comes after a two-month bout with lung cancer that was discovered on November 18, nine days after losing his head coaching job at Penn State.
According to ESPN, on Saturday night about 200 people congregated at a statue of Paterno at State College where Paterno passed away.
Jay Paterno, the late coaching legend's son, tweeted, "Drove by students at the Joe statue. Just told my Dad about all the love & support -- inspiring him."
"JoePa" holds the record for most wins in Division I college football history with 409 wins in 46 seasons as well as two national titles.
The storied career of the football legend was tainted by a sexual-abuse scandal resulting in 52 counts of child molestation against former assistant Jerry Sandusky.
"He died as he lived," the Paterno family revealed in a statement published on The Huffington Post
. "He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."
The family went on to request that donations be made to the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania or the Penn State-THON, The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon in lieu of flowers of gifts.