Penn State Nittany Lions have long been a source of pride for the school and its fans. Here are some tidbits about this beloved team that you may not know:
1. The Nittany Lion mascot was created during World War I by an English professor from Penn State who wanted to create a symbol of strength and courage.
2. The Nittany Lions football team has one of the most devoted fan bases in college sports, with over 100,000 season ticket holders since 1969.
3. Penn State is known as “Linebacker U” because so many great linebackers such as Jack Ham, Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington, Paul Posluszny and others have come out of the program.
4. The Nittany Lions basketball team is one of the most successful programs in the Big Ten, having won conference titles in 1954, 1995 and 2011.
5. Penn State was the first university to partner with ESPN for a dedicated college sports television channel, launching the now-popular Big Ten Network in 2007.
6. Joe Paterno coached the Nittany Lions for 46 seasons and holds the record for most wins in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision history with 409 victories.
7. Penn State has produced 28 consensus All-Americans across its football program’s storied history, with 18 coming under Joe Paterno.
8. The Nittany Lion logo is so recognizable that it was featured on a United States postage stamp in 2013.
9. Penn State has won four national championships, most recently in 1982 and 1986.
10. The Nittany Lions have appeared in 40 bowl games since their first trip to the 1956 Gator Bowl, making them one of only eight teams to appear in more than 40 bowl games.
These facts demonstrate just how rich and historic of a program the Penn State Nittany Lions are and why they are still held dear by generations of fans across the country. Go Nittany Lions!