STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Former Penn State assistant coach Joe Sarra died on Thursday. He was 75.
Sarra coached the linebackers and the defensive interior line across a Nittany Lions career that spanned 21 seasons. In 2000, he was promoted to assistant to the head coach for special projects, a position he held through 2004, when he retired.
Penn State confirmed his death in a Friday news release.
As an assistant, Sarra helped Penn State to 15 bowl appearances, and was a part of the 12-0 Rose Bowl team in 1994. The Nittany Lions won nine bowls during his tenure.
Sarra is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons, Joe, Jr., and Scott, and three grandchildren.
"He was a great coach, but an even better person," former Penn State cornerback Adam Taliaferro said. "Coach Sarra had a heart of gold, was a special person and will be missed."