In 1977, Sandusky founded The Second Mile, a non-profit charity serving Pennsylvania underprivileged and at-risk youth.
In 2011, following a two-year grand jury investigation, Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period.
Early life and family
Sandusky was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, the only son of Evelyn Mae (ne Lee), an Irish Catholic homemaker who came from a small Pennsylvania coal-mining town, and Arthur Sandusky, whose parents, Edward and Josephine Sendecki, had immigrated from Poland to East Vandergrift, Pennsylvania. His father Arthur served in the field of youth service programs for over 30 years, mostly as director of the Brownson House in Washington, Pennsylvania, a community recreation center for children. There, he founded the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling program and created junior basketball, volleyball, boxing and football programs for the Brownson House. He improved the facilities there by adding a new playground, gym, outdoor basketball court, and a renovated football field. He managed the 1955 Washington baseball team that won the Pony League World Series championship, the only team from Washington to win that championship. Arthur was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
Jerry Sandusky attended Washington High School, where he was a good student and standout athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and football. He was a leader on his junior high basketball team that went undefeated through the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League. Personally, his classmates have described him as a studious "loner" who "never dated in high school" but was a popular and handsome athlete.
Sandusky married Dorothy "Dottie" (ne Gross) in 1966, and together they have six adopted children. Sandusky and his wife have also served as foster parents. One of Sandusky's sons, Jon Sandusky, is Director of Player Personnel for the Cleveland Browns. Another son, E. J. Sandusky, is an assistant football coach at West Chester University.
Education and playing career
Sandusky played for Joe Paterno at Penn State, starting at defensive end from 1963 to 1965. He graduated first in his class with a B.S. in health in 1966 and physical education in 1970.
Early coaching career
Sandusky served as a graduate assistant under Paterno at Penn State in 1966. He was the assistant basketball and track coach at Juniata College in 1967 and the offensive line coach at Boston University in 1968.
Coaching career at Penn State
He returned to Penn State in 1969 and remained there as an assistant coach until his retirement at the end of the 1999 season. Sandusky served as defensive line coach in 1969, became linebacker coach in 1970, and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 1977, holding that position until his retirement. In his years as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator, he coached many defensive squads, and Penn State gained a reputation for outstanding linebacker play, producing 10 first-team All-Americans at that position, and acquiring the nickname "Linebacker U". Jack Ham and LaVar Arrington were two of the noted pro football greats to emerge from his teams.
His final game coaching at Penn State was a notable game for Sandusky. Penn State faced Texas A&M in the 1999 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. The Nittany Lions' defense shut out Texas A&M, 24-0, the only bowl game shutout victory for Penn State under Paterno. Sandusky was recognized in ways usually reserved for a head coach. He was doused with a water bucket and carried to the center of the field on the shoulders of his players.
- Assistant Coach of the Year: 1986 1999
- SGMA Heroes Award (Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association)
- University's Barash Human Service Award
- YMCA Service-To-Youth Award
- Contribution to Amateur Football Award
- Human Rights Award from NAACP
- Nominated for Congressional Angels in Adoption Award
- Outstanding Achievement Award from American Football Coaches Association
- Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story
- Published 1/1/01
- Includes football, personal, and charitable life
- Developing Linebackers the Penn State Way (1987)
- 101 Linebacker Drills (1997)
- Coaching Linebackers (1995)