In 1987, when Penn State was the reigning national champion, Matt Paknis was a graduate assistant coach working with Penn State's offensive linemen.
Paknis is also a survivor of childhood abuse. He found part of his salvation in football and the support of his high school coach. Paknis went on to play at Brown University, just like Joe Paterno, and turned to coaching after a few NFL tryouts. In addition to working at Penn State, he coached at Brown and the University of Rhode Island. Now Paknis works with technology companies to identify individuals with leadership capabilities.
In the wake of the allegations against Jerry Sandusky and Penn State administrators, Paknis -- who says of himself "I was an offensive lineman, I'm a protector by nature" -- shared his memories of the culture inside Penn State football and offered suggestions as to how it might be improved going forward.