UNIVERSITY PARK - Penn State paid tribute to one of its oldest athletic pillars on Saturday.
The family of Jim Tarman, who served as a leader in Penn State's athletic department for 35 years, was presented with a plaque that will be hung in the press box to commemorate his contributions.
Tarman came to Penn State in 1958, served as sports information director through the 1960s, then spent 10 years as assistant athletic director and later AD from 1982 until his retirement in 1993.
Athletic Director Dave Joyner called Tarman "a real all-star. You can't turn your head to the left or right without seeing Jim's contribution to the athletic department and university."
In addition to transitioning the Nittany Lions' entry into the Big Ten, Tarman drove Penn State football coverage in the early years of the Joe Paterno era to "unprecedented media attention," Joyner said.
He also co-hosted with Fran Fisher the popular "TV Quarterbacks" show that created significant statewide interest.
"Jim meant so much to the Penn State community," Joyner said.
Tarman has been residing in an assisted-living facility in the State College area and could not be present for the brief ceremony in the All-Sports Museum.
His wife, Louise, and sons Jim and Jeff accepted on his behalf.
"We're deeply appreciative," Louise Tarman said. "I think it's well deserved recognition of Jim. It's a special day, and the family is very pleased."
Louise Tarman thanked the university and especially Ira Miller, Ernie Accorsi and Joe Grata, former proteges of Tarman who drove the idea. Accorsi is the former general manager of the New York Giants. Miller spent a long career covering the NFL for the San Francisco Chronicle, and Grata was a longtime writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"I really admire the tenacity and dedication of Jim's student assistants who had pursued this for maybe the last 10 or 15 years," she said.
A number of longtime Penn State university and athletic department personnel, former and current, were on hand, such as Fisher, Steve Garban, Lou Prato, Dave Baker, Steve Jones, Jack Ham and Roger Corey, as well as some of the longer tenured writers on the Penn State beat.