UNC Charlotte alumnus Joe Posnanski is the author of “Paterno,” a biography of the renowned Penn State football coach. The work debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list earlier this month.
The top hardcover nonfiction bestseller was hailed by the Bleacher Report as the “most highly anticipated college football book since ‘The Testaverde Code’ beat out Dinesh D’Souza’s ‘Obama’s America’ for the top spot on the Times’ list.”
Posnanski, named Best Sportswriter for 2011 by the National Sportscaster and Sportswriter Association, began his storied career at UNC Charlotte. Student Niner Media director Wayne Maikranz recalled Posnanski’s years as a student in the mid-1980s. He said the budding journalist stood out “as one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever known.”
“I came to the conclusion after reading his lead paragraph,” said Maikranz. “It was short—only one sentence. It made me laugh out loud.”
Posnanski joined the student newspaper staff at Maikranz’s suggestion. He later moved on to work as a sports columnist at the Charlotte Observer, the Augusta Chronicle, the Cincinnati Post and the Kansas City Star before landing a job with Sports Illustrated.
A two-time Associated Press Sports Writer of the Year, Posnanski also authored “The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neill’s America” and “The Machine: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.”
He now lives in Charlotte with his wife Margo and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Katie.