blake Tobias sr.

chief executive officer

Reading Pennsylvania native Blake Tobias Sr. proudly boasts carrying on the Tobias name which dates to 1741 when his 6th great grandfather, Hans Jost Tobias left his German homeland and arrived at the Port of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. Hans would ultimately settle and purchase a very large tract of farmland in Bern Township, which was just minutes from the city of Reading Pa. The term 6 degrees of separation fully applies, as Blake, and his family have resided for over 30 years living in a modest ranch home. Their home sits atop a beautiful parcel of land, surrounded by farmland which overlooks the area for miles in any direction. The ironic twist is that the house is merely a few miles from where Hans Jost Tobias farmland was located, as well many other Tobias farmlands which made up the area since 1741.

Blake grew up in Exeter Township, 3 miles outside of Reading Pa. He is the youngest of 3, having 2 older brothers, crediting his parents, the late Mark, and Mary Tobias for pushing him to always give 100 percent in everything he faced in life. His mother made him promise to never stop the petition until Joe Paterno is honored by Penn State University, that was the final conversation that he had with his mother who passed away two days later in June of 2013 after a 6-month battle against pancreatic cancer. In the years leading up to his father’s passing, which happened in February of 2018, Tobias and his father had many conversations about the petition, and just like his mother, he instilled into and made Blake promise to never stop the fight to honor Joe.

Tobias graduated from Exeter High School, awarded for his expertise in Power Technology because he was very gifted in hands on mechanical work. He had a successful career from Little League baseball and ended with American Legion. Swimming was another passion as a young boy and teen, as well as football, where he played as a youth on 3 levels of age group football, leading his teammates as one of their Quarterbacks. In junior high school, aside from playing baseball, Blake was a member of the Exeter track and field team, and though his children and grandchildren find it hard to believe, he was a long-distance runner for the schools’ cross-country team. Tobias also had an avid love for racing, especially dirt track racing, spending most every weekend as a youth at the famed ½ mile Reading Fairgrounds. This led to the award for Power Technology that he earned as a senior in high school, which led him to begin racing Go-Karts at various dirt and asphalt tracks just after graduation.

After graduation in June of 1984, he worked fulltime at various local business establishments. In August of 1984 he attended Penn State Berks Campus where he studied Computer Science. These classes would later prove valuable when he opened his own website, and graphic design business in 2000. He closed the business in 2015 after 15 years, then focusing more on his father, who’s health was starting to decline. Blake was the Head of Grounds for the former Novitiate of St. Isaac’s Jesuit Center in Wernersville Pa, where he took care of 250 acres of beautiful Berks County land for 27 years. Blake was forced to medically retire in 2018, after he suffered a career ending accident which happened while on the job. His many years of service were rewarded with praise coming from visitors that came from around the world to stay at the center for religious retreats. His meticulous work is mentioned in several books which have been published about the property, which is something that he is very proud of.

Blake continued with his passion in the racing world by retiring from the driver’s seat, then becoming a Kart Team owner, fielding top notch rides for many local drivers. Moving forward he worked as a crew member on a handful of Dirt Modified Teams, moving his way up to be a winning Crew Chief for one team, and in charge of running media promotions and overseeing daily operations of another team. Moving forward Tobias then moved to sponsoring drivers in many different divisions which included Slingshots, SpeedSTR’s, Midgets, Sprint Cars, Small and Big Block Dirt Modifieds. During this time, he was also an owner of several teams of his own, which capped off many years of hard work and dedication in the sport of open wheel racing.

 Growing up Penn State Football was a mainstay in the Tobias household, as a 4-year-old boy in 1970 Blake remembers going to Happy Valley and tailgating in the grass fields right out of the back of the families Chevy station wagon on those fall Saturday afternoons. Blake’s father attended Penn State Berks Campus shortly after it opened, earning himself an accounting degree which he used throughout his career in different jobs that he held. He vividly remembers his mother cheering for Joe as he would lead his teams onto the field at Beaver Stadium, or at the many different away games he attended with them over the decades.

 If not at Penn State for a home game, time was spent at the family home finishing up early morning chores around the house followed by lunch on the back porch with the transistor radio on the local AM station listening to the play-by-play call of the Nittany Lions. Blake says his father was undoubtably herd around the neighborhood cheering, and yelling, all while listening to the game, it was a time of innocence, it was a time for family members to still gather around a small radio to collectively cheer on Penn State. The Tobias family made many trips to bowl games over the course of Joe Paterno’s career, these added up to some of the best years of their lives.


Why am I so passionate about working to make sure Joe Paterno is honored, what connection to him or his family do I have, why after over a decade am I still pushing to see this become stamped in Penn State History, these are all questions and more the I continue to be asked repeatedly.

 These are my reasons, when everything transpired, and when the then Board of Trustees fired Joe Paterno, I watched a large chunk of my parents’ lifetime be thrown away like a random piece of garbage into a trashcan. They knew Joe wasn’t a Saint, he had flaws just like they did, just like I did, like we all have, after all we are only mortals on this earth for a very short time. Much like Joe, my parents who both worked full time jobs in their lifetimes were well versed in the law, and in following the chain of command. My mother was a legal secretary for a large law firm in Reading, and she would each year type up the paperwork for my father, remember, aside from his full-time job, he was also a full-time baseball coach. He had legally binding contracts which in the case anything like what had allegedly happened at Penn State, he knew what he could do legally, and what he couldn’t do. He had been signing contracts like this each season that he was a baseball coach, from Little League through American Legion, and likewise, where he worked full-time as a warehouse manager for Sovereign Bank, he signed yearly contracts with them for the same reasons. I mean, that is the way I was raised, you follow the chain of command, and this was the same for myself in my working career, especially while working as the Head of Grounds for the Jesuits, who were, and continue to be presented with many lawsuits. The irony of this is now, after a decade, the NCAA uses what I call “The Paterno Way” as their guideline to follow which is written in their own bylaws. If something like this happens, and brought to a coach’s attention, the chain of command, just like Joe followed, by the letter of the law which dated to the “Cleary Act”, is now being mirrored as the legally “must follow” protocol.

 The connection to the Paterno family is simple, my father mirrored Joe Paterno in many ways as a coach, and as a mentor of young men. To this day former players write to me, or when I see them praise my father for the life lessons that he taught them. Some of those former players who didn’t see much playing time knew that he cared more about them then he did about a win, and he did everything in his power to play every one of them as much as possible. They respected him, they learned the game, and they learned valuable life lessons which they have taught to their children, and now grandchildren. If a child’s parent was working my father would pick them up for practice, for games, and return them after. If those kids didn’t have dinner, he would stop by the local burger joint and grab them a cheeseburger, fries, and a Coke without even blinking an eye. He secretly slipped money to struggling single mothers, and single fathers who needed a few dollars to provide for their children. We were far from high society, we were a middle-class family, but my father would have given you the shirt off his back if it meant helping another person, like wise my mother was just as giving, she was just like Sue Paterno, a mother that all children wished they had.

 Finally, you know from reading what is typed already, my passion for seeing Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium become a part of Penn State History is because I agreed to the promises that both my parents asked me to keep. If this happened to your father, or to your mother, wouldn’t you do everything in your power to make sure their legacy was not left like a piece of rubbish in a garbage can. I know if my father was falsely accused, or labeled as being guilty like Joe Paterno was, I would never stop until the day the lord calls on me to clear his name, right the wrong that had been done to wreck 61 years of honor and dignity. I look at Joe like he was a second father, and Sue like she was a second mother, neither of which I have ever met in person, but I know deep down in my heart they are just like my mother and father were, and that is two honest, caring, and loving people.

God Bless, Paterno Field CEO,