College Football: Patrno loking forward to 2011
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Joe Paterno has met with Penn State President Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley for their annual end-of-season review.
Bill Mahon, a spokesman for Spanier, said Saturday night the trio had an ěexcellent discussionî Friday about the status of the football program, and that the 84-year-old Paterno did indeed plan to coach next season.
Coaching plans beyond 2011 would be discussed at next yearís review, Mahon said. JoePa is entering the final year of a three-year extension agreed to in 2008. Both sides have previously said he doesnít need a contract to keep a job heís held for more than four decades.
Paterno said in November he hadnít given thought to not returning, though it wasnít entirely his call, referring to his bosses at the university.
Still, Paterno, his assistants and players spent much of the week before the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1 denying a spate of Internet-fueled rumors that he was retiring. The Nittany Lions lost 37-24 to Florida to drop to 7-6, the teamís worst record since going 4-7 in 2004.
ěWell, we should be further along, anyway,î Paterno said in Tampa on Jan. 2 about next season. ěThe practice sessions were good experiences that I think will help us for next year. How much? It depends on whether the leadership comes in the winter program and spring practice. I wonít know until then whether weíve made some progress.î
Paterno is major college footballís victory leader with 401, seven behind Gramblingís Eddie Robinson for second among coaches in all divisions. John Gagliardi, still active at Division III St. Johnís, Minn., leads with 478.