Paterno says he's coming back in 2011

Published Nov. 23, 2010 12:00 a.m. EST

Joe Paterno says he plans to return as Penn State coach next season, putting an end to any speculation about retirement.

The Nittany Lions meet No. 11 Michigan State in the regular-season finale on Saturday, leading some fans and writers to wonder if this would be the 83-year-old coach's last appearance at Beaver Stadium.

JoePa said his team has struggled at times this year because of youth and injuries, but that the Nittany Lions have a chance to be good next year and that he's looking forward to being part of it.

Paterno appears healthier now after offseason illnesses slowed him down. The 2011 season would be the last year of a three-year extension signed in 2008.