The Hall of Famer and winningest coach in major college football history has agreed to a new deal with the university. The agreement will provide "for the opportunity of Coach Joe Paterno leading the football program through the 2011 season," said in a statement released by Penn State.
The agreement ends speculation about Paterno's future since his current deal had expired after this season ends. Paterno had hip replacement surgery following the win over Michigan State to clinch the Big Ten title. Paterno told reporters last week that he wasn't worried about getting an extension done before the No. 8 Nittany Lions (11-1) play No. 5 Southern California in the Rose Bowl Game on New Year's Day.
"If we can work out something that they are comfortable with and I'm comfortable with before the bowl, fine," Paterno said. "I just get tired of recruits asking me, 'How long are you going to be there?' But most of them are fine."
Counting Paterno's 16 seasons as a Penn State assistant before taking the head-coaching job in 1966, the 2009 campaign would be JoePa's 60th year on the Nittany Lion coaching staff.