STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA/AP) — Joe Paterno is planning on returning as head coach of Penn State for the 2011 season, putting an end to any speculation about retirement.

The 2011 season would be the last year of a three-year extension signed in 2008.

The Nittany Lions meet No. 11 Michigan State in their 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. He says that he is looking forward to being part of it.

Paterno appears healthier now after off-season illnesses slowed him down.

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