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Friday, December 14, 2007
Report: Paterno not considering succession plan

ESPN.com news services

Earlier this week, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden agreed to a succession plan that will allow offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher to take his place once he retires.

But the man Bowden leads by two victories as the winningest coach in Division I-A history says he has yet to consider leaving the sidelines.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who turns 81 on Dec. 21 and is entering the final year of a four-year contract, says he still hasn't even considered stepping down as coach of the Nittany Lions, or given any thought to a succession plan similar to Bowden's, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"When I start to get the feel, I'll sit down with the people and say, 'Hey, I think maybe we ought to start talking about, you know, my getting out of here and a successor.' But right now, that hasn't even come up," he said, according to the Post-Gazette.

"I haven't even thought of it," Paterno said, according to the report. "I suppose it's up to them how they want to handle it. It's probably up to them whether they'll let me coach 2, 3, 4 or 5 more years, I don't know.

"Hopefully, I'm not going to be a crotchety old man and not handle ... when it's time to go, go. I just feel so good right now, I'd hate to put a timetable on when I'm going to get out of here,' Paterno said, according to the report.

Paterno, who will coach his 500th game when Penn State plays Texas A&M in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Dec. 29, has 371 career wins, second only to Bowden, who has 373.

Bowden, 78, is expected to to return for his 33rd season next year and has a rollover contract giving the option to stay longer. Paterno, meanwhile, has been campaigning for a new deal since the regular season ended.