Sunday, February 2, 2003

Paterno: 2006 might be final year at Penn State

By The Associated Press

Joe Paterno might step down as coach of Penn State after the 2006 season.

Paterno told WTKR-TV in Norfolk, Va., that he has not decided on a firm retirement date, but that he might make that decision following the 2006 season.

Paterno, who has spent more than 50 years as coach at Penn State, turned 76 in December. His current contract runs through the 2004 season.

"Right now, I'm planning to go to 2006, through the 2006 season," Paterno said. "But if I feel as good as I do now three years from now, then I'm going to look at it again."

Paterno became an assistant at Penn State in 1950 and became head coach in 1966. He has long denied rumors of his impending retirement.

"Physically, I feel great," Paterno said on Jan. 2, after the Capital One Bowl. "I have some arthritis in the neck once in a while, my arms ache a little bit once in a while, but other than that. ... Once in a while you say, 'Hey, I'm 76.' And no matter how you twist it, I'm 76 and I'm not naive about it. But, honest to God, I don't feel 76."

In the WTKR interview, which aired Wednesday night while Paterno was in Virginia on a recruiting visit, the coach said that within a couple years he probably would start telling recruits that he might retire during their playing careers. If he does that, he said, he probably also would name a successor.

"I think at that time, I should start to designate who's going to succeed me, so when we're out recruiting a kid can identify with the people that he would be with maybe his sophomore and junior year," Paterno said. "I want to be fair."

In 37 seasons at Penn State, Paterno has record of 336-100-3, more wins than any major college coach in history.

Marquette 82, UC 76
Daugherty: Snarl gone from 'Cats
Rankings become least of concerns

Xavier 66, Richmond 52
Victory a little sweeter for West

No. 7 Kentucky 87, South Carolina 69
Miami 57, Buffalo 55
Ohio State 65, Northwestern 52
No. 8 Louisville 95, No. 19 Indiana 76
Syracuse stuns No. 2 Pitt
Texas A&M denies Knight 800th victory
Top 25 roundup: Who's No. 1? Maybe Texas
How the Top 25 fared
Women: UConn blasts No. 1 Duke
Smith's late basket lifts Norse men to 76-75 victory

Shake this winter chill, make tracks for Florida
Reds Spring Training Guide
A look at the Grapefruit League
Leading off, Adam Dunn?
Judge: Put Rose in HOF

Bengals Q&A
Ditka interested in coaching Lions
Garcia frustrated by 49ers' coaching conundrum
Rice's heart fonder for Hawaii

Hula Bowl: South 27, North 24
Paterno: 2006 might be final year at Penn State
Grambling QB wins Gaither Award

Streaking Champali adds WEBN at Turfway
Medaglia d'Oro wins Strub Stakes after three-month layoff
Record number nominated for Triple Crown races

Groeschen: St. X swimmers step up
Schmidt: Former prep football stars get shot at pros
Withrow gets top seed in Division I
Sectional tournament pairings
St. Henry hits All 'A' state
Ohio boys games
Ohio girls games
Ky. boys games
Ky. girls games
Prep sports results

Herron pulls away by 4 strokes in Hope Classic

NBA: Penalized Pacers prevail

MacInnis, Roy lead West to skills victory
NHL YoungStars: East 8, West 3
NHL All-Star notebook
Ducks waddle past Admirals

The Boogity Man is back
Tight battle up front in Daytona
NASCAR notebook

Ex-GCL, XU players skip along in ACC
Local man knows story behind numbers
Enquirer's Page Two power rankings

Lewis prefers Tyson rematch over quality opponent