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Bucs QB coach Ron Turner hired as FIU head coach

Bucs quarterback coach Ron Turner, a former Illinois coach and a veteran NFL assistant, was hired as head coach at Florida International on Thursday. He signed a five-year deal with a base salary of $500,000 annually.

"I'm very excited to get this guy," athletic director Pete Garcia said. "He's one of the best offensive minds in America. He can do it all."

Turner, 59, replaces Mario Cristobal, fired in December after an injury-plagued 3-9 season. In his previous two seasons, Cristobal went 15-11, went to two bowls and won a Sun Belt title.

This Turner's first college job since Illinois fired him in 2004, three seasons after it went 10-2 and won what was its first Big Ten title in a decade. Illinois won only nine of its next 34 games under Turner, including one Big Ten game in two seasons.

Turner also served two stints as the Bears' offensive coordinator. He came to the Bucs last year to work with head coach Greg Schiano.

Garcia said he consulted with Schiano, Bucs special assistant Butch Davis and Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano before hiring Turner. "They all told me this was the guy we had to get."

Bucs' Sullivan interviews: The Bears interviewed Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan for their coaching job Wednesday in Atlanta. Chicago's interview schedule is also expected to include Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday in Denver. The Bears got permission from the Colts to interview offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

Report: Chiefs set to name reid today: Andy Reid was expected to be announced today as coach of the Chiefs, the Philadelphia Daily News reported. Reid and the team spent much of the day in negotiations, and Reid canceled plans to interview for other openings, reports said.

bills: Buffalo plans to interview fired Bears coach Lovie Smith for its coaching job, the Chicago Tribune reported.

cardinals: Arizona intends to interview ex-Chiefs coach and current Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley for its coaching job, reports said.

Eagles: Philadelphia said it will interview Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday.

o'brien out of running: Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said he is staying with the Nittany Lions after getting interest from several teams. That interest included being interviewed for the Browns job this week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported. "I'm not a one-and-done guy," O'Brien told the Harrisburg Patriot-News. O'Brien, a former Patriots QB coach, was hired last year in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal and went 8-4. To help persuade O'Brien to stay, alumnus Terry Pegula, who owns the Buffalo Sabres, donated a $1.3 million gift to be added to O'Brien's salary in the coming year that will bump his total compensation to $3.6 million, the Patriot-News said.

Cowboys: An autopsy found that practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was not legally impaired when he was killed in a crash that led to an intoxication manslaughter charge against teammate Josh Brent, who was driving. Brown died of head and neck trauma in the Dec. 8 crash in Irving, a Dallas suburb, the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office said. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.056; a driver is legally impaired in Texas at 0.08 percent.

Times staff writer Stephen F. Holder contributed to this report.

Bucs QB coach Ron Turner hired as FIU head coach 01/03/13 [Last modified: Friday, January 4, 2013 12:23am]

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