Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sports

Strong headed to Longhorns

Louisville officials confirmed Saturday night that coach Charlie Strong told athletic director Tom Jurich that he is leaving for Texas.

Strong, who was 37-15 with Louisville in four seasons and 3-1 in bowl games, replaces Mack Brown, who resigned after 16 seasons as the Longhorns' coach.

Strong met last week with new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson about the coaching vacancy, but he wanted to wait until speaking directly with Jurich to accept Texas' offer.

Jurich, who had been stuck in Colorado because of inclement weather, returned to Louisville on Saturday night and met with Strong. Jurich gave Strong his first chance to be a head coach after a long successful career as a defensive coordinator.

Strong will receive a five-year contract that will pay him $5 million annually, si.com reported.

Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, who was sanctioned in the NCAA's investigation of the University of Miami, is not expected to follow Strong to Texas.

Strong, 53, just completed his second straight year with double-digit victories. Last season, Louisville beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl for the program's second BCS victory. This season it finished 12-1 behind star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and beat Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28.

Strong becomes the first black head coach of any men's sport in Texas history. The American-Statesmen of Austin, Texas, reported that some university officials had been privately hoping that would happen.

The Longhorns have had only one black coach lead one of their four major programs. Rod Page was the women's basketball coach for two seasons in the mid 1970s before giving way to Jody Conradt.

Talk heats up of Miami's Golden going to Penn St.

CORAL GABLES — Another day of silence from Al Golden. Another day of uncertainty in the world of Miami football.

As Hurricanes fans, players, recruits and their families wondered Saturday about the future of Miami's program, Golden — the subject of speculation that he is contemplating leaving to coach at his alma mater, Penn State — remained mum.

Athletic director Blake James told the Miami Herald in a text message he was optimistic Golden would stay.

"Al and I are in regular communication," James said. "He is our football coach, and I believe he will be our coach going forward."

James became the first UM official to speak publicly about the situation. President Donna Shalala, reached by email, said, "We don't know anything yet."

Earlier, the Herald reported that Penn State officials were scheduled to fly to Opa-Locka Executive Airport on Saturday morning to meet with Golden about the vacancy.

A Philadelphia TV station also reported that Penn State's search committee was scheduled to travel to South Florida on Saturday to meet with Golden.

There was no confirmation of a report by Blue White Illustrated, Penn State's rivals.com affiliate, that Golden had been offered the job.

Golden, a Penn State tight end from 1989-91 and a former team captain who has always spoken highly of his alma mater, is reportedly a top candidate to replace Bill O'Brien, who resigned last week to coach the NFL's Houston Texans.

BVAA Compass Bowl: Patton Robinette threw two 50-yard touchdown passes to Jordan Matthews and Vanderbilt recovered after squandering a 24-point lead to beat Houston 41-24 in Birmingham, Ala.

Robinette, starting after senior Austyn Carta-Samuels had season-ending surgery on a torn left ACL, also had an 8-yard scoring run as the Commodores (9-4) built a 24-0 lead in the first half. After Houston (8-4) pulled even with 24 points in the third quarter, Vanderbilt reclaimed the lead on Brian Kimbrow's 21-yard touchdown run.

"The thing that's probably the most exciting is there is a culture of winning at Vanderbilt," said Franklin, whose team has bowl wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. "These guys know how to win. A lot of different ways they do it — ugly, pretty, people can describe it however they want."

Division I-AA title game: Senior Brock Jensen threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score in his 48th victory, a record in Division I-AA, as North Dakota State capped a 15-0 season by defeating Towson 35-7 for its third consecutive national championship. "It hasn't (set in) right now, but I think in a couple of months it's going to," said coach Craig Bohl, who stayed with the Bison for its playoff run after accepting the job as Wyoming's coach. The Bison joined Appalachian State (2005-07) as the only I-AA teams to win three consecutive championships.

MISSISSIPPI: Receiver Donte Moncrief decided to skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft.

OHIO STATE: Linebacker Ryan Shazier, a first-team All-American, said he will forgo his senior season and enter the draft.

USC: Trojans receiver Marqise Lee says he's passing up his senior season to enter the draft. He is projected to be taken in the first round.

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