Coach leaves UNLV after two weeks
LUBBOCK, Texas — Less than two weeks after accepting the job at UNLV, Chris Beard is heading home. Back to Texas Tech, specifically.
The Red Raiders announced Friday that they hired Beard, who was an assistant there for 10 seasons. He replaces Tubby Smith, who took the Memphis job. Beard led Arkansas-Little Rock to a school-record 30 wins and a first-round upset of Purdue in the NCAA Tournament this season.
UNLV athletic director Tina Kunzer-Murphy didn't mince words, though her school got a $1 million buyout.
"Our search process allowed us to develop a deep pool of qualified candidates, from which we will select a great coach who really wants to be here and who will honor his commitments in leading the Runnin' Rebels," she said.
Washington State: Juniors Conor Clifford, Josh Hawkinson and Ike Iroegbu declared for the NBA draft but said they won't hire agents.
Rizzotti takes over as GW women's coach
Jennifer Rizzotti was named women's basketball coach at George Washington after 17 seasons at Hartford. As a player, she led UConn to its first national title in 1995 and was the player of the year in 1996. … Illinois coach Matt Bollant said leading scorer and rebounder Chatrice White plans to transfer. … Santa Clara hired former Point Loma Nazarene men's coach Bill Carr as its women's coach.
Gymnastics: Florida has a shot at a fourth straight NCAA women's championship, and senior Bridget Sloan leads the early all-around standings in Fort Worth, Texas. The Gators scored 197.475 in the first semifinal, edging SEC rivals LSU and Georgia. All three made tonight's Super Six final. Sloan, a former U.S. Olympian who came in with three NCAA individual event titles, led the all-around with 39.7 points and the beam at 9.95; that score was also enough to tie Georgia's Brittany Rogers for first on the uneven bars.
Nadal tops Wawrinka; Federer ousted on clay
Rafael Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 to reach the Monte Carlo Masters semifinals in Monaco, where he faces Andy Murray. Roger Federer was two points from victory, up 5-4 and 30-15 in the deciding set, but lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. This was Federer's first tournament after he missed more than two months following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. "It was good to play back-to-back, (Thursday and Friday), good to play 2 hours 10 (minutes) today," Federer said. "I'm happy how the body reacted." With Federer, top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka out, Nadal is favored for his ninth title on the Monte Carlo clay.
Soccer: Real Madrid plays Manchester City and Atletico Madrid faces Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. The first legs are April 26 and 27, the second legs May 3 and 4. … Today, the National Women's Soccer League opens its fourth season — a milestone considering the past two attempts at a U.S. women's pro league folded after three years — and all 10 teams play this weekend. U.S. star striker Alex Morgan debuts with the expansion Orlando Pride on Sunday against her former team, Portland.
Swimming: Michael Phelps won the 200-meter butterfly at the Arena Pro meet in Mesa, Ariz., where wind gusts up to 30 mph whipped up the water and created challenging conditions.