memories of ryan: Caring and loyolty
LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. — Buddy Ryan was remembered not just as a defensive master who won two Super Bowls and spawned a legacy carried on by players and twin sons now coaching in the NFL.
Ryan, who died Tuesday at 85, also motivated players with a gruff but caring approach that helped them succeed on the field and in life. His loyalty was noted and reciprocated by many of his pupils who traveled far to pay their respects Friday during a 20-minute eulogy at St. Lawrence Catholic Church.
Ryan's wooden casket bore the U.S. Army seal from his service during the Korean War.
"There's not enough time to go into so many other things that he taught me as a player, as a husband, as a father. But what he did for me I am eternally in debt," Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary said.
Gratitude was the common theme as former players from several teams Ryan coached said their formal goodbyes. Mike Ditka, who coached the Bears when Ryan was the defensive coordinator, was among a group of Hall of Famers.
"I don't know who the defensive coordinator is on God's football team up there," former Bear Steve McMichael said, "but he just lost his job."
COWBOYS: Former special teams player C.J. Spillman was sentenced to five years in prison for a sexual assault conviction.
FSU promotes athletic director
FSU announced that athletic director Stan Wilcox was promoted to vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics as part of a contract extension that will expire June 30, 2020. Wilcox's original contract was scheduled to expire in August 2018. In his three years at FSU the Seminoles have won national championships in football (2013) and women's soccer (2014), and he has placed a priority on improving most of the athletic facilities.
basketball: Former top recruit Malik Newman is transferring to Kansas after a year at Mississippi State. The shooting guard also considered Oregon, Western Kentucky and N.C. State. He will sit out a year because of transfer rules. … Kentucky transfer Charles Matthews will play for Michigan. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 36 games with three starts last season. He will sit out a year.
Wales rallies past Belgium 3-1
Wales rallied from a goal down to beat Belgium 3-1 in a quarterfinal at the European Championship in Lille, France. Unheralded forwards Hal Robson-Kanu and Sam Vokes settled the game with goals in the 55th and 85th minutes. Wales, in its first berth in a semifinal of a major tournament, faces Portugal on Wednesday in Lyon. That game will feature a clash of Real Madrid stars — Gareth Bale of Wales and Cristiano Ronaldo. In a quarterfinal today, Italy faces Germany in Bordeaux (3 p.m., ESPN2).
MORE SOCCER: Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, signed a one-year deal with Manchester United, with a one-year option. He was a free agent after his Paris Saint-Germain contract expired last month.