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C. Michigan tabs WVU assistant

Published Jan. 6, 2007

Central Michigan hired West Virginia receivers coach Butch Jones on Friday to guide its program.

Jones, who spent seven seasons as an assistant at Central Michigan before leaving for West Virginia, replaces Brian Kelly, who took a job at Cincinnati last month.

This is be the first head coaching job at any level for Jones. Before joining the Mountaineers in 2005, Jones coached tight ends in 1998, wide receivers in 1999, and running backs from 2000-2004 for the Chippewas.

"Butch has all the skills to be a highly successful head coach," athletic director Dave Heeke said. "We are fortunate to have someone here from an outstanding program like West Virginia, and his experience with one of the most successful spread offenses in the country will help further develop our offense."

NEW PLACE: Speaking of Kelly, when he was asked who his starting tailback would be today when Cincinnati play sin the inaugural International Bowl, he got the answer wrong.

Just weeks after his hire, it's safe to say the adjustment process continues for Kelly.

"I needed someone to tell me it would be Greg Moore," Kelly said, shaking his head. "We're still in that process of feeling out one another."

Kelly and the rest of the Cincinnati team are hopeful they'll gel on the field against Western Michigan in Toronto.

Kelly began the season at Central Michigan before replacing Mark Dantonio, who got the Michigan State job, at Cincinnati on Dec. 4. But with Central Michigan preparing for the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26, Kelly had to wait until after that game for members of his CMU staff to join him, creating another challenge in trying to prepare the Cincinnati squad for its bowl game.

"We're just trying to get this team through (today)," Kelly said. "They deserve to go out and play without having to think a lot, so we've kept the Cincinnati system that was in place.

"Mark Dantonio left me a great program so there's really been no need to make a lot of changes."

N.C. STATE: New Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien will bring his entire offensive coaching staff from Boston College, including former Wolfpack assistant Dana Bible, the team announced.

The four assistants directed the Eagles offense to an Atlantic Coast Conference-leading 387.8 yards per game in 2005. It was the ACC's second most productive offense in 2006.

Bible will remain O'Brien's offensive coordinator. Don Horton will coach the line, Jim Bridge will mentor the tight ends, and Jason Swepson will lead the running backs, the Wolfpack announced.

USF: Senior linebacker Stephen Nicholas has accepted an invitation to play in the inaugural Inta Juice North-South All-Star Classic, played in Houston on Jan. 13.

Three recruits who signed in February but failed to qualify academically for fall enrollment have qualified and will join the team Monday, when spring classes start. Defensive end David Fonua and offensive linemen Jeremiah Warren and Kevin McCaskill will count as the first three members of USF's 2007 recruiting class.

Former Riverview linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, who had 129 tackles as a sophomore at Iowa State this fall, has registered for spring classes and is expected to transfer in. If he can land a hardship waiver from the NCAA, he could play this fall with two years of eligibility.

DAWSEY ON MOVE: Florida State officially named Lawrence Dawsey, who coached at USF the past three seasons, as receivers coach. Dawsey, 39, played for coach Bobby Bowden from 1987-90. He began his coaching career at Tampa Catholic and Blake high schools.

Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report.

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