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News Nuggets, 12.13.04
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Musical chairs at full tilt as coaches change jobs


12.12.04: Title game of the Heismans set ... All-time Heisman winners list ... Blue- Gray Classic scratched again ... More...
12.11.04: Job security for SMU coach comes with lofty mandate ... Panel pushing to tie bowl bids to grad rates ... More...
12.10.04: Gamecocks' ol' man "Pops" still in the limelight ... Lou Groza Award winners ... Ray Guy Award winners ... More...
12.09.04: East Carolina releases 2005 baseball schedule ... BCA urges athletes, coaches to shun Gamecocks ... More...
12.08.04: All-Conference USA and C-USA All-Freshman teams ... Petrino waves off suitors to stay at Louisville ... More...
12.07.04: Syracuse chancellor decides to stick with Pasqualoni ... Zook selected to rejuvenate struggling Illini ... More...
12.06.04: C-USA standings, scoreboard, bowl lineup & TV ... BCS rankings, bowl pairings ''' AP football poll ... More...
12.05.04: FLwed BCS produces another messy title picture ... College football weekend: stars & storylines ... More...
12.04.04: Hectic December for Southern Miss kicks off today ... Crimson Tide basketball rolls into Charlotte ... More...
12.03.04: AP: Holtz gets the nod as coach at East Carolina ... Ross rediscovers purpose at West Point ... More...
12.02.04: Florida going to Peach Bowl with or without Zook ... Willingham refuses to throw darts at Notre Dame ... More...
12.01.04: Peach Bowl hopes Zook coaches one more game ... Juggernauts Louisville, Boise State to collide ... Bowl wrap: Eagles land in Tire Bowl vs. Heels ... More...

Charlie Weis landed Tyrone Willingham's old job at Notre Dame. Walt Harris was tapped to take over at Stanford, where Willingham led the Cardinal to the 2000 Rose Bowl.

Meanwhile, Willingham himself was hired by Washington on Sunday as three high-profile head coaching positions were filled and another came open.

All three coaches will be introduced Monday.

Weis, the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator, graduated from Notre Dame in 1978, but never played for the fighting Irish.

He agreed to a six-year deal that will pay him a reported $2 million annually. His hiring ended an awkward two weeks for the Fighting Irish that began with the firing of Willingham.

Willingham's three-year tenure was the shortest of any full-time Notre Dame coach in 70 years. He had three years left on his initial contract, but was let go after going 6-5. Notre Dame had made a tradition of allowing its coaches to at least work through the length of their first contract.

Last week, outgoing Notre Dame president the Rev. Edward Malloy criticized Willingham's firing and expressed concern over a growing trend of schools that are searching for ``messiah coaches.''

The Black Coaches Association also knocked the move. The dismissal of Willingham left only two black coaches in Division I-A football out of 117.

Notre Dame took more hits when its first choice to replace Willingham, Utah coach Urban Meyer, took an offer from Florida instead.

That sent the Irish searching and eventually looking to Weis, a longtime NFL assistant who has never been a head coach.

The 48-year-old Weis arrived at the school Sunday night, just hours after the Patriots beat Cincinnati in Foxboro, Mass. Within an hour, he met with the players.

``Here's what we have to do. I believe there is a proper protocol, and right now, the most important thing is that I go talk to the players,'' Weis said.

He will be staying with New England through the NFL playoffs, juggling both jobs.

Not long before Weis' arrival in South Bend, Washington announced that it was bringing Willingham back to the Pac-10.

The Huskies, who will face the Irish on Sept. 24 in Seattle, are coming off a school-worst 1-10 season and are still trying to recover from a messy divorce with former coach Rick Neuheisel before the 2003 season.

Keith Gilbertson replaced Neuheisel, who was fired for gambling on NCAA basketball, but Gilbertson couldn't keep Washington from sinking to the bottom of the Pac-10. Gilbertson stepped down after the season.

The Huskies made initial contact with Willingham while he was still employed by Notre Dame, and when he was fired he became a prime candidate.

``I am excited about being here,'' Willingham said.

Willingham was 21-15 in three seasons at Notre Dame — but after an 8-0 start in 2002, the Irish went 13-15. Before going to Notre Dame, Willingham coached Stanford from 1995-2001. He went 44-36-1 with the Cardinal.

Harris will try to get Stanford back to that level. The Cardinal experienced three unsuccessful season's under Buddy Teevens, who replaced Willingham in 2003.

Stanford was looking for a coach with a strong offensive background after the Cardinal struggled to score during Teevens' tenure.

The Cardinal went 4-7 the past two seasons, losing their last five games this year.

Harris was Ohio State's quarterbacks coach in 1995-96 before going to Pitt. He has led the Panthers to three straight seasons with eight or more wins.

But he also has ties to the Bay Area. He grew up in South San Francisco and attended college at Pacific in Stockton. Stanford athletic director Ted Leland also hired Harris to coach Pacific in 1989.

Harris's eighth season with Pittsburgh has been one of his most successful after the Panthers started 2-2, prompting talk that Harris, in the last year of his contract, would be replaced at season's end.

But the Panthers won six of their final seven to earn their first spot in the Bowl Championship Series.

Harris and AD Jeff Long met last week but couldn't agree on a contract extension, so the coach resigned Sunday. Pitt plays Utah in the Fiesta Bowl in Jan. 1 and Harris is expected to coach the team in that game.

As for the Panthers, the first name to come up as a possible replacement for Harris was former Miami Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt. Wannstedt played at Pitt and has expressed interest in the job.


BRIGHAM YOUNG — Gary Crowton (resigned)
EAST CAROLINA — John Thompson (resigned), Skip Holtz
FLORIDA — Ron Zook (fired), Urban Meyer
ILLINOIS — Ron Turner (fired), Ron Zook
INDIANA — Gerry DiNardo (fired)
MISSISSIPPI — David Cutcliffe (fired)
NEVADA-LAS VEGAS — John Robinson (retired), Mike Sanford
NEW MEXICO STATE — Tony Samuel (fired)
NOTRE DAME — Tyrone Willingham (fired), Charlie Weis
OHIO — Brian Knorr (fired)
PITTSBURGH — Walt Harris (resigned)
SAN JOSE STATE — Fitz Hill (resigned)
SOUTH CAROLINA — Lou Holtz (retired), Steve Spurrier
STANFORD — Buddy Teevens (fired), Walt Harris
UTAH — Urban Meyer (resigned), Kyle Whittingham
UTAH STATE — Mick Dennehy (fired), Brent Guy
WASHINGTON — Keith Gilbertson (resigned), Tyrone Willingham
WESTERN MICHIGAN — Gary Darnell (fired), Bill Cubit


2004 Matt Leinart, Southern Cal, QB
2003 Jason White, Oklahoma, QB
2002 Carson Palmer, Southern Cal, QB
2001 Eric Crouch, Nebraska, QB
2000 Chris Weinke, Florida St., QB
1999 Ron Dayne, Wisconsin, RB
1998 Ricky Williams, Texas, RB
1997 Charles Woodson, Michigan, CB
1996 Danny Wuerffel, Florida, QB
1995 Eddie George, Ohio St., TB
1994 Rashaan Salaam, Colorado, RB
1993 Charlie Ward, Florida State, QB
1992 Gino Torretta, Miami, QB
1991 Desmond Howard, Michigan, WR
1990 Ty Detmer, Brigham Young, QB
1989 Andre Ware, Houston, QB
1988 Barry Sanders, Oklahoma State, RB
1987 Tim Brown, Notre Dame, WR
1986 Vinny Testaverde, Miami, QB
1985 Bo Jackson, Auburn, TB
1984 Doug Flutie, Boston College, QB
1983 Mike Rozier, Nebraska, TB
1982 Herschel Walker, Georgia, HB
1981 Marcus Allen, Southern Cal, TB
1980 George Rogers, South Carolina, HB
1979 Charles White, Southern Cal, TB
1978 Billy Sims, Oklahoma, HB
1977 Earl Campbell, Texas, FB
1976 Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh, HB
1975 Archie Griffin, Ohio State, HB
1974 Archie Griffin, Ohio State, HB
1973 John Cappelletti, Penn State, HB
1972 Johnny Rodgers, Nebraska, FL
1971 Pat Sullivan, Auburn, QB
1970 Jim Plunkett, Stanford, QB
1969 Steve Owens, Oklahoma, HB
1968 O.J. Simpson, Southern Cal, TB
1967 Gary Beban, UCLA, QB
1966 Steve Spurrier, Florida, QB
1965 Mike Garrett, Southern Cal, TB
1964 John Huarte, Notre Dame, QB
1963 Roger Staubach, Navy, QB
1962 Terry Baker, Oregon State, QB
1961 Ernie Davis, Syracuse, HB
1960 Joe Bellino, Navy, HB
1959 Billy Cannon, LSU, HB
1958 Pete Dawkins, Army, HB
1957 John David Crow, Texas A&M, HB
1956 Paul Hornung, Notre Dame, QB
1955 Howard Cassady, Ohio State, HB
1954 Alan Ameche, Wisconsin, FB
1953 John Lattner, Notre Dame, HB
1952 Billy Vessels, Oklahoma, HB
1951 Dick Kazmaier, Princeton, HB
1950 Vic Janowicz, Ohio State, HB
1949 Leon Hart, Notre Dame, E
1948 Doak Walker, SMU, HB
1947 John Lujack, Notre Dame, QB
1946 Glenn Davis, Army, HB
1945 Doc Blanchard, Army, HB
1944 Les Horvath, Ohio State, QB
1943 Angelo Bertelli, Notre Dame, QB
1942 Frank Sinkwich, Georgia, HB
1941 Bruce Smith, Minnesota, HB
1940 Tom Harmon, Michigan, HB
1939 Nile Kinnick, Iowa, HB
1938 Davey O'Brien, Texas Christian, QB
1937 Clint Frank, Yale, HB
1936 Larry Kelley, Yale, E
1935 Jay Berwanger, Chicago, HB

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:06 PM


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