LOS ANGELES (AP)Southern California hired Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley to be its next coach Sunday in a stunning and rare move of one traditional college football powerhouse swiping another’s highly accomplished head coach.
Riley went 55-10 in five seasons leading the Sooners, winning four Big 12 titles and making three College Football Playoff appearances in his first head coaching job. The 38-year-old Texan is widely considered one of the top offensive minds in the college game, and USC sold him on the chance to return the Trojans to their glory days as a national championship contender and the West Coast’s premier program.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Florida has hired Louisiana-Lafayette’s Billy Napier to be its next football coach.
The move ends a quick process that landed the Gators their top target.
The 42-year-old Napier will remain with the Ragin Cajuns this week as they prepare to host Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday.
Florida scheduled an introductory news conference with Napier for Dec. 5. He will take over for Dan Mullen, who was fired last Sunday after the team’s fourth loss in five games. Napier is 39-12 in four seasons at ULL.
PULLMAN, Wash (AP) – Washington State removed the interim tag and named Jake Dickert head coach Saturday night after he led the Cougars to a 3-2 record following the firing of Nick Rolovich.
Momentum had been growing for Dickert to get the job permanently and his candidacy was capped with an emphatic 40-13 rout of rival Washington in the Apple Cup that snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Huskies.
Dickert was promoted from defensive coordinator to be the interim head coach in October after Rolovich was fired for refusing to meet the state’s mandate for employees to have received a COVID-19 vaccine or an exemption. Rolovich and four other assistant coaches were fired.
Dickert agreed to a five-year contract, the school announced.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – David Cutcliffe won’t return for a 15th season as Duke’s coach after the school announced a ”mutual agreement for separation” on Sunday following the Blue Devils’ winless Atlantic Coast Conference record.
The school’s announcement came a day after the Blue Devils (3-9, 0-8) closed a three-win season with a 47-10 home loss to Miami. That marked the first winless slate for Duke in league play under Cutcliffe, who transformed the Blue Devils from one of the nation’s worst performers into a regular bowl contender and even claimed a division title in the ACC in 2013 before the program slid badly in the past two seasons.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – Sonny Dykes is set to be introduced as TCU’s new coach on Tuesday after four seasons at SMU, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because there were no official announcements from TCU or SMU amid numerous reports citing unnamed sources that Dykes would be the Horned Frogs’ new coach. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report plans for Dykes to be formally introduced Tuesday.
Dykes’ return to the other side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a much-anticipated move. The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes had been considered a top candidate for the Frogs job since Gary Patterson and TCU mutually agreed Oct. 31 to part ways with four games left in the season.
– By AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – The Texas Rangers have reached an agreement on a seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman and potential shortstop Marcus Semien, according to a person familiar with the deal, and the team has also come to terms with right-handed starter Jon Gray and outfielder Kole Calhoun.
That person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday night, when all the deals were pending physicals and not finalized. ESPN, which first reported the Semien agreement, said it was worth $175 million.
The 31-year-old Semien hit .265 and set career highs with his 45 homers, 102 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in his only season in Toronto. The 45 homers were an MLB record for a second baseman. He finished third in the AL MVP voting, like he did in 2019 when he played all 162 games for the Athletics and hit .285 with 33 homers and 92 RBIs.
– By Baseball Writer Stephen Hawkins.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Twins and center fielder Byron Buxton agreed to a seven-year, $100 million contract Sunday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the contract was not yet finalized and pending a physical exam.
Buxton has played more than 92 games only once in his seven major league seasons. That was in 2017, when he played in 140 games and won a Gold Glove award.
– By AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell.
TORONTO (AP) – The Toronto Blue Jays have reached an agreement with right-hander Kevin Gausman on a five-year, $110 million contract, pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press late Sunday.
The 30-year-old Gausman was 14-6 with a 2.81 ERA and 227 strikeouts in 192 innings for San Francisco last season. He has a 64-72 record and 4.02 ERA in his career with Baltimore, Atlanta and San Francisco.
– By Rob Gillies.
SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle Mariners acquired All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier in a trade with the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
The move cost Seattle two minor leaguers, but it addresses one of the team’s biggest needs entering the offseason; adding a middle infielder to pair with shortstop J.P. Crawford. Frazier’s versatility means the Mariners can still be aggressive with other possible transactions should another middle infielder become available.
The Padres acquired left-handed reliever Ray Kerr and outfielder Corey Rosier.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Wander Franco and the Tampa Bay Rays have finalized an $182 million, 11-year contract that includes a club option for the 2033 season.
The shortstop’s deal, which could be worth up to $223 million if the club option is exercised and incentives are reached, was announced Saturday.
Tampa Bay won the AL East in 2021.
The contract is the largest financial commitment to a player in the Rays’ 24-year history. It’s also the biggest deal in major league history for a player with less than a year of major league service time.
The NHL has postponed two more games for coronavirus-related reasons, making it five so far this season.
Upcoming New York Islanders games Sunday at the Rangers and Tuesday at the Philadelphia Flyers were postponed after additional members of the team went into the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Saturday.
General manager Lou Lamoriello said forward Casey Cizikas became the latest player to test positive. The Islanders would have had as many as eight players unavailable.
The league said the possibility of additional spread contributed to the Islanders’ games through at least Tuesday being called off for now.
MONTREAL (AP) – The Montreal Canadiens fired general manager Marc Bergevin and two other executives Sunday amid on-ice struggles just months after advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
The Canadiens announced Bergevin’s dismissal along with those of assistant GM Trevor Timmins and Paul Wilson, senior vice president of public affairs and communications.
The Canadiens said Jeff Gorton will serve as executive vice president of hockey operations as the team searches for a new general manager. Bergevin was in his 10th season as the team’s GM.
KILLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – Mikaela Shiffrin marked the return of the women’s World Cup to North America by setting yet another record – and the two-time Olympic champion did it Sunday on home snow.
Shiffrin beat Petra Vlhova – her main rival – for her 46th win in World Cup slaloms. That matched a 32-year-old record for most World Cup wins in a single discipline, set by Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark in giant slalom.
The 26-year-old Shiffrin was in tears after her 71st World Cup victory was confirmed.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – South African golfer Thriston Lawrence won the Joburg Open on Saturday after the third round was abandoned because of bad weather, meaning the result was called after 36 holes of the inaugural event on the DP World Tour.
The event had been reduced to a 54-hole tournament late Friday to help non-South African resident players, caddies and support staff at the tournament return to their home countries, a move triggered by international travel restrictions being imposed on South Africa because of the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in the country.
Lawrence had a four-shot lead at the end of the second round, having shot 65-65 to be on 12 under par overall. He claimed his first win on what was formerly named the European Tour.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Hall of Fame defensive lineman Curly Culp, who helped the Kansas City Chiefs win their first Super Bowl during a 14-year NFL career, died Saturday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 75.
Culp announced this month that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. His wife, Collette Bloom Culp, announced ”on behalf of our family and with a broken heart” the five-time All-Pro’s death.
Culp was considered one of the strongest players in the NFL during his playing career, though his position on the interior of the defensive line meant his play often went unnoticed. He was chosen to participate in six Pro Bowls, and he was second to Steelers cornerback Mel Blount for AP Defensive Player of the Year after the 1975 season.
LONDON (AP) – Frank Williams, the founder and former team principal of Formula One’s Williams Racing, has died. He was 79.
Williams took his motor racing team from an empty carpet warehouse to the summit of Formula One, overseeing 114 victories, a combined 16 drivers’ and constructors’ world championships, while becoming the longest-serving team boss in the sport’s history.
”After being admitted into hospital on Friday, Sir Frank passed away peacefully this morning surrounded by his family,” Williams Racing said in a statement Sunday.
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