College football notebook: Rodriguez staying at WVU

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2006

Associated Press

The college football notebook …

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.– Spurned again, Alabama is resuming its latest search for a football coach.

This time it was West Virginia’s Rich Rodriguez saying no thanks Friday to the program still yearning for a leader to steer it back to the powerhouse days of Bear Bryant.

Rodriguez opted to remain at his alma mater instead of taking the reported six-year, $12 million offer from Alabama that would have nearly doubled his previous deal.

Crimson Tide athletic director Mal Moore tried to reassure the ‘Bama faithful.

“I want to remind everyone of what I said at the outset of this process: My only objective is to get the best person available to lead the Alabama football program,” Moore said in a written statement. “I remain determined to bring to our program a proven head coach with impressive credentials.”

Rodriguez had such credentials, leading the Mountaineers to a Sugar Bowl victory two seasons ago and going 10-2 this season.

But he also had lifelong ties to West Virginia, growing up about 30 minutes from campus. Rodriguez said he plans “on being here a long time.”

NORTH CAROLINA ASSISTANT

CHAPEL HILL — New North Carolina football coach Butch Davis hired his first assistant Friday, naming longtime aide Steve Hagen his offensive assistant coach.

Hagen spent four seasons with Davis and the Cleveland Browns as tight ends coach from 2001 to 2003, and quarterbacks coach in 2004. He comes to the Tar Heels after one season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State.

“Steve is respected throughout the country by his peers and his former players,” Davis said. “He’s an outstanding offensive coach who I had the pleasure of working with in Cleveland. His work ethic, knowledge of the game and ability to develop players are a few of his exceptional qualities.”

CLEMSON

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson has sold out of its 11,500 tickets for the Music City Bowl in Nashville.

The game was a sellout. It will be played at LP Stadium, home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. The stadium holds about 67,000 people.

DIVISION 1-AA PLAYOFFS

MISSOULA, Mont. — Steve Baylark ran for 169 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 76 yards to lead Massachusetts to a 19-17 victory over Montana on Friday night in the NCAA Division I-AA semifinals.

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