National Sports Briefs: Rams, Bucs pick coaches
Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 17, 2009
ST. LOUIS ó The St. Louis Rams have hired New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo as their coach.
Spagnuolo replaces Jim Haslett and takes over a team that finished 2-14. Haslett went 2-10 as interim coach after his promotion from defensive coordinator when Scott Linehan was fired following an 0-4 start.
– TAMPA, Fla. ó A day after abruptly firing Super Bowl winner Jon Gruden, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have introduced Raheem Morris as their new coach.
The 32-year-old Morris has no previous head coaching experience. The Bucs promoted him to defensive coordinator on Christmas Day, and he recently interviewed for the Denver Broncos coaching vacancy.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. ó Florida quarterback Tim Tebow walked onto the basketball court Saturday with his right arm in a sling.
When he walked off, the sling was dangling from his left hand.
Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, ripped off his sling at the end of a brief speech at halftime of the Arkansas-Florida basketball game in an effort to assure Gators fans he would be fine following surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.
“Don’t worry about this. I’ll be fine,” Tebow said as he pulled off the sling.
Tebow had surgery Monday, one day after he announced he was staying at Florida for his senior season.
– HOUSTON ó Marlon Lucky rushed for 68 yards and a touchdown and the East defense stopped the West three times inside the 10-yard line to secure a 24-19 win in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday afternoon.
HONOLULU ó Tadd Fujikawa delivered the best round of his life Saturday in the Sony Open, making birdies on half of his holes for an 8-under 62 that left him two shots out of the lead and gave golf its biggest buzz since the Ryder Cup.
Zach Johnson played bogey-free for a 66 and finished atop a leaderboard so crowded that a dozen players were separated by three shots, giving just about anyone a chance to win ó even an 18-year-old senior in high school.
PHILADELPHIA ó Cole Hamels has agreed to a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, three people familiar with the negotiations said Saturday.
– NEW YORK ó CC Sabathia won the Spahn Award for the second straight year as baseball’s top left-handed pitcher after leading the Brewers to the playoffs for the first time since 1982. After Cleveland sent him to Milwaukee in a midseason trade, Sabathia went 11-2 and threw seven of his league-best 10 complete games.