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College football notebook

Associated Press
The college football notebook…
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. ó Penn State may still be without a replacement for fired coach Joe Paterno by the time the Nittany Lions play in the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2
The six-person search committee is taking a ěvery deliberate and measured approach to the process in order to identify the coach that best fits the requirements of the position,î acting athletic director Dave Joyner said Thursday in a written statement.
School president Rodney Erickson and Joyner had both said they hoped to have a new coach before No. 24 Penn Stateís bowl game.
But Thursday, Joyner said a new coach would be introduced ěat the appropriate time,î and the statement offered no specific timeline.
Erickson was out of town Thursday for the holidays. Spokesman Bill Mahon said Joyner was providing Erickson with regular updates.
ěI think they have both emphasized the most important element here is to get the right coach, not speed up the timing of the search,î Mahon said. ěThere is no update on possible timing.î
Longtime defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has been running the program on an interim basis since school trustees fired Paterno on Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
TAMU PLAYER DIES
COLLEGE STATION, Texas ó Texas A&M senior offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio has been killed in a car accident, according to the university.
Witness reports say that Villavisencio swerved to avoid a buzzard and veered head-on into the path of an 18-wheeler near the town of Normangee about 40 miles from College Station, on Thursday.
Villavisencio spent part of Thursday with the team delivering gifts to families at a local shelter after the Aggies finished their last workout on campus in preparation for the Meineke Car Care Bowl. Villavisencio was heading to his home in Jacksonville, Texas, at the time of the crash.
CHOW EMOTIONAL
HONOLULU ó After five schools, four decades and three national championships, Norm Chowís career has come full circle.
A tearful Chow was introduced Thursday as the new coach of Hawaii in an emotional news conference surrounded by old friends, including a high school teammate.
Chow says heís honored, humbled and awfully excited.
LEVINE TO HOUSTON
HOUSTON ó Tony Levine stepped to the microphone, donned the same red baseball cap heís been wearing to Houston football practices for four years and formally accepted his dream job.
Levine was introduced as the new coach of the Cougars on Thursday, getting a standing ovation from a packed press conference room. Levine replaces Kevin Sumlin, who left to coach Texas A&M.
The assistant head coach and special teams coordinator under Sumlin, Levine was already serving as the interim coach getting the Cougars (12-1) ready to play Penn State (9-3) in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2.
Levine said his staff will remain intact at least through the bowl game. He met with his assistants on Wednesday night, and plans to meet with each of them individually to map out who will stay and who will leave.
NEW AKRON COACH
CLEVELAND ó Akron has hired Terry Bowden as its new football coach Thursday to turn around a woeful program.
Bowden, a onetime hot coaching commodity who spent six seasons at Auburn and the past three at Division II North Alabama, takes over a team than went 2-22 and won just one conference game the past two seasons.
ěIím so excited to be a Zip,î said Bowden, who coached Akronís quarterbacks in 1986 under Gerry Faust. ěWith the great resources and the commitment to winning by the administration and community, itís just a matter of time until we build a championship program.î
ESPN first reported Bowdenís hiring.
The school will introduce Bowden at a news conference on Dec. 28.
Bowden, the son of famed former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, has been at North Alabama the past three seasons after a decade-long absence from the sidelines. He was once one of college footballís hottest young coaches and won his first 20 games after taking over a probation-racked Auburn program. He left in midseason in 1998 after the Tigers started 1-5, maintaining ever since that he bolted only after being told by then-trustee Bobby Lowder that he would be fired.
During his time out of coaching, Bowden worked as a college football analyst for ABC and hosted a radio show in Orlando.
At Akron, heíll replace Rob Ianello, who went 1-15 in the Mid-American Conference and was fired in November.
ěWe welcome Terry Bowden back to campus. He brings with him an outstanding record of success and a true football coaching pedigree,î said school president Dr. Luis M. Proenza. ěWe know the entire Akron community will support Coach Bowden in his mission to cultivate a championship program here.î
Akronís program has lacked stability the past few years. The NCAA stripped the school of scholarships in 2008 for failing to comply with graduation rate policies. One of Bowdenís first priorities will be making recruiting inroads in Northeast Ohio.
Before taking over at Auburn in 1992, Bowden built successful programs at Salem College (W.Va.) and Samford. When he took the job at Salem in 1983, he was just 26 ó the nationís youngest head coach.
Bowden led North Alabama to the Division II playoffs in all three seasons with a team stocked with transfers like ex-Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins, former Florida State receiver Jarmon Fortson and onetime Georgia Southern starting quarterback Lee Chapple.
The Lions lost 42-17 to Delta State in the second round of the playoffs this season.
Bowden has a 140-62-2 record in 18 seasons as a coach.
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AP Sports Writer John Zenor in Montgomery, Ala., contributed to this report.
The Associated Press
12/22/11 15:45

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