Sports briefs: Jan. 18

January 17, 2014 

College football

Mumme takes head coaching job in NAIA

Belhaven, an NAIA school in Jackson, Miss., hired former Kentucky coach Hal Mumme to lead its football program. The 61-year-old was the passing game coordinator under June Jones at Southern Methodist in 2013. This will be Mumme's seventh head coaching job, and he is widely known for his prolific passing offenses.

Mumme's most high profile job was at Kentucky from 1997-2000, where he coached quarterback Tim Couch, the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in 1999.

Belhaven, a small private school, finished with a 3-8 record last season.

Belhaven President Roger Parrott said in a school release that "I am excited for our students, our players, and our alumni, because Belhaven football is going to join the 'Air-Raid' and soar."

■ Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino completed his coaching staff by hiring Lamar Thomas as wide receivers coach and Terrell Buckley as cornerbacks coach. Thomas coached last season with Petrino at Western Kentucky. Buckley, a 14-year veteran of the NFL, spent the past two seasons as cornerbacks coach at Akron.

■ Vanderbilt took less than a week before filling its vacant head football coaching position, announcing Friday the university had tabbed Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason. Mason, 44, has spent the past four seasons at Stanford, where academic requirements and recruiting challenges are similar to Vanderbilt's.


Major League Baseball

Tigers give Scherzer one-year deal

AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers for $15,525,000. He went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts as the Tigers advanced to the AL championship series against Boston.

■ Infielder Mark Reynolds agreed to a minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Reynolds, a Pikeville native, would get a $2 million salary if added to the 40-man major league roster. Reynolds hit .220 last season with 21 homers and 67 RBI for Cleveland and the New York Yankees.

■ The Cincinnati Reds agreed to a two-year deal with reliever Sam LeCure and a one-year contract with Alfredo Simon on Friday, leaving them with three players in salary arbitration — Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman.


Golf

Back-to-back 63s for Reed

A day after shooting a 9-under 63 at PGA West's Arnold Palmer Private Course to take the lead, Patrick Reed had another 9-under 63 down the road Friday at tree-lined La Quinta Country Club to stretch his advantage to two strokes over Brendon Todd in the Humana Challenge in California.

Back-to-back 68s have put Josh Teater (Henry Clay, Morehead State) 10 shots back at 8 under and tied for 34th. Justin Thomas (St. Xavier) followed a 74 with a 64 and was tied for 63rd at 6 under.

Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes to post a 5-under 67 and lie two shots off the lead two rounds into the Abu Dhabi Championship. Craig Lee (67) and Rafa Cabrera-Bello (68) were tied for the lead at 9 under.


Australian Open Tennis

Sharapova advances to fourth round

Maria Sharapova recovered from the longest, hottest match of her career to beat Alize Cornet 6-1, 7-6 (6) and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open. Her third-round match was played in high humidity but in temperatures of about 72 degrees, considerably cooler than the scorching 108-degree conditions she endured for 3 hours, 28 minutes in her second-round win over Karin Knapp two days before.


Etc.

Titans hire ex-WKU star to coach offense

Tennessee Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt hired Chargers assistant Jason Michael to be Tennessee's new offensive coordinator as he continues to fill out his coaching staff. Michael spent the past three seasons coaching tight ends for the Chargers, with San Diego ranking in the NFL's top 10 offensively in two of his three seasons. He also was first an offensive assistant and then quarterbacks coach with San Francisco in 2009 and 2010.

Michael played quarterback at Western Kentucky and led the Hilltoppers to the Division I-AA championship in 2002. "Nine years ago, this would have been the job I dreamed about — with my wife from Knoxville and going to school in Bowling Green — an opportunity to come home to be the offensive coordinator for the Titans," Michael said.

■ Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin will miss Sunday's NFC championship game after he was not cleared by doctors following a concussion suffered in last week's playoff game.

■ The seventh-ranked Florida men's basketball team will have leading scorer Casey Prather available at Auburn on Saturday. Prather, who is averaging 17 points a game, missed the last two outings with a badly bruised right knee.

■ The largest high school diving event in Kentucky takes place Saturday at the University of Kentucky's Lancaster Aquatic Center. The Kentucky High School Diving Invitational, hosted by Bryan Station, features 27 teams from around the state, including all eight schools from Lexington. Girls' diving takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. The boys' diving goes from 6 to 9:30 p.m.


The last word

After 35 years in the game as an assistant and two full decades in the league, Mike Zimmer's opportunity has finally arrived with the Minnesota Vikings. The former Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator said Friday at his introductory news conference:

"Sometimes you wonder. But I have a lot of confidence in myself. I feel like I was destined to do this, and for the first couple of days I've been here, that office upstairs feels really comfortable. I've got a chip on my shoulder. I want to make sure that 31 other teams know that I'm here and I'm ready to coach this football team."

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