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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Dec. 31, 2012 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

Reid, Lovie Smith, Turner among NFL coaches fired

By United Press International

Many National Football League coaches and general managers lost their jobs Monday.

Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles and Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears, both longtime head coaches, were let go.

Reid had been with the Eagles 14 years, Smith with the Bears nine years.

The San Diego Chargers fired Coach Norv Turner, with the club since 2007.

Other coaches fired included Chan Gailey of the Buffalo Bills, Pat Shurmur of the Cleveland Browns, Romeo Crennel of the Kansas City Chiefs and Ken Whisenhunt of the Arizona Cardinals.

General managers cut by their teams included Tom Heckert of the Browns, Gene Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars, A.J. Smith of San Diego, Rod Graves of Arizona and Mike Tannenbaum of the New York Jets.

There had been much speculation about the future of Jets Coach Rex Ryan, but the team said he would be back next season.

Many assistant coaches were dismissed, including all of them at Buffalo.


Cincinnati, UNLV fall in coaches' poll

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Duke remains just shy of the unanimous No. 1 spot in the latest USA Today Coaches' poll but Cincinnati and Nevada-Las Vegas see big drops in their rankings.

The updated poll was released Monday.

Duke (12-0) again reaps 30 of the 31 first-place votes and was second on the other. Michigan (13-0) is ranked second for a third consecutive week, getting the other first-place vote, 29 seconds and one third.

A relatively light schedule during Christmas week brought losses by Cincinnati and UNLV, resulting in seven-spot falls in the poll. Cincinnati (12-1) lost to New Mexico and drops to 15th while UNLV (11-2) was beaten by North Carolina and slips to 24th.

Another notable loss last week was Kentucky falling to Louisville. It was the fourth loss of the year for the NCAA defending champion Wildcats and the coaches drop them from the Top 25 this week.

Last week Arizona and Louisville were tied for third but Arizona (12-0) is ahead now and ranked third, with Louisville (12-1) in fourth. Indiana (12-1) remains fifth followed by No. 6 Kansas (11-1) and seventh-ranked Syracuse (11-1).

Ohio State (10-2) and Florida (9-2) are both up two places to eighth and ninth, respectively, while Gonzaga (12-1) moves from 13th to No. 10.

Creighton (12-1) moves up to 11th but Missouri (10-2) slips from ninth to 12th. Big Ten foes Minnesota (12-1) and Illinois (13-1) both improve one place to 13th and 14th, respectively, with Cincinnati at No. 15.

Georgetown (10-1) keeps moving up and is now 16th. San Diego State (11-2) falls one spot to 17th and is followed by, in order, Michigan State (11-2), Notre Dame (12-1) and Butler (10-2). Oklahoma State (10-1) comes in at No. 21 and Pittsburgh (12-1) takes the 22nd spot. New Mexico (13-1) re-enters the rankings ahead of UNLV (11-2) and North Carolina State (10-2) is again No. 25.


New Zealand jockey dies in fall

NORTH OTAGO, New Zealand, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- New Zealand jockey Ashlee Mundy died from head injuries Monday after falling from her horse in a race in North Otago, officials said.

Mundy had been riding in the annual Kurow Cup race Sunday when her mount, Elleaye, clipped heels and fell at the 600-meter mark of the race, the Brisbane Courier-Mail reported Monday.

Emergency crews flew her to a hospital in Dunedin where she was initially listed in critical condition. It is believed she was galloped upon by a horse during the fall, the report said.

The New Zealand horse racing community has been hit hard by Mundy's death, trainer Lisa Rae told the Courier-Mail.

"She's the wrong person -- she's been taken too soon," Rae said. "She'd rock up every morning ready to ride -- she was just one of those people who have a natural way with animals."

"Our owners are broken, they're distraught. Ashlee was just lovely, she's touched so many people's lives," Rae said.

The New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit was expected to conduct an investigation into the accident, interviewing other riders and viewing race video, the newspaper said.


Injuries could hurt Nadal's ranking

LONDON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- The 2013 ATP tennis schedule opens this week but much of the attention is on Rafael Nadal because he's not playing any time soon.

Nadal opens the year ranked No. 4 but a knee injury kept him off the court of the second half of 2012 and a stomach virus has already led him to withdraw from the Australian Open -- where he was the 2012 runner-up.

The No. 4-ranking to open the year is the lowest for Nadal since he burst onto the tennis scene in 2005. He started that year No. 51 and, after winning 11 tournaments (including his first French Open), climbed to No. 2. He's started either first or second each year since.

By the end of 2012, Nadal dropped to fourth behind Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, who each won a major tournament last year (as did Nadal).

He's just 185 rankings points ahead of David Ferrer, who is the top seed at the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open this week. Nadal has a 2,010-point edge on sixth-ranked Tomas Berdych, the No. 1 seed in Chennai, India.

Murray, ranked third, will be looking to keep his 1,310-point advantage over Nadal at the Brisbane International, where he is defending champion.

No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic, who is to play at Chennai, and 10th-ranked Richard Gasquet, in the draw at Qatar, are also playing the first week of the 2013 schedule.

Djokovic is No. 1, a position he's held for 62 weeks, which is 11th most in ATP history.

Djokovic has 12,920 points while Federer is second with 10,265 and Murray has 8,000 for third. Nadal has 6,690.

Ferrer's total of 6,505 is fifth-most with Berdych (4,680) in sixth and Juan Martin del Potro (4,480) in the seventh spot. Jo-Wilfried is eighth with 3,490 points followed by Tipsarevic (2,990) and Gasquet (2,515).

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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