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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:21 PM   |   Comments

Jacksonville, Arizona fill coaching needs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars hired Gus Bradley as their new head coach Thursday and the Arizona Cardinals chose Bruce Arians to lead their franchise, ESPN reported.

Eight NFL teams dismissed their head coach at the end of the regular season and Jacksonville and Arizona were the last of those teams to fill the vacancies.

Jacksonville announced early in the day that Bradley would replace Mike Mularkey, who was fired last week after a 2-14 season.

Bradley has spent the last four seasons as defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks. New Jacksonville General Manager Dave Caldwell had reportedly interviewed Jay Gruden and Brian Schottenheimer before settling on Bradley.

"It was just a matter of time before Gus Bradley became a head coach in the NFL," Caldwell said. "And the Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely fortunate that Gus will be on our sidelines for many years to come."

Seattle had the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL this season, giving up 15.3 points a game. The Seahawks narrowly missed out on a berth in the NFC Championship game when they fell to Atlanta 30-28 in last week's round of playoff action.

ESPN reported that Arians had been given a four-year deal to coach the Cardinals, replacing the fired Ken Whisenhunt.

Arians also replaced Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers when Whisenhunt left that position in 2007 to go to Arizona. Arians spent last season as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts and was the interim head coach while Chuck Pagano was undergoing treatments for leukemia.

The Colts went 9-2 under Arians.

Buffalo, Cleveland, San Diego, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago have also undergone coaching changes since the end of the regular season. One of the dismissed coaches, Philadelphia's Andy Reid, was then hired to guide Kansas City.

Buffalo hired Doug Marrone, Cleveland chose Rob Chudzinski, San Diego selected Mike McCoy, Chicago went with Marc Trestman and Philadelphia was able to land Oregon Coach Chip Kelly.

Two of the head coaches who lost their jobs -- San Diego's Norv Turner and Whisenhunt -- were both hired Thursday. Turner is the new offensive coordinator for Cleveland and Whisenhunt will fill the same job with San Diego.


Kobe Bryant leads all-star voting

NEW YORK, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The NBA announced Thursday Kobe Bryant had won a nationwide fan balloting and would appear in the league's All-Star Game for a record 15th straight year.

Bryant, whose Los Angeles Lakers are struggling to get back to the breakeven mark in the standings, will start for the Western Conference when the stars of the NBA meet in Houston on Feb. 17.

He received 1,591,437 votes, leading the balloting for the third time in his career. He had been tied with Jerry West, Karl Malone and Shaquille O'Neal with 14 straight All-Star appearances.

Miami's LeBron James was second in the voting and led in the Eastern Conference with 1,583,646 votes.

Bryant will be joined in the Western Conference starting lineup by teammate Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City.

In addition to James, the Eastern Conference starters will be Dwyane Wade of Miami, Carmelo Anthony of New York and Boston's Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo.

The seven reserve players for each side will be selected by the league's coaches and will be announced on Jan. 24.

James, who on Wednesday became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points in a career, will be playing in his ninth All-Star Game.


Former shoe salesman leads on PGA Tour

LA QUINTA, Calif., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- James Hahn, who sold shoes to fund his dream of a PGA Tour career, shared the lead Thursday after the opening round of the Humana Challenge.

Rookie Russell Henley also put himself in contention to win for the second straight week on a typical day of low scoring in the California desert, but Phil Mickelson struggled in his 2013 debut.

Hahn shot a 9-under 63 on the PGA West Palmer Course, one of three used for this week's pro-am event. That put him in a tie for the top spot with Roberto Castro and Jason Kokrak, neither of whom has come close to winning on the tour.

Castro shot his 63 on the PGA West Nicklaus Course and Kokrak played at the LaQuinta Country Club.

Hahn, 31, an American citizen born in South Korea, failed in his original bid to make it onto golf's big stage.

He went to work with an advertising agency, earned his real estate license and then sold shoes for six months before using the money he saved to try to get back on the tour. He did so by finishing fifth on the Web.com money list last year.

Henley, who won in Hawaii last week during what was his debut as a tour member, shot a 64 at the Nicklaus Course to tie Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers and Doug LaBelle for fourth place. Henley's round was highlighted by an eagle putt from the fringe of the green on the par-5 fourth.

Jerry Kelly, Jeff Maggert and Ricky Barnes were among those at 65 while the large group at 66 included major championship winners Zach Johnson and Stewart Cink.

Mickelson had a poor day with the putter and settled for an even-par 72 that left him in a tie for 122nd place in a field of 156. The cut will come on Saturday after everyone has played each of the three courses. The final round on Sunday will be held at the Palmer Course.


Gators stay unbeaten in SEC

COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Mike Rosario paced Florida with 19 points Thursday and the No. 8 Gators overwhelmed Texas A&M in the first half to down the Aggies 68-47.

For the eighth time this year the Gators held an opponent to less than 50 points. Texas A&M scored only 18 in the first half and managed just 50 shots for the game despite grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.

Rosario hit four 3-pointers in helping Florida win its fifth straight. The Gators climbed to 13-2 and are unbeaten in three Southeastern Conference games.

Patric Young added 18 points and seven rebounds for Florida. Erik Murphy had 16 points.

The Aggies (12-4, 2-1) had a four-game winning streak halted. Alex Caruso scored 12 points for Texas A&M.

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