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Posts Tagged ‘South Florida.’

South Florida hires Western Kentucky coach Taggart to replace Skip Holtz

 

Willie Taggart (courtesy of Western Kentucky athletics)

South Florida has hired Willie Taggart to take over its struggling football program.

The 36-year-old has established himself as one of the nation’s top young prospects by turning around a Western Kentucky University football program that had a history of losing.

Taggart led the Hilltoppers to a 7-5 record in 2012 and will make their first postseason appearance since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) when they take on Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl.

Hilltoppers defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will lead the team in the bowl.

The Saturday press conference brought Taggart home to the Tampa Bay area where he grew up before going to play and later coach at Western Kentucky, which is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky on the Tennessee border.

Taggart replaces Skip Holtz, who was fired following the worst season in the Bulls 16-year history at 3-9, 1-6 in the Big East good for 8th place.

 

Info compiled from University of South Florida & Western Kentucky University athletics

 

Ohio’s Groce hired to replace Weber at Illinois

 

John Groce (courtesy of MAC & Ohio athletics)

University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas on Thursday announced that John Groce would be the Illini’s 17th head basketball coach.

He replaces Bruce Weber, who endured another disappointing season and the fan base and administration had grown tired of underachieving Illini teams year-after-year.

Groce  takes the Illinois job after four seasons as head coach at Ohio University, where he led the Bobcats to an 85-56 overall record as well as Mid-American Conference Tournament titles and NCAA Tournament appearances in 2010 and 2012.

Ohio was the story of the year’s Tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16 as a No. 13 seed with victories over No. 4 seed Michigan followed by No. 12 seed South Florida. The Bobcats finished just short of the Elite Eight, falling to top-seed North Carolina in overtime in the regional semifinal. This year marked just the second time in Ohio’s school history and first since 1964 that the Bobcats won multiple games in the NCAA Tournament. Ohio finished the 2012 season with a school-record 29 wins and was known for its pressure defense, ranking second nationally in turnover percentage and third in steals percentage.

A former assistant caoch at Ohio State under Thad Matta, Groce has recorded a total of three wins during his last two NCAA appearances, as Ohio also made noise in the 2010 Tournament. Playing in the school’s first NCAA Tournament game in five seasons, the Bobcats received a No. 14 seed and defeated No. 3 seed Georgetown. With the 2010 and 2012 NCAA performances, Ohio became just the sixth school ever to win Tournament games as both a 13 and 14 seed.

Groce, who is 40, has a total of 19 years in the coaching profession and has been part of teams that have made 16 postseason appearances. His record in 15 years as an assistant was an impressive 349-156, giving him a combined record of 434-212 over his 19 years.

Reports say that Groce was offered $1.2 million a year on a 5 to 6 year contract and the most Ohio could offer to keep him was $500,000 annually up from the $300,000 he was paid this year.

 

Info compiled from Illinois & Ohio athletics news

 

Ohio State baseball team opens first team practice of 2012

Press release courtesy of Ohio State athletics

 


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State baseball team hit the field for the first time as a team in 2012 Friday afternoon in Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

The Buckeyes return 15 letterwinners off a 2011 team that finished 13-11 in Big Ten play and advanced to the conference tournament at Huntington Park. However, the next three weeks leading up to the season opener against USF in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla., will be crucial to the maturation of team that welcomes 14 newcomers.

Greg Beals OSU baseball coach (Ball State photo)

“We are all very excited to get the 2012 season started,” Ohio State head coach Greg Beals said. “Today’s first team practice has been long-awaited. This team has worked extremely hard together this offseason. We are more than ready to make the step towards this championship chase.”

 

The team will have 16 more team practices before flying to Florida Jan. 16 where it will take on USF, Seton Hall and Connecticut the first weekend of the season. The Buckeyes will play their first game on February 17 in St. Petersburg against South Florida.

 

Florida women’s soccer franchise featuring U.S. players terminated by WPS

 

Hope Solo's team dumped by WPS (megasportsnews.com photo)

The Women’s Professional Soccer League had six teams this season and it did quite well.

However, one team will not be back next season, at least under the same sponsor.

The WPS has terminated the South Florida franchise after clashing with the owner throughout the season.

The 3-year-old league announced recently that its Board of Governors had voted to terminate its relationship with magicJack, for not meeting league standards.

MagicJack, owned by the phone device that will allow any phone to run off a computer and the internet, was 9-7-2 this season and featured  several members of the 2011 USA soccer team that played in the World Cup this past summer, including Abby Wambach and Hope Solo.

In May, the team was docked a point in the standings and a draft pick for league rules violations.

 

Info compiled from the Women’s Professional Soccer

 

Jordan Dumars calls it a career at Michigan

 

Jordan Dumars (courtesy of U of South Florida)

Jordan Dumars, the son of Detroit Pistons president Joe Dumars, has left the University of Michigan basketball team.

Jordan is expected to remain a student at the university but says injuries have taken a toll on his body.

He transferred from South Florida midway through the 2009-10 season but didn’t play a game for Michigan because of knee and injuries to his shoulder.

 

Info compiled from Radio, TV & University of Michigan

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