Chow turns down USC
LOS ANGELES — Norm Chow declined the chance to switch teams again in Los Angeles' fierce football rivalry.
Chow said yesterday he'll stay at UCLA for his third season as offensive coordinator, rebuffing overtures from Lane Kiffin to return to Southern California.
After a couple of uneasy days during which the Trojans openly courted Chow, UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel was grateful to learn his widely respected offensive mastermind had passed on a lucrative contract offer at USC.
"It's an exciting time to be at UCLA," Chow said. "I certainly understand the challenges, but I'm looking forward to what lies ahead at UCLA."
USC athletic director Mike Garrett acknowledged Wednesday he hoped to lure Chow to Kiffin's new staff, joining defensive guru Monte Kiffin and top recruiter Ed Orgeron. But the rumblings began to circulate through the media before USC had even made contact with Chow, who was on vacation in Florida when his imminent departure from UCLA was being reported as fact.
"At that point I hadn't spoken to anyone, and to me, that was very, very unfair," said Chow, who was at a hospital with his wife to visit a sick friend when he first heard he was leaving UCLA.
Lane Kiffin left several messages for Chow, and USC eventually spoke with Chow's agent, Don Yee, and Chow's son, Carter, a lawyer who works with Yee. Chow is in the final year of his contract at UCLA, but USC's interest seems likely to spur progress on an extension.
USC's big contract offer didn't sway Chow, he said: "It's not always about the money."
South Florida: Skip Holtz will be introduced today as the new football coach at South Florida. The 45-year-old Holtz led East Carolina to the past two Conference USA championships. He replaces Jim Leavitt, fired last week after a school investigation concluded he grabbed a player by the throat, slapped him in the face, then lied about it.
Texas Tech: Announced yesterday that Ruffin McNeill, the defensive coordinator and interim head coach after Mike Leach was suspended and then fired, is leaving the program. McNeill did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Bryant Award: Boise State's Chris Petersen won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award last night, the second time in four years he's earned the honor recognizing the nation's best coach. The Broncos finished a 14-0 season with a 17-10 win over previously unbeaten TCU in the Fiesta Bowl.
AP ALL-PRO TEAM
JOHNSON LEADS WAY
Chris Johnson didn't get any votes for MVP. He didn't miss any for The Associated Press 2009 NFL All-Pro team.
The 2,000-yard rusher for the Tennessee Titans was the only unanimous choice for the squad, announced yesterday. He's joined in the backfield by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who won an unprecedented fourth Most Valuable Player Award last week, when only quarterbacks received votes.
Johnson got all 50 votes from a nationwide panel of sports writers. One other player, San Francisco inside linebacker Patrick Willis, came close with, appropriately, 49.
Eagles: Philadelphia fired Ted Daisher and hired former Buffalo Bills assistant Bobby April to be their special teams coordinator. The team also fired strength and conditioning coach Mike Wolf, and assistant strength and conditioning coach Jay Merlino.
Giants: Buffalo Bills interim coach Perry Fewell was hired as the New York Giants' defensive coordinator. Coach Tom Coughlin announced the move last night after Fewell spent the past few days weighing offers from the Giants and the Chicago Bears.
Redskins: Washington hired Bobby Turner as running backs and assistant coach, reuniting Mike Shanahan with the assistant who helped the Denver Broncos establish one of the NFL's top ground games.