Around the Nation (Dec. 10): Wake Forest officially names Clawson new head football coach

Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

FOOTBALL

Clawson officially named head coach at Wake Forest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Dave Clawson seems like a natural fit for Wake Forest.

Clawson is known as a program-builder — and after five straight losing seasons, the Demon Deacons sure could use a few tweaks.

Clawson on Tuesday called it “truly a dream come true” to be introduced as Wake Forest’s coach.

“We have a winner,” athletic director Ron Wellman said of the 46-year-old Clawson, who led turnarounds at Fordham, Richmond and, most recently, Bowling Green.

Now he faces another one at Wake Forest.

“It all begins with getting the right people on board,” Clawson said. “It’s having a shared vision of what you want the program to look like. It’s getting players to buy into the commitment level it takes to become a good football team.

“It’s not, ‘snap the fingers’ and it happens,” he added. “You have to have players that buy into every aspect of the program.”

His hiring caps a weeklong search for Jim Grobe’s replacement. Grobe stepped down Dec. 2 after a 13-year stay that included the best three-year run in school history.

Clawson called Wake Forest “a special place” and says when the job came open last week, he hoped to be considered for it.

“Certainly in building the program at Richmond (in the mid-2000s), one of the people I stole from was coach Grobe,” Clawson said.

“He proved that Wake Forest can win at a very high level in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He did it with class. He did it with dignity. ... Replacing a man of his stature is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.”

But the past five years have been mostly lean ones for the Demon Deacons, who have reached the postseason only once since reaching three straight bowl games from 2006-08.

Scheier named BG’s interim coach

Adam Scheier will be the interim coach at Bowling Green after Dave Clawson left to take over at Wake Forest.

Scheier will lead the Falcons against Pittsburgh in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26.

Scheier is in his fifth season at Bowling Green, previously serving as special teams coordinator while overseeing tight ends. 

Kingston says the search for the next coach is underway.

Brown still Texas coach — for now

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson says no decision has been made about the future of Longhorns coach Mack Brown.

Texas released a statement by Patterson several hours after Orangebloods.com reported, citing two unidentified sources, that Brown will announce he is stepping down by week’s end.

“We continue to discuss the future of Texas Football,” Patterson said. “Mack Brown has not resigned. And, no decisions have been made.”

Joe Jamail, Brown’s longtime friend and attorney, told The Associated Press on Tuesday: “Mack Brown has not resigned.” He says Brown’s future with Texas is still up to the coach.

Horns247.com, a Texas recruiting website, reported that Brown denied the report in a text from Florida, where he was recruiting.

Brown wrote to Horns247: “I have not decided to step down.”

Texas just completed another regular season that didn’t meet expectations. The Longhorns went 8-4, recovering from a 1-2 start and beating Oklahoma, but still finishing with lopsided late-season losses to Oklahoma State and Baylor.

Teammates tease Starks after tussle

DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks says he’s hearing plenty of teasing from teammates for his role in a video that has gone viral.

After Starks fell on a Pittsburgh Steelers fumble, the video shows center Cody Wallace trying to make him cough up the ball by poking him repeatedly with his left fist in the backside below the waist, an off-limits area even in the rough-and-tumble NFL.

Starks said he didn’t retaliate because when he rose from the pile, he wasn’t sure of the perpetrator.

“I saw two people, and didn’t know which one it was,” Starks said Tuesday. “It’s tough not to react. If I had done something I would have gotten thrown. I’m glad I didn’t know who it was, because it would have gotten ugly out there.”

While Wallace faces a possible fine, Starks’ teammates were amused by the incident in Miami’s 34-28 victory Sunday.

“They are getting on me — ‘Check the prostate’ and stuff like that,” Starks said. “I’m hearing it.”

Huskers’ Frazier finally enters Hall

NEW YORK — Tommie Frazier waited a couple years longer than many Nebraska fans felt was appropriate to get into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Being snubbed didn’t bother Touchdown Tommie. He’s just glad the call finally came and that so many appreciated his play.

Frazier is one of 12 former players who were to be inducted by the National Football Foundation in the College Hall of Fame on Tuesday night in New York.

Also among the inductees were Heisman Trophy winners Vinny Testaverde, Danny Wuerffel and Ron Dayne and former coaches Wayne Hardin of Temple and Navy and Bill McCartney of Colorado.

Baylor’s Briles Big 12 Coach of Year

Baylor coach Art Briles is the unanimous pick as the AP Big 12 coach of the year.

The Bears had never had a winning record in the Big 12 before Briles arrived six years ago. They are now Big 12 champs and headed to the Fiesta Bowl.

Briles got all 20 votes in the balloting by media members who cover the Big 12 on a regular basis. The award was announced Tuesday, a day after the 11-1 Bears had six first-team selections on the AP All-Big 12 team.

The Bears beat Texas 30-10 on Saturday to clinch their first outright title in any league since the 1980 Southwest Conference championship.

When Briles arrived, Baylor was 35-101 overall in its 12 seasons as a Big 12 member under four different coaches.

Spartans DC wins Broyles Award

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi won the annual Broyles Award given to the top college assistant coach.

Narduzzi, in his seventh season for the fourth-ranked Spartans, was honored Tuesday at a luncheon in Little Rock. He’s responsible for guiding a Michigan State defense that earned a spot in the Rose Bowl against No. 5 Stanford with a 34-24 win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Conference championship game.

The Spartans (12-1) were first in the country this season in total defense, allowing an average of 248.2 yards per game. It’s the third straight season Michigan State has ranked among the top 10 nationally. The Spartans were fourth in the country in allowing 12.7 points per game.

Narduzzi has served as defensive coordinator under Mark Dantonio for the past 10 seasons, including three years together at Cincinnati from 2004-06.

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