Gene Stallings, Dallas Cowboy assistant coach, was named Monday to succeed Jim Hanifan as coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, filling the last coaching vacancy in the National Football League.
Hanifan and his assistants were fired 15 minutes after the Cardinals' final game, which left them with a 5-11 record. Critics contended that Hanifan, who was popular with his players, had been too soft a disciplinarian.
Stallings, 50, like Patriot Coach Raymond Berry, is a native of Paris, Tex. Stallings was an All-Southwest Conference receiver at Texas A&M under Bear Bryant and was an assistant under Bryant at Texas A&M and Alabama.
Stallings returned to Texas A&M as head coach in 1965 but was fired in 1971. He has spent the last 14 years coaching the Cowboy defensive backfield.
Fresno State Coach Jim Sweeney, Washington Redskin assistants Richie Petitbon and Jerry Rhome, and New England Patriot defensive coordinator Rod Rust also were interviewed.