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Todd Graham takes job at Pittsburgh

Former Tulsa coach replaces Mike Haywood, who was fired not long after replacing Dave Wannstedt.

January 10, 2011|Staff and wire reports
  • Todd Graham had a 36-17 record in four seasons at Tulsa, including a 10-3 record this season that included a 28-27 upset win at Notre Dame.
Todd Graham had a 36-17 record in four seasons at Tulsa, including a 10-3… (Michael Conroy / Associated…)

Todd Graham agreed Monday to leave Tulsa and become Pittsburgh's third football coach in a month, a move designed to quickly bring stability to a program rocked by former coach Mike Haywood's arrest last month.

Graham told his Tulsa players of the move at a meeting Monday night, and Pittsburgh made the hiring official shortly after that.

Graham had a 36-17 record in four seasons at Tulsa, including a 10-3 record this season that included a 28-27 upset win at Notre Dame — where Pittsburgh lost under coach Dave Wannstedt. Wannstedt was forced to resign last month following a disappointing 7-5 regular season and repeated failures to win an outright Big East Conference title.

Graham made $1.3 million at Tulsa, about $300,000 more than Wannstedt was paid per year from 2005 until this season, but is expected to be paid about $2 million per season at Pittsburgh. Graham's salary is believed to be one reason he was bypassed during Pittsburgh's initial search, but the school subsequently decided to pay more.

Les Miles expects to meet with Michigan about the Wolverines' head coaching vacancy, though the Louisiana State coach said he is also "extremely happy" with his current job.

Miles said he had not been contacted directly by anyone from Michigan, his alma mater. He said his representatives have had "very distant conversation" with Michigan representatives, but they had not determined when or where a more substantive meeting would take place.

Chris Petersen says he wants to continue his highly successful run at Boise State.

The Broncos coach squelched chatter linking him to the opening at Stanford, saying he has no interest in other jobs. The Cardinal is looking for a coach after Jim Harbaugh took over the NFL's San Francisco 49ers last week.

Petersen is one of the nation's most successful coaches over the last five years, building the Broncos into a perennial top-10 team and compiling a 61-5 record during that span.

Oregon State tailback Jacquizz Rodgers says he'll make himself available for the NFL draft.

Rodgers, a 5-foot-7, 191-pound junior, finishes his college career with 3,877 yards rushing, second in school history behind Ken Simonton. He has scored 46 rushing touchdowns, also second to Simonton.

UCLA kicker Kai Forbath and long snapper Christian Yount have accepted invitations to play in the Under Armour Senior Bowl on Jan. 29 at Mobile, Ala.


Mares to fight for world title

Abner Mares will fight for a world bantamweight title versus Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko on April 23 at the downtown Nokia Theatre, Golden Boy Promotions announced.

Montebello's Mares (21-0-1, 13 knockouts) landed the spot in the four-fighter Showtime-televised tournament by defeating Vic Darchinyan by split-decision in December, and Agbeko (28-2, 22 KOs) avenged a prior loss to former International Boxing Federation champion Yonnhy Perez by unanimous decision.

Perez and Darchinyan will also fight on the Nokia Theatre card, with tickets expected to go on sale by early February.

Lance Pugmire

Times baseball columnist Bill Shaikin, who has led the paper's coverage of the Frank and Jamie McCourt divorce and its impact on the Dodgers, has been named the sportswriter of the year for California by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Assn.

Vin Scully, who has won the national award as sportscaster of the year four times, was named the state's top sportscaster.

World Series most valuable player Edgar Renteria has agreed to a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds, who were looking for a veteran shortstop to replace Orlando Cabrera.

The Reds also agreed to a one-year contract with Fred Lewis, a left-handed hitter who can play all three outfield positions and bat leadoff.

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