EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is shaking up his staff after the Wildcats’ worst season in 33 years, announcing that defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil and two other assistant coaches will not return.
Defensive line coach Marty Long and wide receivers coach Dennis Springer also were let go after the Wildcats finished 1-11 for their worst record since the 1989 team went 0-11. The lost 17 of their last 18 games.
Northwestern opened the season with a win in Ireland over Nebraska, which later fired coach Scott Frost. The Wildcats went into a tailspin after that and ranked among the worst in the nation in run defense and total offense.
Fitzgerald is 110-101 in 17 seasons leading his alma mater and is by far the school’s winningest coach. He led the Wildcats to Big Ten West championships in 2018 and 2020 plus five bowl victories. But they are 4-20 over the past two seasons.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner received a two-year contract extension that ties him to the school through June 2026.
Tanner, 64, is a two-time College World Series champion as the Gamecocks’ baseball coach who moved to leading the athletic department in July 2012.
The new deal was approved by the school’s board of trustees Friday and replaces Tanner’s old agreement that was set to expire in June 2024. Tanner will receive a raise of more than $153,000 per season, increasing his total compensation to $1.175 million.
Tanner has had his ups and downs leading the department. He took over when football coach Steve Spurrier was in the middle of three straight 11-2 seasons with players like defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney and receiver Alshon Jeffrey.
Tanner’s hire to replace Spurrier, Will Muschamp, lasted less than five seasons before he was let go in the middle of 2020. Muschamp’s replacement, current coach Shane Beamer, has had back-to-back winning seasons and been to a bowl game his first two yeas.
Tanner has also overseen the rise of women’s basketball under coach Dawn Staley, who signed a seven-year contract before the 2021-22 season worth $22.4 million. Staley and the Gamecocks won the national title last April and are favorites to repeat this season.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan All-America running back Blake Corum said his surgically repaired left knee has gotten strong enough that he’s been cleared to run on an anti-gravity treadmill next week.
Corum said that he is “100%” sure he will play in the season-opening game on Sept. 2 against East Carolina
Corum tore a meniscus and sprained a ligament in his left knee against Illinois on Nov. 19. After playing sparingly against Ohio State, he sat out when the Wolverines won the Big Ten title and advanced to the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Instead of entering the NFL draft, Corum decided to stay in school for his senior year.
“Feeling great all-around mentally, physically spiritually,” Corum told The Associated Press.
The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Corum ran for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and had 952 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2021.
“I’ll be back definitely by fall camp,” he said. “I plan on doing everything in the summer workouts, depending on on what doctor says. He told me I shouldn’t be cutting until maybe June. I’m taking my time, but I will be ready by the season.”
Corum will be watching when his teammates face each each other in the Maize and Blue spring game on April 1 at Michigan Stadium.