Compiled from wire reports
Mark Stoops is new coach at Kentucky
•?Kentucky hired Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, a Youngstown native and part of a famous coaching clan, as the Wildcats’ football coach. Stoops replaces Joker Phillips, who was fired on Nov. 4. Phillips went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky and the Wildcats were 0-8 in the Southeastern Conference this year.
Kentucky made the announcement on Tuesday and the 45-year-old Stoops will be introduced here at a news conference on Sunday. No. 13 Florida State (10-2) plays Georgia Tech on Saturday in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Stoops’ hiring concludes a quicker-than-expected coaching search by the university. After Saturday’s season-ending loss at Tennessee, Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said he had no timetable to find a replacement for Phillips.
But it didn’t take long for Barnhart and the Wildcats to make a move. The decision makes Stoops a head coach for the first time in his career.
Stoops has been the Seminoles’ defensive coordinator the past three seasons. Florida State’s defense was ranked 108th when he took over and he has turned the Seminoles into one of the nation’s top defensive teams.
The Seminoles have the nation’s second-ranked defense, giving up 249.4 yards per game. Kentucky allowed 391 yards a contest this season.
•?Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien was named the Big Ten’s coach of the year after leading the embattled Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record, going 6-2 in conference play.
•?Southern Mississippi fired coach Ellis Johnson after one winless season. Athletic Director Jeff Hammond announced in a statement released by the school that Johnson would not return after a miserable 0-12 season. The 60-year-old Johnson is due a $2.1 million buyout.
•?The Big East moved quickly to replace Rutgers and braced for more possible departures, getting Tulane and East Carolina to agree to join the re-invented conference in 2014.
•?The Atlantic Coast Conference has filed a lawsuit against Maryland seeking full payment of the approximately $53 million exit fee for the school’s move to the Big Ten.
San Jose’s Yallop is MLS’ top coach
•?Frank Yallop of the San Jose Earthquakes has been honored as Major League Soccer’s coach of the year, and the Seattle Sounders’ Eddie Johnson is comeback player of the year.
•?D.C. United President and CEO Kevin Payne is leaving the Major League Soccer club after more than 15 years. With Payne, United won MLS championships in 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004.
Former Top Fuel champ returning
•?Del Worsham is ending his brief driver retirement to return to Funny Car in 2013 with Kalitta Motorsports. He ended his 21-year driving career days after finally winning NHRA’s 2011 Top Fuel title.
•?Tiger Woods says he won’t join the European Tour.
— From wire reports