Tide's Franchione takes Texas A&M job

Friday, December 6, 2002

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Dennis Franchione left Alabama after only two seasons to take over as the new coach at Texas A&M on Thursday.

Erle Nye, chairman of the Texas A&M board of regents, confirmed Franchione had agreed to a deal with the Aggies.

Franchione leaves Alabama less than a year after the school was hit this year with harsh NCAA sanctions. He replaces R.C. Slocum, who was fired Monday after the Aggies' 50-20 loss to Texas closed out a 6-6 season.

Texas A&M scheduled a news conference for 9:30 a.m. EST Friday to announce the hiring.

The 51-year-old Franchione and new Aggies athletic director Bill Byrne landed in a private jet at A&M on Thursday afternoon and strolled down a crimson carpet that had the Aggies' logo on it.

Franchione brushed past reporters, saying, "I'll talk to all of you tomorrow."

Byrne also declined to answer questions.

Franchione -- 25-11 at TCU from 1998-2000 and 17-8 in two years at Alabama -- had been noncommittal on his plans in recent weeks.

He dismissed reports in Texas newspapers that he would be the Aggies' new coach and called one "idiotic." He said he had "never wavered" on his intentions to return to Alabama next season but never promised he would stay.

"The first week they brought it up, he was just like, 'Don't worry about it. Just focus on the game,"' Alabama center Alonzo Ephraim said. "That's just his personal life. I don't think it will hurt our program."

Mike McKenzie, who edits Franchione's Web site, said Thursday that Franchione told him he planned to have the position coaches notify the Crimson Tide players and he wouldn't return to meet the team.

Sooners take seven spots on APAll-Big 12 team

From the first kickoff this season, Big 12 teams were chasing the Oklahoma Sooners. The Associated Press' All-Big 12 team shows why.

The Sooners landed seven players on the 26-man first team, including three unanimous selections. No other school had more than four first-teamers.

Oklahoma had four on defense alone, and they were spread all over the field -- from lineman Tommie Harris to linebacker Teddy Lehman to defensive backs Brandon Everage and Derrick Strait. Lehman and Everage were unanimous picks; Harris received the most votes of any lineman.

OU landed three players on the offensive side, led by Quentin Griffin, a unanimous pick at running back. Tight end Trent Smith and offensive lineman Jammal Brown also were chosen.

Elsewhere

  • BUCKNELL: Tim Landis was picked as coach Thursday to replace Tom Gadd, who stepped down because of cancer.

    Landis, 38, is from Yardley, Pa. He was 53-52-1 during a 10-year coaching career in Division I-AA, and resigned as the head coach at St. Mary's College of California to take the job at Bucknell.

    FLORIDA:Tackle Bobby Williams, who was hospitalized after a head injury during practice last month, might give up football and take a medical hardship, coach Ron Zook said Thursday.

    While Williams has recovered from the injury, he still has a narrowing of the spine that makes paralysis more likely if he sustains another hit in the wrong place.

    KANSAS: Mark Mangino, who finished his first season at Kansas without a single Big 12 victory, was rewarded Thursday when the university added an another year to his contract, which now runs through 2007.

    Mangino, who finished his first year 2-10 overall and 0-8 in conference, was given the extension as a sign of support, said Kansas athletics director Allen Bohl.

    -- From wire reports

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