February 10, 2008 in Sports

Fast Break

The Spokesman-Review
 

Football

Zorn Redskins’ new head coach

After a suspenseful month of exhaustive interviews involving at least 10 candidates, the Washington Redskins decided their coach would be: none of the above.

Instead, it’ll be first-timer Jim Zorn taking the mantle from Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs. Two weeks after being hired as the offensive coordinator, the former Seattle Seahawks quarterback was promoted to head coach Saturday night in a surprise ending to a secretive process that tried fans’ patience and produced a new favorite every week.

The 54-year-old Zorn agreed to a five-year contract and will be introduced at a news conference today.

“I’ve always dreamed of being a head coach with a franchise rich in tradition like the Redskins,” Zorn said in a statement released by the team. “As a player who had to fight Redskins teams at RFK as well as at our home field, I know about the history of this franchise as well as the passion of its fans. I won’t let you down.”

Zorn was the Seahawks’ quarterbacks coach for the last seven years, helping develop Matt Hasselbeck into a Pro Bowl player, but he had never been a coordinator for an NFL team until the Redskins came calling.

Now he’s making the jump to head coach.

Zorn becomes the sixth coach under Snyder, who bought the team in 1999, and he ends a string of high-profile coaching hires..

Zorn is a longtime local favorite in Seattle. He was the franchise’s original starting quarterback in 1976 and played nine seasons with the team. He returned as an offensive assistant from 1997-98 and again as quarterbacks coach in 2001.

Tennis

U.S. advances in Davis Cup

Handling its opponent with precision and power, the defending champion United States eliminated Austria from the Davis Cup in Vienna on Saturday to set up a quarterfinal against France.

Twins Bob and Mike Bryan were in full command, defeating the doubles team of Julian Knowle and Jurgen Melzer 6-1, 6-4, 6-2.

The victory gave the Americans an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the best-of-5, first-round series. France advanced by going up 3-0 against Romania and will play the Americans on April 11-13.

Auto racing

Earnhardt wins with new team

New team. New number. New season. Back to the same old results for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt won the exhibition Budweiser Shootout in Daytona Beach, Fla., with a dominating run Saturday night in his new Hendrick Motorsports ride. He powered past Tony Stewart with two laps to go, then held on for his first win against Cup drivers and cars since early 2006.


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