February 19, 2009 in Sports

Fast Break


Prep Football

Yearout quits as LC football coach

Saying it was the right time personally and professionally, Lewis and Clark football coach Tom Yearout announced his resignation Wednesday.

“I did a lot of self-reflection and felt it was the right thing to do for the program,” Yearout said.

He will continue as a teacher at LC where his son, David, is a junior.

Yearout has been at LC for 20 years, first as an assistant coach and, for the past nine years, as head coach. The Tigers compiled a 64-25 record and extended to 17 years their record of consecutive winning seasons.

They were State 4A champions in 2007.

“My main hope is that we left the program as strong as when (previous coach) John Hook left it,” Yearout said. “Easily the thing I’m most proud of was that John never hesitated to recommend me to succeed him.”

Yearout said he will take a year away to re-evaluate his decision. He didn’t rule out an eventual return to coaching at some level, even in another sport.

Pro Football

Former NFL star Van Pelt dies

Brad Van Pelt, a five-time Pro Bowl player with the New York Giants who helped form one of the NFL’s best linebacking corps in the early 1980s, has died. He was 57.

Van Pelt was found dead Tuesday by his fiancee at his home, the Giants said Wednesday. He died from an apparent heart attack, the team said.

A second-round draft choice out of Michigan State in 1973, Van Pelt played 14 seasons in the NFL, 11 with the Giants. Although he played on only one winning team in New York, he made the Pro Bowl five consecutive seasons from 1976-1980.

Van Pelt’s only winning season with the Giants came in 1981, when Lawrence Taylor was drafted and the team made the playoffs for the first time in 18 seasons. Van Pelt played strong-side linebacker with Taylor on the weak side and Harry Carson and Brian Kelley in the middle of a group called the “Crunch Bunch.”

Van Pelt left the Giants in 1983 and spent two seasons with the Los Angeles Raiders and one season in Cleveland (1986). He played in 184 regular-season games with 20 interceptions and 241/2 sacks.


Ex-Olympian commits suicide

Mike Whitmarsh, a 1996 Olympic silver medalist in beach volleyball, killed himself through carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage of a friend’s home, officials said Wednesday. He was 46.

His body was found Tuesday at a home in Solana Beach, just north of San Diego, a spokeswoman for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said.

The medical examiner’s office said an autopsy showed Whitmarsh committed suicide with carbon monoxide from car exhaust.

Mike Vlahovich Associated Press Associated Press

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