Missouri promoted defensive coordinator Barry Odom to replace the retiring Gary Pinkel as head coach. The school said in a release Thursday night that Odom had agreed in principle to a five-year deal that will need to be approved by the school’s board of curators next week. Pinkel announced last month he had cancer and was retiring after the season. The Tigers finished 5-7.
A person with direct knowledge of the decision told the AP on Thursday that Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell will be the new head football coach at Memphis. The 34-year-old Norvell replaces Justin Fuente, who was hired by Virginia Tech.
Texas Southern hired Michael Haywood as its new football coach after agreeing to a four-year contract. He replaces Darrell Asberry, who stepped down after Texas Southern went 3-7. Haywood most recently was the coach at Miami of Ohio. He was hired to coach Pittsburgh in December 2010, but was fired three weeks later when he was charged with domestic battery with a child present. The charges were eventually dropped.
The Toronto Blue Jays hired longtime Indians executive Ross Atkins as their new general manager. Atkins, who worked as Cleveland’s player personnel director, will join former Indians president Mark Shapiro – a close friend – with the Blue Jays. Atkins succeeds Alex Anthopoulos, who left the Blue Jays shortly before Shapiro took over.
Sporting Kansas City forward Krisztian Nemeth won the MLS Goal of the Year award while Portland Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey won the Save of the Year award. Nemeth won for his goal against Kwarasey in Portland on Oct. 3. Kwarasey’s save came at Real Salt Lake on Aug. 15.
University of Texas President Greg Fenves announced he’s taking the “interim’ tag off men’s athletics director Mike Perrin and extending his contract by two years into 2018. Perrin, an attorney and former Longhorns football player, was hired in September after Steve Patterson was forced out after less than two years.
The Mariners kept up their offseason makeover by finalizing a $5.5 million, one-year contract with free agent outfielder Nori Aoki, a deal that includes a $6 million conditional option for the 2017 season. Aoki can exercise his 2017 option if he has 480 or plate appearances and does not finish the season on the disabled list because of a concussions or concussion-related issues.
NASCAR champion Kyle Busch will have surgery this month on both the right leg and left foot he broke at the start of the season. The Dec. 17 surgery is to remove a rod from his leg and plates and screws from his foot. Busch was injured when he crashed into a concrete wall the day before the Daytona 500.
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