Titans aide Schwartz hired as Lions head coach
The Detroit Lions agreed on a four-year deal yesterday with Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, a Mount St. Joseph graduate and former Ravens defensive assistant, to be their head coach. Schwartz will attempt to lead a turnaround for the NFL's first 0-16 team. The Lions fired Rod Marinelli two weeks ago. Schwartz just finished his eighth season as the Titans' defensive coordinator and his 10th on their staff. Schwartz played linebacker at Georgetown and started his coaching career as an assistant at Maryland in 1989.
Saints: : New Orleans hired Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, a little more than a week after the team fired Gary Gibbs. Williams spent four seasons as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator with the Redskins (2004-2007) and was the Bills' head coach for three seasons (2001-2003).
Obituary: : William Russell "Russ" Craft, a member of the Eagles' 1948 and 1949 title teams who shares the NFL record of four interceptions in a game, died Tuesday. He was 89.
USC QB Sanchez to enter NFL draft early
Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez said he will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft - going against the advice of coach Pete Carroll. Sanchez, a fourth-year junior, announced his plans at a news conference in Los Angeles yesterday, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft. The past three stars who played quarterback at USC under Carroll stayed for their senior seasons, and the former NFL coach thought Sanchez should do the same. Sanchez led the Trojans to a 12-1 record and No. 3 ranking this past season.
More NFL draft: : Florida junior wide receiver Percy Harvin said he is leaving school early to turn pro, but Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes will return for his senior season. ... Running back C.J. Spiller will return to Clemson for his senior season. ... Mississippi defensive end Greg Hardy will return for his senior season.
Clemens prosecutors bring in key witnesses
Connecting the dots in the case against Roger Clemens, prosecutors brought convicted steroid dealer Kirk Radomski to the grand jury in Washington, a day before they were to meet with Brian McNamee, who says he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with performance-enhancing drugs. A federal grand jury has been asked to determine whether Clemens should be indicted on charges of lying to Congress last year when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone. Radomski, a former New York Mets clubhouse attendant, led federal investigators to McNamee, Clemens' former personal trainer.
Rules:: All postseason games will be played to their conclusion under a change to the major league rules approved by baseball owners. Owners also voted to use head-to-head records to replace coin flips when determining home-field advantage for tiebreaker games in division and wild-card races.
Red Sox:: A baseball official told the Associated Press that Boston and infielder Kevin Youkilis agreed to a four-year contract that would guarantee Youkilis about $41 million. Youkilis' deal also includes a $13 million club option for 2013, ESPN.com reported. ... Outfielder Mark Kotsay agreed to a one-year contract worth at least $1.5 million.
White Sox:: Bartolo Colon, the 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner, agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with Chicago. He was limited to seven starts with Boston last season because of back stiffness.
Dodgers:: Center fielder Andruw Jones, a $36.2 million bust, was released by the team. Jones, who signed his rich two-year contract in December 2007, hit .158 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 75 games last season.
Gooden:: Former Mets and Yankees pitcher Dwight Gooden will be married Jan. 24 to Monique Moore of Columbia. The ceremony will take place in Baltimore. The bride is a graduate of Elizabeth Seton and is a teacher in the Baltimore school system.
Et cetera:: David Eckstein and the Padres agreed on a one-year deal, and he is expected to play second base. ... Pitchers Josh Towers, an ex-Oriole, Wil Ledezma and Jesus Colome agreed to minor league deals with the Nationals and were invited to spring training. ... Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes' attorney, Grady Irvin, said the player expects to meet next Friday's deadline to pay more than $40,000 in court-ordered child support and alimony to his estranged wife. ... Phillies slugger Ryan Howard was among 111 players who filed for salary arbitration. Players who still haven't settled with their teams will exchange figures Tuesday.
US Lacrosse convention this weekend in Baltimore
More than 5,000 lacrosse coaches and officials are expected in downtown Baltimore this weekend for the US Lacrosse National Convention. It's the first time in six years the convention has been held in Baltimore. The convention will be at the Baltimore Convention Center through 2011. Former Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr. is the keynote speaker tonight beginning at 7. The convention continues tomorrow with Fan Fest beginning at noon and running until 4 p.m. It's open to the public for $10 per person.
Tennis:: Monica Seles was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, honored for a career in which she won nine Grand Slam singles titles and returned to the tour after being stabbed while playing a match. Also elected were 1972 French Open champion Andres Gimeno, ATP co-founder Donald Dell and the late Robert Johnson, who pioneered the integration of tennis.
More tennis:: Top-seeded Serena Williams lost, 6-3, 6-1, to Elena Dementieva in the Sydney International semifinals. Dementieva will face fellow Russian Dinara Safina for the title. Safina beat Ai Sugiyama, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
Soccer:: The expansion Seattle Sounders FC took forward Steve Zakuani out of Akron with the first pick in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft in St. Louis. Five former Maryland players were selected in the four-round, 60-player draft: defender Omar Gonzalez (No. 3 pick, Los Angeles Galaxy) defender Rodney Wallace (No. 6, D.C. United), midfielder Jeremy Hall (No. 11, New York Red Bulls), defender A.J. Delagarza (No. 19, Galaxy) and midfielder Graham Zusi (No. 23, Kansas City Wizards). Former Loyola College goalkeeper Milos Kocic was selected 21st by D.C. United.
NBA: : Luol Deng scored 22 points to lead the host Bulls to a 102-93 overtime win over the Cavaliers. ... Brandon Roy had 29 points to lift the Trail Blazers to a 105-99 road victory over the Nets. ... Trail Blazers guard Steve Blake (Maryland) will be sidelined up to 10 days with a separated right shoulder he suffered Wednesday against the 76ers.
Golf:: Shigeki Maruyama shot a 5-under-par 65 for a one-stroke lead in the PGA Sony Open in Honolulu. ... Vijay Singh had surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss the next three weeks on the tour.