Digest for 12-03-13


LOCAL

Frank James Fischel, an assistant football coach under late Pine Bluffian Willis “Convoy” Leslie at Arkansas A&M College (now the University of Arkansas at Monticello) in the 1950s, died on Thanksgiving Day in Crane, Mo., where he had retired as a school administrator.

He was 86.

Fischel was a star athlete at Helena High School and then — after serving with the U.S. Marines in World War II — played football and baseball at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. As a senior, two-way football end in 1951, he was part of the first Arkansas team to defeat Texas in Fayetteville.

In 1950, he won the Crip Hall Award as the outstanding Arkansas player in its homecoming football game, a 27-6 win over Texas A&M. He was drafted by the National Football League’s Chicago Cardinals in 1952, but opted to join the Army instead.

STATE

Arkansas makes second straight NCAA v’ball tourney

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas has been selected to play in the NCAA women’s volleyball championship tournament for the second straight season.

Arkansas earned an at-large bid and will play Creighton at 4 p.m. Friday in Lawrence, Kan. The game is part of a sub-region that includes No. 14 national seed Kansas and Wichita State.

This is Arkansas’ 11th appearance in the NCAAs.

NATIONAL

Jones out as coach at Alabama A&M

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Anthony Jones will not have his contract renewed as head football coach at Alabama A&M, athletic director Bryan Hicks announced Sunday evening.

Jones was the longest-serving active head football coach in the SWAC. In 12 seasons at A&M, Jones went 83-57 and led the Bulldogs to the 2006 SWAC championship victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He also led the Bulldogs to the conference final in 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2011. The Bulldogs were 4-8 overall and 4-5 in the SWAC this season.

Jones, 53, is 101-70 overall as a head coach, including three seasons at Division II Morehouse (Ga.).

“We are very grateful and appreciative of the work he has done with A&M athletics,” Hicks said in a statement. “We thank Coach Jones for his efforts and leadership of the football program and wish him much success in future endeavors.”

Sarkisian named new USC coach; Orgeron leaving

LOS ANGELES — USC hired Steve Sarkisian as its new head football coach on Monday, tabbing the Washington sideline boss over interim program leader Ed Orgeron in the wake of the Trojans’ 21-point loss to crosstown rival UCLA over the weekend.

Sarkisian, a top assistant under Pete Carroll at USC prior to his five-year stint with the Huskies, takes over a Trojans’ team that went 6-2 under Orgeron after the latter was promoted to the top post following Lane Kiffin’s dismissal in late September.

The school announced that Orgeron will not remain with the program as he pursues a head coaching opportunity elsewhere.

Sarkisian guided Washington to four consecutive winning campaigns after going 5-7 in his debut season, including an 8-4 overall mark and a 5-4 record in Pac-12 play in 2013. The Huskies went 34-29 during his tenure and 24-21 in conference games.

Grobe resigns at Wake Forest

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Jim Grobe, the co-leader in wins in Wake Forest history, announced his resignation after 13 seasons as the Demon Deacons’ head football coach on Monday.

Grobe took a Wake Forest program that had long been an ACC doormat to unforeseen heights in 2006, guiding the Deacons to 11 wins that included a victory in the conference championship game as well as a BCS berth in the Orange Bowl. The team has posted a losing record in each of the last five years, however, compiling a 23-38 record during that span.

The Demon Deacons finished 4-8 overall and 2-6 in the ACC in 2013, ending the season on a five-game losing streak following a 34-10 decision over Maryland on Oct. 19. That win was Grobe’s 77th at Wake Forest, tying him with “Peahead” Walker for the most by a Demon Deacons’ football coach.

— Staff and wire reports