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03.09.06: Frasure throwing his weight around ... Pirates top Tar Heels in softball ... O'Leary planning to stay at Central Florida ... C-USA Scoreboard & Tournament Schedule
03.08.06: Hinnant makes All
C-USA freshmen team ... ESPN nixes Vitale's commentary on CBS ... Seahawks are dancin' ...
C-USA Scoreboard & Tournament Schedule
03.07.06: Rouse earns C-USA distinction ... Spring drills: Depth chart two-plus weeks away ... Marshall, Rice players share hitting honors ... C-USA Scoreboard & Tournament Schedule
03.06.06: Tourney: Bucs set for late-night joust with UCF ... ECU spring drills: pads on, snap exchange off ... C-USA Scoreboard & Tournament Schedule
03.05.06: 49ers experience technical difficulties ... Huggins returns for Cincinnati's seniors ... C-USA Scoreboard & Tournament Schedule
03.04.06: Pirates to strap on pads today ... Lady Pirates eliminated by Tulsa ... Briefs: More coaching exits; Tourney action ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule
03.03.06: Lady Pirates nip UAB in C-USA Tournament ... UAB stuns Memphis to boost dance prospects ... Mile High hosting in-state rivals ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard
03.02.06: Lady Pirates Young, Mills collect accolades ... Cover boy Redick and Duke tripped by hex ... Marlins need 9th-inning rally to edge Miami ...
C-USA Basketball Scoreboard
03.01.06: Golden Hurricane starts spring workouts ... Tulane's 'refugee' grid team returning home ... Cage coaching merry-go-round speeds up ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard
02.28.06: ECU's Smith captures C-USA hitting honor ... Cravens forced out as Wildcats hoops coach ... MRI brings positive news for 'Nova star ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule
02.27.06: Diamond Deacs stun top-ranked Gators ... Pairings set for C-USA women's tournament ... Davis wins last home game at Indiana ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule
02.26.06: Stanford will open new stadium against Navy ... UTEP men, Houston women capture track titles ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard
02.25.06: Home state honors K-State football icon ... Switzer endorse Osborne for Neb. governor ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule
02.24.06: ECU home hoops finales bring promotions ... Juco hoops coach climbs to 1,000-win plateau ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard
02.23.06: Rape charge filed against Navy football star ... Finn finished with Musketeers ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule
02.22.06: Scholarship suit could be costly to NCAA ... Big C-USA hoops matchup on tap tonight ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule
02.21.06: Spurrier plucks UNC-Chapel Hill assistant ... Hurricanes, Sooners to clash in 2007, 2009 ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard
02.20.06: Producers working on Marshall film title ... NCAA announces plush digs at Final Four ... C-USA Basketball Scoreboard & Schedule

News Nuggets, 03.10.06
 —  —  —  —  —

Previous Day Nuggets...             Next Day Nuggets...

Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Koonce accepts position with Packers


Continuing to add what he calls "Packer people," Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy has named George Koonce director of player development, according to an announcement on the NFL team's website.

The 37-year-old Koonce, a former East Carolina star who most recently held a position in his alma mater's athletic department, spent eight NFL seasons in a Packers uniform (1992-99).

In his new position, the ECU hall of fame member will assist players in acclimating to their roles as Green Bay Packers, both on and off the field, especially in terms of their expected contributions to their teammates, the community and team chemistry. The Packers organization considers Koonce's job important in the promotion of locker room cohesiveness and overall player health.

The former linebacker also will oversee the Packers' wide range of programs designed to meet the needs of players and their families in today's NFL environment. The department provides a framework of assistance within which players and their immediate family members can address the pressures created by daily life and complicated by the demands of playing professional football.

A fan favorite as an eight-year starter who helped the Packers return to dominance in the 1990's, Koonce had launched his pro career in humble fashion. One year before Ron Wolf and current General Manager Ted Thompson brought him to Green Bay, Koonce took part in Falcons training camp with Brett Favre after signing with the Falcons as a nondrafted free agent. Waived by Atlanta in the preseason, he spent the following spring in the World League before following Favre to Green Bay.

Given an early opportunity by then defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, Koonce went on to start 102 of 112 Packers games during a memorable run that included the team's first Super Bowl championship in 29 years.

An unrestricted free agent, Koonce closed his nine-year NFL career with the Seattle Seahawks, who had hired Thompson as vice president of football operations. The linebacker started every game for Seattle in 2000, and finished with 720 career tackles (447 solo), nine sacks, one forced fumble, five fumble recoveries and five interceptions — two of which he returned for touchdowns — in 128 NFL games (118 starts).

Following his retirement, Koonce spent two years in private business before returning to his alma mater, East Carolina, in pursuit of his master's degree in sports management. He also spent most of two academic years (2004-06) as special assistant to East Carolina's athletic director, a role in which he was in charge of program development.

Koonce is the team's fourth director of player development. He replaces Turner Gill, who became head coach at the University of Buffalo Dec. 16. Edgar Bennett (2001-04) and Gill Byrd (1999-2000) previously headed up the department.

ECU spring football taking spring break

Calling it a "respectable" start, East Carolina head football coach Skip Holtz wrapped up the second week of spring workouts by guiding the Pirates through a 140-minute practice, according to a release from the university's sports media relations department.

The session, conducted Thursday afternoon at the Cliff Moore complex, was ECU's sixth of the spring and the fourth conducted in pads.

The Pirates completed their first phase of the spring with detailed individual and team drill work, and will begin emphasizing offensive and defensive schematics upon returning from the Spring Break holidays.

Holtz cited the continuation of strong senior leadership as one of the positive experiences coming out of the first two weeks of work.

"Although we weren't as sharp the last two days as we were during the first four practices, I remain pleased with the leadership and on-the-field coaching our seniors have provided," Holtz said. "Every senior class has its own identity and I'm confident that they will continue to take ownership of this team."

Another area on the Pirates’ offensive unit which is wide open this spring is the tight end position where departed seniors Shawn Levesque and Sean Harmon accounted for all 10 catches recorded out of that particular slot a year ago. The void of returning experienced personnel has opened the door for four-way competition between junior walk-on Stanley Bryant (6-5, 254), sophomore converted quarterback Davon Drew (6-4, 242), junior Jay Sonnhalter (6-5, 246) and red-shirt freshman walk-on Martin Tanski (6-3, 231).

Sonnhalter, who transferred into the ECU program from Wingate prior to the 2004 season, experienced significant action on the offensive side of the ball last spring before contributing as a key special teams performer during the 2005 campaign. Drew was officially moved to tight end over the winter and has earned praise from Holtz for his work in the weight room preparing himself for the position change after spending the first two years at quarterback.

“Davon has responded very well to everything we've asked him to do,” Holtz said. “He has really come on strong and made a significant amount of progress since we opened camp. Jay has been solid to say the least, providing us with stability and consistency in that position."

Thursday's practice preceded an 11-day layoff for the Pirates, who will return to open their third week of workouts Monday, Mar. 20, and start preparations for ECU's first full intra-squad scrimmage scheduled for Friday, Mar. 24 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

K-State shows Woolridge the door

Kansas State Athletics Director Tim Weiser has announced that the contract of head basketball coach Jim Wooldridge will not be renewed and that a national search for a new coach will begin immediately, according to the school's athletic web site.

"We appreciate all the hard work Jim and his staff have put in while at Kansas State and we thank them for their efforts," Weiser said. "The bottom line is that we have very high expectations for our men's basketball program and we believe that a change in the direction of the program is warranted at this time in order to achieve those goals.

"We believe that there is a solid foundation in place. We have good young talent in this program and we believe that Kansas State is an attractive coaching opportunity for the right candidate."

Weiser said he informed Wooldridge of his decision following the Wildcats' loss to Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship Thursday.

"I am grateful for the opportunity Kansas State gave us to coach and lead this program," Wooldridge said. "We wish we could have accomplished more, but it was a great experience and I appreciate the players, staff, administration and our great fans for all they have done to support us."

Wooldridge, 50, was named Kansas State's 20th basketball head coach on March 13, 2000, and compiled an 83-90 (.480) record with the Wildcats. He produced two winning seasons during his tenure in Manhattan — leading K-State to a 17-12 mark in 2004-05 and a 15-13 record in 2005-06 — but was unable to guide the Wildcats into the postseason since taking the helm.

C-USA Scoreboard & Tournament Schedule

(Updated through Thursday, March 9, 2006)

----- SCHEDULE -----

FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN

  (10) Southern Methodist 61, (7) Rice 59
  (11) Southern Miss 66, (6) Tulsa 61
  (8) Tulane 64, (9) Marshall 58
  (5) Central Florida 65, (12) East Carolina 52

  (2) UAB 69, (10) Southern Methodist 55
  (3) Texas-El Paso 66, (11) Southern Miss 47
  (1) Memphis 75, (8) Tulane 56
  (4) Houston 71, (5) Central Florida 52

  (1) Memphis vs. (4) Houston, 4:30 pm
  (3) Texas-El Paso vs. (2) UAB, 7:00 pm

  Championship Game, 11:35 am (CBS)


TEAM                  C-USA    ALL
Memphis                13-1   27-3
UAB                    12-2   22-5
Texas-El Paso          11-3   19-8
Houston                 9-5   19-8
Central Florida         7-7  13-14
Rice                    6-8  12-15
Tulane                  6-8  11-16
Tulsa                   6-8  11-16
Marshall                5-9  12-15
Southern Methodist     4-10  12-15
Southern Miss          3-11   9-20
East Carolina          2-12   8-19

----- SCORES -----


   Southern Mississippi 74, East Carolina 56
   Rice 68, Southern Methodist 66
   Central Florida 66, Texas-El Paso 55
   Tulsa 63, Tulane 59
   UAB 82, Marshall 61
   Memphis 69, Houston 62


News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from other sources. Copyright 2006 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:46 PM


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