Interim Notre Dame coach moving on

Updated: January 4, 2005, 3:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Notre Dame: Interim head coach Kent Baer's last game with the Irish was the Insight Bowl, according to the Arizona Republic.

Baer told the paper he had a positive meeting with incoming coach Charlie Weis but won't be staying on. He could join Tyrone Willingham in Washington and is also interested in the defensive coordinator post at Arizona State, he told Republic.

"One of the hard parts for me is that if I would have realized that Pittsburgh game was my last game in that stadium, I might have taken a little bit more time walking off that field," Baer told the paper.

Texas: Football coach Mack Brown agreed to a 10-year contract worth more than $25 million that would keep him at the university through 2014.

"We're excited about everything Mack has done in building our football program back into one of the nation's elite," athletic director DeLoss Dodds said Wednesday, three days before the sixth-ranked Longhorns face No. 13 Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

"He's a perfect fit for us," Dodds said.

The new deal needs approval from the school's board of regents, but Dodds said he thinks that won't be a problem.

Brown's old pact runs through 2011, Dodds said. The new contract would boost Brown's $2.06 million annual salary by $100,000 in the first year, with additional $100,000 raises each year. He'd earn a little more than $3 million in 2014.

"We've had a great seven years, and I'm really excited about the future," Brown said. "There is no greater place to coach than the University of Texas."

Connecticut: Quarterback Dan Orlovsky has an agent and will begin working out with a trainer in California in preparation for the Senior Bowl and NFL workouts.

The quarterback signed with David Dunn, according to the Hartford Courant. Dunn represents NFL signal callers Drew Bledsoe, Kerry Collins, Matt Hasselbeck, Joey Harrington and Carson Palmer.

Linebacker Alfred Fincher also signed with Dunn.

Dunn said NFL officials who watched UConn's 39-10 Motor City Bowl victory were impressed.

"They were really raving about the decisions that he makes and how well he throws on the run," Dunn told the paper. "They were pleasantly surprised with his arm strength. I think that things will work out well for Dan."

Alabama: Offensive tackle Wesley Britt will play for the Crimson Tide in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

Coach Mike Shula told the Nashville Tennessean that a mid-foot sprain won't sideline one of the team's top players.

Tailback Kenneth Darby remains questionable with a pulled abdominal muscle.

"I just know it's my last opportunity to play for Alabama," Britt said. "I'm going to push through the pain or whatever it might be and get myself ready to play."

Michigan-Texas: Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Texas Gov. Rick Perry are wagering children's books from a Michigan-based publisher and citrus fruit from the Lone Star state on the outcome of this weekend's Rose Bowl.

Sixth-ranked Texas (10-1) faces No. 13 Michigan (9-2) on Saturday in Pasadena, Calif.

Granholm, a Democrat, on Wednesday offered a collection of children's books donated by the Washtenaw County-based Sleeping Bear Press. One of the titles in the collection is "M is for Mitten: A Michigan Alphabet."

Perry, a Republican, bet two boxes of Texas citrus fruit.

The winning governor will pick a charity to receive the fruit and children's books.

Both governors had their predictions for the game.

Perry said: "The high-powered Longhorn offense and the stingy Texas defense will prove too much for the Wolverines to handle. Texas will prevail 31-21."

Granholm forecast a victory for Michigan.

"The state of Michigan will be chanting 'Go Blue' when the Wolverines take to the field on New Year's Day," Granholm said.

UCLA Quarterback Drew Olson, who threw for 2,565 yards and 20 touchdowns this year, will undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee and may not be ready for the opening of camp next fall.

The Bruins' junior was hurt when sacked by Wyoming's John Flora in the second quarter of UCLA's 24-21 loss in the Dec. 23 Las Vegas Bowl.

Olson is expected to undergo surgery within the next couple of weeks, team spokesman Marc Dellins said Wednesday.

The recovery period from such surgery usually is around eight months. Olson's status will be determined late next summer when the Bruins prepare to begin training camp.

He has not used a red-shirt year.

"I feel bad for Drew," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "He's s a great young man and one of our team leaders. Drew is a tough competitor, and if anyone came overcome a setback like this, it's Drew Olson."

Olson was 6 of 12 for 96 yards and a touchdown and the Bruins trailed 10-7 when he was hurt against Wyoming. Junior David Koral, who had not thrown a pass for UCLA, replaced him and threw a pair of touchdown passes to give the Bruins a 21-10 lead before Wyoming rallied to win.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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