Alabama fires Shula after Auburn loss

Posted: November 28, 2006

Alabama football coach Mike Shula was fired yesterday after a 6-6 season that ended with three straight losses, including a defeat by state rival Auburn.

Athletic director Mal Moore said defensive coordinator Joe Kines would serve as interim head coach.

Shula, a former Alabama quarterback, led the Crimson Tide to a 10-2 season last year and a Cotton Bowl victory. But his teams were winless in four tries against Auburn. The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide, 22-15, on Nov. 18.

Shula said he was "deeply disappointed" by Moore's decision.

Alabama is looking for a head coach for the fourth time since 2000. The Tide have had seven coaches in the 24 years since Paul "Bear" Bryant's last season in 1982.

The 41-year-old Shula had a 26-23 record in four seasons with the Crimson Tide.

Miami Dolphins coach Nick Saban said he has no interest in the Alabama job. There had been speculation about the Crimson Tide pursuing Saban, a coach at Southeastern Conference rival Louisiana State before joining the Dolphins last year.

The Spartans' new leader. Mark Dantonio is back with the Michigan State football program.

Dantonio, an assistant with the program from 1995 to 2000, was hired yesterday as the Spartans' head coach. The 50-year-old Dantonio had an 18-17 record in three seasons at Cincinnati, including a win over previously unbeaten Rutgers earlier this month.

The Big East's Bearcats (7-5) are awaiting a bowl bid, but Dantonio won't be coaching them in that game. Defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was appointed interim head coach.

Michigan State fired John L. Smith, who compiled a 22-26 record in four up-and-down seasons.

Iowa State's pick. Texas assistant Gene Chizik was hired as Iowa State's football coach and will try to revive a team that finished 4-8 this season.

Chizik will replace Dan McCarney, who resigned this month after 12 seasons.

Chizik, the defensive co-coordinator at Texas, came to the Longhorns before the 2005 season, and the school won a national championship in his first season.

Iowa State was 56-84 under McCarney.

Posluszny honored. Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny has been named a finalist for the Lott Trophy, which honors college football's defensive player of the year.

The award, named after Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, recognizes athletic performance, as well as a player's character.

The other two finalists are cornerback Daymeion Hughes of California and defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock of Ohio State. The winner will be announced Dec. 10.

Noteworthy. Tim Murphy was reappointed as Harvard's football coach through 2011. The Crimson finished at 7-3 this season, 4-3 in the Ivy League. . . . Butch Davis was formally introduced as North Carolina's new coach, and said he already had begun recruiting. "My ankles have been taped waiting for this day," Davis said. John Bunting's Tar Heels went 3-9 this season.

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