Sports in Brief: Penn State's O'Brien wins third coach of year award

Posted: January 19, 2013

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien won the 2012 Paul "Bear" Bryant College Coach of the Year Award on Thursday night, beating out five other finalists.

O'Brien led the Nittany Lions through an 0-2 start and NCAA sanctions to an 8-4 finish in his first season at State College. "It means so much to the kids and everyone else who stuck with us," O'Brien said. "This was a program award."

O'Brien won his third national coach of the year award after previously winning the Maxwell Club and ESPN awards last month. The other finalists for the award were Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Kansas State's Bill Snyder, Stanford's David Shaw, and Vanderbilt's James Franklin.

The man O'Brien replaced last January, the late Joe Paterno, was the first Bryant Award winner in 1986.

GOLF: With top-ranked Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods struggling, fifth-ranked Justin Rose and unheralded Jamie Donaldson had 5-under 67s for a 1-shot lead after the opening round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.

McIlroy carded a 75 and risks missing the cut. Woods shot an even-par 72. Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and Spain's Pablo Larrazabal finished 1 stroke behind the leaders.

McIlroy repeatedly missed fairways, including a shot on his 12th that hit a tree and ended up in a parking lot, leading to one of his two double bogeys.

Woods, who was paired with McIlroy, finished a roller-coaster round at par after "grinding it out." The 14-time major winner had four birdies and four bogeys and ended his round by three-putting his 18th for a bogey.

In La Quinta, Calif., Phil Mickelson opened his season with an erratic even-par 72 in the Humana Challenge. He had three birdies, a bogey and double bogey at La Quinta Country Club, leaving him 9 strokes behind the fist-round leaders.

Jason Kokrak, Roberto Castro, and James Hahn topped the leaderboard at 9-under 63. Russell Henley, the Sony Open winner Sunday in Hawaii in his first start as a PGA Tour member, had a 64.

NHL: The New York Rangers moved to buy out the final two seasons of their contract with defenseman Wade Redden. The 35-year-old whom the Rangers signed to a six-year, $39 million deal in 2008, has been in the minors since the 2010-11 season. Redden was placed on waivers Wednesday.

  - From wire reports

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