Canadian women’s coach steps down
Canadian Olympic women’s hockey coach Dan Church resigned, less than two months before the start of the Sochi Games, saying he felt others lacked confidence in his ability to lead the country to a fourth consecutive gold medal. The announcement was made Thursday before Canada’s 5-1 loss to the United States in an exhibition game in Calgary. Assistant coaches Lisa Haley and Danielle Goyette will serve as co-coaches until a new head coach is named. ‘‘If there isn’t confidence in what I'm doing, I need to step aside and let the team move on,’’ Church told The Canadian Press. ‘‘I'm heartbroken, to be honest, about the whole situation.’’ The 40-year-old Church did not specify whether it was his players or Hockey Canada management that had questioned his competence. Alex Carpenter, Brianna Decker, Hilary Knight, Meghan Duggan, and Megan Bozek scored for the US . . . Jay Feaster was fired as general manager of the Calgary Flames, with the team in next-to-last place in the Western Conference. Assistant GM John Weisbrod also was let go. Brian Burke, the team’s president of hockey operations, will serve as acting GM. Burke said the moves were needed to get the franchise back on track.
Klinsmann gets four-year extension
Jürgen Klinsmann, the coach of the US men’s national team, agreed to a four-year contract extension, a strong show of support from US Soccer only months before the World Cup in Brazil. The deal means he will remain in charge of the team through the 2018 World Cup in Russia. As part of the deal, he added the title of technical director for US Soccer, a role that will give him broad oversight over national team programs, player development, coaching, and grass-roots soccer. “I am very fortunate to continue the work we started more than two and a half years ago,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “It’s exciting to see the progress we have made, and we continue to make improvements on all fronts.” The Americans have drawn into a daunting first-round group in Brazil with Ghana, Portugal, and Germany. . . The 2014 Major League Soccer All-Star game will be against German club Bayern Munich, the reigning European and Bundesliga champions. The All-Star game will be played in August at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland, Ore. . . . The Seattle Sounders acquired defender Chad Marshall from the Columbus Crew for a 2015 third-round pick and allocation money . . . The New York Red Bulls re-signed forward Andre Akpan.
Texas’s Brown: situation not changed
Texas football coach Mack Brown declined to say whether the Alamo Bowl will be his final game, amid intense speculation following another disappointing season that began with the Longhorns (8-4) talking about becoming national championship contenders again. ‘‘My situation has not changed,’’ Brown said. Speaking to reporters for the first time since multiple reports indicated he might step down, Brown said he has yet to talk with new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson and university president Bill Powers about the job he has held since 1998. Brown deflected other questions about his future during a news conference in San Antonio about the bowl game against Oregon Dec. 30. ‘‘I want to sit down with [Patterson] and Bill in the near future and talk about where we’re going and where our program is going,’’ Brown said . . . Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco officially was introduced as UConn’s head coach in Storrs after signing a five-year, $8 million deal. His salary will rise from $1.5 million in the first year to $1.7 million in the fifth . . . Linnae Harper scored 18 points to lead No. 5 Kentucky (10-0) to a 96-85 victory over DePaul in a women’s basketball game in Chicago.
Cejka leads Rose by a shot in Thailand
Alex Cejka upstaged a star-filled field with an 8-under-par 64 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the Asian Tour’s Thailand Golf Championship in Chon Buri. The 43-year-old Cejka rolled in his eighth birdie of the day on the 17th to take the lead from Justin Rose. Defending champion Charl Schwartzel was in a tie for sixth with Sergio Garcia after a 68. Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson, and Rickie Fowler all had fired 70 . . . Earl Dennison Woods Jr., the half-brother of Tiger Woods, was arrested in Phoenix for allegedly making a false bomb threat at the government building where he works. Phoenix police say the 58-year-old Woods, who is the father of professional golfer Cheyenne Woods, is accused of calling in the threat at the Department of Economic Security building about 8:30 a.m. Thursday . . . Eddie J. Monterroso, a security guard at the Los Angeles Lakers’ training center in El Segundo, Calif., was charged with stealing two NBA championship rings that disappeared last week. Police charged Monterroso with felony grand theft and burglary. He’s accused of taking the rings and gift cards valued at nearly $20,000 . . . Lakers guard Steve Blake will be out at least six weeks with a torn ligament in his right elbow . . . Golden State Warriors backup center Jermaine O'Neal will have arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist Friday. A timetable for his return was not announced . . . In Breckenridge, Colo., Shaun White finished first in qualifying at the Dew Tour to begin his quest for a third straight Olympic gold medal on the halfpipe.