The Minnesota Vikings selected Gary Kubiak, 58, as their offensive coordinator, filling the vacancy created by Kevin Stefanski’s departure to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The widely expected move was confirmed Thursday by a person with knowledge of the decision who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club had not yet made the announcement. Kubiak, who was an NFL head coach for 10 seasons with the Texans and Broncos, was as an offensive adviser and assistant to head coach Mike Zimmer this season.
Concussions up slightly
The number of concussions suffered by NFL players this season increased slightly from last season, according to injury data released by the league. Players suffered 224 concussions during this preseason and regular season, which was up from the 214 suffered by players during the 2018 season but still significantly down from the 281 suffered by players during the 2017 season . . . The Las Vegas Raiders signed cornerback Nevin Lawson to a one-year contract extension. Lawson became the first player to sign with the team since it changed its name from Oakland to Las Vegas.
MLB to back US softball tour
Major League Baseball will become a presenting sponsor of the US women’s softball ‘‘Stand Beside Her’’ tour, a slate of exhibition games leading up to the Olympic tournament from July 22-28. The US women’s softball team is already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics while the men’s baseball squad has struggled to do so . . . Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger is expected to miss the start of the regular season and likely needs to undergo core muscle surgery, said general manager Jerry Dipoto. Haniger, who missed the final 3½ months of last season after suffering a ruptured testicle, was injured during an offseason workout earlier this week.
. . . MLB will test automated balls-and-strikes software, alternatively called ‘‘ABS’’ or ‘‘ESZ’’ (electronic strike zone) during spring training and will run only in the background during exhibition games for testing and development purposes.
Sharks GM gets thumbs up
San Jose Sharks owner Hasso Plattner gave general manager Doug Wilson a vote of confidence with his team mired in 13th place in the Western Conference. Plattner said the entire organization was disappointed in the performance so far but he believes Wilson, who fired coach Peter DeBoer last month and replaced him with interim coach Bob Boughner, can lead the team back.
UConn routs Lady Vols
Crystal Dangerfield scored 14 points and No. 3 UConn used a dominant third quarter to beat 23rd-ranked Tennessee 60-45 in Hartford, the first matchup in 13 years between the teams whose rivalry dominated the sport for over a decade . . . The Hall of Fame is auctioning off the original 25-inch by 28-inch, black and white portraits and plaques used to mark the enshrinement of some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Julius Erving. They are being replaced as part of a $30 million renovation because the dome ran out of room for additional inductees with the class of 2018 . . . Alana Beard, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year who won a WNBA championship with the Los Angeles Sparks, is retiring after 15 years.
BC to retire Bell’s number
Troy Bell, a 2017 BC Hall of Fame inductee who ranked as the school’s all-time leading scorer in men’s basketball with 2,632 points, will have his No. 2 jersey retired by the school in a ceremony during Saturday’s 2 p.m. ACC contest against Virginia Tech at Conte Forum . . . Four-time WNBA champion Maya Moore is skipping a second straight season of professional basketball, plus the 2020 Olympics, in favor of her interest in criminal justice reform and, in particular, her efforts to help free Jonathan Irons, incarcerated since 1997 when he was arrested at age 16 in connection with a nonfatal shooting of a homeowner during a burglary.
. . . In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Brooklyn Nets owner Joseph Tsai revealed the puzzling departure of chief executive officer David Levy less than two months after his initial hire stemmed from “a case of mismatched expectations” between Tsai and Levy, a 33-year-veteran of Turner Broadcasting. When he took the job, Levy was also made president of J Tsai Sports and tasked with growing the holding company for Tsai’s portfolio, which, along with the Nets, includes the WNBA’s New York Liberty, a professional lacrosse team in San Diego, and stakes in the Premier Lacrosse League and the Major League Soccer franchise Los Angeles FC.
NCAA adopts compensation
The NCAA approved legislation at its convention in Anaheim that will permit elite athletes to be paid effective immediately for training expenses by the US Olympic Committee and other national governing bodies . . . Former BC running back AJ Dillon will participate in the 2020 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The skills competition will air at 9 p.m. Friday Jan. 31 on ESPN2 and feature 24 of college football’s brightest stars divided into six teams from the same conference . . . Dorchester’s Terrence Clarke was selected to play in the 2020 McDonald’s All-American game April 1 at the Toyota Center in Houston. A 6-foot-7-inch guard at Brewster Academy, Clarke will attend Kentucky, along with fellow McDonald’s nominee Brandon Boston (Sierra Canyon, Calif.)
. . . Omaha Beach and Spun to Run, two of the favorites at the Pegasus World Cup Invitational in Hallandale Beach, Fla., were scratched over health concerns.