Following a meeting with Arizona State women's basketball coach Charli Tuner Thorne and citing personal reasons, Phil Stern reversed his decision to accept the assistant coaching position with the Sun Devils and will return to USC Aiken as head women's basketball coach.
Randy Warrick, the USC Aiken Athletics Director, has scheduled a press conference for Monday at 11 a.m. to formally announce Stern's return.
In three seasons with the Lady Pacers, Stern complied a 42-41 record. He guided USC Aiken to a 22-7 record and the school's first Peach Belt Conference North Division title last season.
As a team, the Lady Pacers will return 10 of 12 players including PBC First Team All-Conference Jami Cornwell and second-team honoree Julie Szabo.
HOCKEY: The Augusta Lynx announced Thursday that player/assistant coach Scott Morrow will return for the 2001-2002 season.
Morrow scored 33 goals last season for the Lynx and added 53 assists. He also posted a goal and three assists against the New Orleans Brass in the first round of the playoffs.
The long-rumored move of the Macon Whoopee from the Central Hockey League to the East Coast Hockey League appears to be in its final stages.
Two sources associated with current ECHL teams said this week that they expect the Whoopee's entry into the league to be approved during league meetings this weekend in Orlando.
"From everything I've heard, it should be done by this weekend," said Mike Pierson, general manager for the Augusta Lynx.
A second source confirmed that the ECHL has completed a schedule that included Macon. Typically, however, sports leagues will create several schedules based on various contingencies for membership.
Although Whoopee president Keith Burdette said nothing on the move had been finalized, he will attend the ECHL's meeting.
GOLF: Annika Sorenstam couldn't ask for a better golfing partner.
She'll team up with Tiger Woods against David Duval and U.S. Open champion Karrie Webb in a $1.7 million match-play exhibition live on ABC Sports at 8 p.m. EDT on July 30.
"The Battle at Bighorn" is the third such program involving Woods. He lost to Sergio Garcia last August and beat Duval in 1999 in the first live network telecast of a golf event in prime time.
In next month's alternate-shot contest, Woods and Duval will tee off on odd-numbered holes and Sorenstam and Webb will do so on even holes at the Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
Asked last month what such a made-for-TV exhibition could do for women's golf, Sorenstam said, "For a day, it would be great for people to see that Karrie and I can play good golf."
The winners will split $1.2 million, with the losers dividing $500,000. A total of $300,000 will go to charities picked by the players.
The Mr. Perry's men's senior golf outing for Houndslake Country Club in Aiken has been rescheduled. The tournament will be held Monday, June 18.
HALL OF FAME: The Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Board inducted former Georgia football players Robert Edwards and Charley Britt into the 2001 AT&T Wireless Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame on Thursday.
The Florida-Georgia Hall of Fame recognizes standout performances in the University of Florida and University of Georgia football rivalry.
Edwards, a former Washington County star, was selected for his four touchdown, 135-yard rushing performance in a 30-17 Bulldog victory over the Gators in 1997.
Britt, who starred at North Augusta High and played at the University of Georgia, threw a touchdown and returned an interception for a score to lead the Bulldogs over Florida, 21-10, in 1959.
HORSE RACING: Dogwood Stable's Smok'n Frolic captured the $75,000 Fashion Stakes at Belmont Park on Thursday.
The two-year-old won by six lengths over the seven-horse field in 57 seconds and four-tenths. The Cot Campbell-owned filly has posted two victories in three starts with purse earnings of $76,060.
Smok'n Frolic's next race will be the Grade II, $100,000 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga on July 25.
BOXING: The months of taunting are over. Madame Butterfly and Sister Smoke are set to go.
"I'm ready to get this over with," Laila Ali, nicknamed Madame Butterfly, said as she prepared to meet Jacqui Frazier-Lyde in an eight-round bout tonight at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y.
"I can't wait. She's been doing a lot of talking about how I'm going to be running, so I'm just hoping that when I start busting her up side the head that she has another plan."
"She's avoided me for so long," Frazier-Lyde countered. "Laila's having nightmares of me. I'm not going to have a problem nailing Laila Ali's head. I know you're going to run, but I'm going to track you down."
Seems like old times as the daughters of former heavyweight champions Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier rekindle what once was boxing's most bitter rivalry.
It's been 30 years since "Smokin" Joe Frazier won a brutal 15-round decision over Ali in "The Fight," the first of their three memorable bouts, the last two won by Ali. The animosity that was created by Ali's punches and taunts never vanished.
BASEBALL: First-year Texas Rangers pitching coach Larry Hardy and bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar have agreed to switch positions in an attempt to boost the struggling ballclub.
"Larry Hardy approached me earlier this week and suggested that we make this adjustment in coaching roles," Rangers manager Jerry Narron said Thursday. "This caught me a little by surprise because it is not something I had been considering. However, after talking with both Larry and Bobby, we all agreed to make the change."
Hardy became pitching coach only eight months ago after serving as the bullpen coach from 1995-2000. He was replaced in the bullpen by Cuellar.
The coaching change was to take effect today, when the Rangers begin a three-game series against the Houston Astros.
Hardy, a 31-year veteran of professional baseball, took over as pitching coach for Dick Bosman, who was let go after last season.
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