Times Wire Services

Boston College Coach Dan Henning strongly downplayed reports that he might become offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots.

While not issuing an outright denial, Henning said Tuesday he hasn’t had discussions with personnel in the NFL or elsewhere that would lead people to believe he won’t keep his job.

Boston College had a 4-8 record this season and is 11-12-1 in two years under Henning. Ray Perkins, the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, has been criticized in the media, although Coach Bill Parcells has said he takes responsibility for the team’s offensive problems.

Henning has three years left on his Boston College contract at a reported $150,000 a year. He and Parcells, who were on the Florida State staff in 1970, remain friends.


Henning, a former head coach of the San Diego Chargers, was fired during the 1993 season as offensive coordinator of the Detroit Lions.

ESPN reported Nov. 21 that Parcells probably would name a replacement for Perkins next season. The report also said “don’t be surprised” if Parcells tried to hire Henning “to help the offense.”

ABC broadcast a similar report, citing NFL sources.

After the 41-38 victory over Rutgers, Henning said in response to questions about the reports, “I’m the head coach at Boston College.”

On Tuesday, he said, “I am the football coach at Boston College and that should say it all.”


Stanford’s Tyrone Willingham, who led the Cardinal to a 7-3-1 record in his first season, was named Pacific-10 Conference coach of the year. Willingham, who replaced Super Bowl-winning Coach Bill Walsh, inherited a team that was 3-7-1 in 1994.


Hawaii fired Coach Bob Wagner and all nine of his assistants. Wagner led the Rainbow Warriors to a 4-7 record this season, 2-6 in the Western Athletic Conference. During his nine seasons as coach, the team compiled a 58-48-3 overall record with a 31-40-1 mark in the WAC.


Two former Houston assistant football coaches claim they were unjustly fired two days after the Cougars’ dismal 1993 finish, according to a lawsuit against the school and Coach Kim Helton.

The wrongful termination lawsuit accuses the university, Helton and other officials of breach of contract, violation of civil rights, conspiracy and other civil liability.

Ron Shanklin and Melvin Robertson contend they were fired without cause in violation of university policy and state and federal law. They are seeking unspecified damages based on lost income and mental anguish.