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Texas El Paso’s Haskins Retires After 38 Seasons

From Staff and Wire Reports

Don Haskins, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the winning coach in one of the most significant games in college history, retired Tuesday after 38 seasons at Texas El Paso.

“This is it. I’m off the hot seat,” the 69-year-old Haskins said before making the announcement in the Don Haskins Center, the arena renamed for him in 1997.

Haskins looked out at a room packed with reporters and said he was surprised his resignation had drawn such interest.

“This is hard for me to believe that it’s a big deal at all,” he said.

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With a 719-353 record, Haskins ranks 10th in college victories. His teams won seven Western Athletic Conference titles and made 14 NCAA tournament appearances.

But it was the 1966 national championship game--when the school was called Texas Western--that made Haskins part of sports and sociological history.

Haskins, who is white, sent out an all-black starting lineup against top-ranked Kentucky, an all-white team. Texas Western won, 72-65, and although the move has been hailed as a turning point in the integration of college basketball, Haskins received baskets of hate mail.

Haskins has had numerous health problems in recent years, including a mild heart attack during a game in 1996, which was followed by triple-bypass surgery. Earlier this year, he had a pacemaker implanted in his chest.

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He made it clear Tuesday it was his decision to leave, that he was not being forced out. The university offered to pay his salary for the next year and he accepted.

Athletic Director Bob Stull said a search will begin immediately for a new coach.

“We’re going to try to find a coach to replace a legend,” he added.

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Delray Brooks was fired after two years as coach at Texas Pan American. Brooks, 33, was hired in 1997 to improve a woeful program, but his teams were 3-24 and 5-22.

Tennis

Sandrine Testud of France advanced to the second round of the Pilot Pen Invitational at New Haven, Conn., with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory over American Tara Snyder.

Lindsay Davenport posted a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Nathalie Dechy of France. Also advancing were Elena Likhovtseva of Russia, who beat Lisa Raymond, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, and Magui Serna of Spain, a 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3 winner over Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia.

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Four-time champion Pete Sampras was named the U.S. Open’s top-seeded man for a record-tying fifth time. Martina Hingis was seeded No. 1 in the women’s singles.

Sampras tied the Open era mark set by John McEnroe.

Andre Agassi is seeded No. 2 this year--the fifth time in the Open era--after 1968--that two Americans have been seeded in the top two spots in men’s singles.

Reigning Australian Open champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia is seeded No. 3, followed by two-time defending U.S. Open champion Patrick Rafter of Australia.

Hingis is seeded first for a third consecutive year. Defending champion Lindsay Davenport is seeded No. 2 for a second consecutive year, followed, in order, by Venus Williams and Monica Seles.

The Open begins Monday.

Top-seeded Kafelnikov advanced to the second round of the Hamlet Cup in Commack, N.Y., with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Eric Taino, the lowest ranked player in the field at No. 496.

Miscellany

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Little-used pitcher Chris Fontenelli had nine strikeouts in four innings as defending champion Toms River, N.J., advanced to the U.S. championship game with a 3-1 victory over Brownsburg, Ind., in the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa.

Toms River will face Phenix City, Ala., a 12-0 winner over Boise, Idaho.

Fontenelli had pitched only two innings in 21 playoff games for Toms River, which is trying to become only the second U.S. team to win consecutive Little League World Series.

Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, defeated Osaka, Japan, 3-1, and the teams will meet again in Thursday’s international final. Jorge Colon hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth.

Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade, best friends who have struggled on the PGA Tour this year, birdied their final four holes to win the Fred Meyer Challenge at Aloha, Ore.

Faxon and Andrade matched their 11-under-par 61 in Monday’s first round with another 61, winning the 14th charity tournament by two strokes.

Craig Stadler and Steve Elkington shot 62 and finished two behind, as did Jim Furyk and John Huston, who finished strong with a 60, tying the single-round tournament record.

Fighting to the cheers of “Rocky, Rocky” in Houston, hometown favorite Ricardo Juarez used a brutal inside attack to beat Alex Arthur of Scotland in a featherweight quarterfinal bout at the World Amateur Boxing Championships.

Virginia Tech, a football-only member of the Big East Conference since its inception in 1991, will become a full member in the 2001-02 academic year, the league announced.


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