North Carolina Hires Bunting as Its Coach

From Staff and Wire Reports

John Bunting returned to his alma mater Monday when he was hired as football coach at North Carolina.

Bunting, who resigned as linebacker coach with the New Orleans Saints, replaces Carl Torbush, who was fired last month after three seasons.

Bunting, 50, was hired in February by the Saints, who are trying to make the NFL playoffs.

Bunting's contract at North Carolina was expected to be worth $500,000-$600,000 a year, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

Bunting, who played at North Carolina from 1968-71, was in the first year of a two-year contract with the Saints. He was interviewed twice by North Carolina officials before being hired.

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A tearful George Welsh retired as Virginia's football coach, 19 years after turning the Cavaliers from a laughingstock into a contender.

Welsh, 67, went to Virginia from Navy to take over a program so bad that its team was mockingly referred to as the "Cadavaliers." He leaves as the winningest coach in Atlantic Coast Conference history.

When Welsh arrived at Virginia in 1982, the Cavaliers had a 33-121-11 record in the ACC and had never been to a bowl game. Since his arrival, they are 85-51-3 and will be making their 12th bowl appearance Christmas Eve, playing Georgia in the Oahu Bowl at Honolulu.

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Jim Grobe, who spent six seasons at Ohio University and turned around a program that was 0-11 the year before his arrival, was named the new coach at Wake Forest, replacing Jim Caldwell.

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Georgia Athletic Director Vince Dooley will interview Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt about the Bulldogs' coaching vacancy, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Miscellany

Attorneys for Rae Carruth said the former NFL receiver might testify at his trial in Charlotte, N.C., on charges of masterminding the murder of his pregnant girlfriend.

Carruth is being tried on a capital murder charge, accused of setting up the slaying of Cherica Adams.

Speaking outside the courthouse, attorney David Rudolf declined to say if he planned to call co-defendant Van Brett Watkins, the admitted triggerman. Watkins pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in July and agreed to testify against Carruth. Prosecutors did not call Watkins as a witness before resting their case after 12 days of testimony and more than two dozen witnesses.

Gov. Jesse Ventura's new broadcast job with the XFL does not pose a conflict of interest, a Minnesota official ruled.

The ruling by Julien Carter, the state's commissioner of employee relations, was made in response to a complaint by environmental activist Leslie Davis, who argued that Ventura was using his position to secure benefits not available to the public. Davis said he has no immediate plans to pursue court action.

The Deputy, an Irish-bred colt that won the Santa Anita Derby before running 14th in the Kentucky Derby, has been retired to stud because of a tendon injury.

Before his injury, The Deputy was being prepared by trainer Jenine Sahadi to run in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.

The Deputy, whose career began in England before his purchase by Team Valor, won three of five starts in the U.S., with one victory coming on grass. He finished second to Fusaichi Pegasus, the eventual Kentucky Derby winner, in the San Felipe at Santa Anita

Mario Lemieux, who is ending a three-year retirement to play again for the Pittsburgh Penguins, said he will consider playing for Canada in the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

Olympic slalom champion Hans-Petter Buraas of Norway scored his first World Cup skiing victory, taking a night slalom at Sestriere, Italy, after the disqualification of Austria's Heinz Schilchegger.

Conference USA and ESPN have agreed to an eight-year deal for televising the league's basketball and football games.

Tyrone McGriff, a guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1980s and one of Florida A&M;'s greatest football players, died Saturday in Melbourne, Fla., two weeks after he suffered a heart attack, the school said. He was 41.

Robert William, longtime area golfer, who played in 50 consecutive L.A. Open pro-am events and became known for columnist Jim Murray's frequent references to him as a golf expert and humorist, died last Thursday. He was 86.

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