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Thursday, December 4, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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College Football

Nevada AD Ault succeeds Tormey

RENO, Nev. — Nevada athletic director Chris Ault, the winningest coach in school history, will coach the Wolf Pack for a third time to try to snap a five-year stretch without a winning record.

School president John Lilley announced the move at a news conference yesterday with Gov. Kenny Guinn and Reno Mayor Bob Cashell. It came three days after the firing of Nevada coach Chris Tormey, whose best record in four seasons was this year's 6-6.

Tormey was on the Washington coaching staff from 1984 to 1994, and left his job as the Huskies' defensive coordinator to serve as Idaho's head coach from 1995 through 1999. Tormey was 16-31 at Nevada.

Ault, 57, posted a 163-63-1 record during 19 seasons from 1976 to 1992 and 1994 to '95. Ault coached the school to four Big Sky Conference titles and three Big West Conference championships.

A record-setting quarterback in his playing days at Nevada in the 1960s, Ault was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame last year.

"This isn't going to be about nostalgia, or recapturing past glory, or going on some sort of final victory tour," Ault said. "I plan on writing an entirely new chapter in the history of Wolf Pack football."

Ault announced Tormey's firing on Sunday, one day after the Wolf Pack closed the season with a 56-3 loss to No. 18 Boise State.

Notes

Ted Roof has been chosen as Duke's next coach, a source close to the program said. He was 2-3 as the Blue Devils' interim coach after Carl Franks was fired.

Lee Owens, fired by Akron, replaced Gary Keller as coach of Division II Ashland of Ohio.

Owens was 7-5 this season at Akron. He was 40-61 overall. Ashland finished 2-9 in its last two seasons.

• No. 16 Florida (8-4) accepted an invitation to the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. The Gators' opponent, likely No. 11 Purdue (9-3) or No. 12 Iowa (9-3), will be determined this weekend.

"I'm happy to hear that we will be getting another chance to play in front of our Gator fans in the state of Florida," coach Ron Zook said.

Florida lost to Michigan 38-30 in last season's Outback Bowl. This season's game will mark Florida's 11th straight bowl game on or after Jan. 1.

• Florida State coach Bobby Bowden wants to play in the Rose Bowl.

"It would be just an amazing thing," the 74-year-old Bowden said this week of the prospect. "No. 1, Florida State has never played in the Rose Bowl. If Florida State is playing in it, it means they have made the circuit. They've gotten them all."

Under Bowden's watch, Florida State has won the Sugar, Fiesta and Orange bowls. The only souvenir missing is a Tournament of Roses watch. "When you are in the twilight of your career like I am, how many more shots are you going to get at something like that?" Bowden said.

• No. 7 Tennessee has suddenly become a player for one of two Bowl Championship Series at-large berths. It wouldn't be a shock to see the Volunteers replace at-large candidate Ohio State in either the Fiesta or Orange bowls.

No. 8 Ohio State played in the Fiesta Bowl last year, and the Orange Bowl might consider Tennessee a better draw in terms of bringing fans to the game in Miami.

• Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of No. 14 Miami of Ohio (11-1 overall, 8-0 Mid-American Conference) and Josh Harris of No. 20 Bowling Green (10-2, 7-1) will be in the spotlight in tonight's MAC title game in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Roethlisberger has passed for 3,670 yards and 29 touchdowns this season. The junior is the fifth player in MAC history to surpass 10,000 career passing yards. Harris has thrown for 3,167 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also has run for 679 yards and 11 TDs.

Miami beat Bowling Green 33-10 on Nov. 4. Miami already has accepted an invitation to play Louisville in the Dec. 18 GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala. The Falcons, though, need a victory to assure that they will get a spot in the Dec. 26 Motor City Bowl in Detroit. If they lose, the Motor City Bowl might select Northern Illinois instead.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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