Less than two weeks after its head-coaching position opened, Rice has officially closed it.
Following nearly a week’s worth of speculation, Rice confirmed Wednesday that Mike Bloomgren has been named as the football program’s 19th head football coach. Bloomgren replaces David Bailiff, who went 1-11 in his 11 seasons with the Owls before being fired after the regular-season finale.
Bloomgren was given a five-year contract, the details of which were not divulged.
“The football program is important to our university and this community,” athletic director Joe Karlgaard said. “Mike Bloomgren is a bright, driven, and relentless coach who fits perfectly with our vision for championships on the field, scholarship in the classroom, and service to others. I’m grateful to President Leebron for his support and assistance in recruiting the Bloomgrens to Rice. I can’t wait for Mike, Lara, Tyler, and Parker to join us in Houston.”
Bloomgren had spent the past seven seasons at Stanford. The 40-year-old assistant spent the first two seasons with the Cardinal as offensive line coach, then added coordinating duties in 2013. He was also named associate head coach in 2014.
Other than a graduate assistant position at Alabama from 1999-2002, that was Bloomgren’s first job at the FBS level. Prior to Stanford, he was a staffer for the New York Jets from 2007-2010.
“I am excited and humbled to lead the football program at Rice,” Bloomgren said. “In my seven years at Stanford, I have seen firsthand how elite college athletics and academics can not only coexist, but thrive together. I want to create an environment at Rice where every player’s dreams are realized on and off the field.”
One member of the Texas Longhorns football program was involved in an off-field incident this week that, thankfully, sounds a little scarier than it (hopefully) turned out to be.
Tom Herman revealed Tuesday that Jeffrey McCulloch was involved in a single-car accident Tuesday. Per the head coach, the linebacker hydroplaned on a wet, slick Austin road and hit a light pole.
McCulloch was treated at the scene and then went to a local hospital before eventually being released, the Dallas News reported.
However, the Austin American Statesman writes that “[a]fter complaining about neck soreness, McCulloch was expected to have a CT scan.”
“All early indications is that he should be OK,” Herman said. “Just want to make sure everything is good to go.”
On Twitter Tuesday night, McCulloch also indicated that he’s fine.
McCulloch, a junior, has played in all seven games this season, starting one of those contests. He’s listed as the starting B-backer on the Longhorns’ most recent depth chart.
There’s been a rather significant development in an off-field incident involving a pair of Florida International football players.
According to WPLG-TV among other outlets, 29-year-old Lorenzo Shine has been arrested in connection to the Sept. 6 drive-by shooting of running back Anthony Jones (pictured) and offensive lineman Mershawn Miller. Shine, who admitted to driving his girlfriend’s car at the time of the shooting, is facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
From the CBS affiliate in Miami:
Anthony Jones and Mershawn Miller were visiting Miller’s brother at his home in the 2400 block of NW 140th Street when a car pulled up and shots were fired from within the vehicle, according to police.
At least 16 shots were fired at those sitting on the porch. Surveillance video from a nearby home shows bullets flying, as two men run to the back of the house.
Using the surveillance video, police tracked down the owner of the car. The owner of the car said she didn’t remember driving it on the day of the drive-by. Lorenzo Shine, 29, then came out of the woman’s house and retrieved two bags and something from the car’s glove box which he put in one of the bags. He took both bags inside the house.
The homeowner consented to a police search of the residence for guns. Inside one of the bags that Shine had removed from the car was a 40 caliber pistol.
Shine had been released from prison in late June after serving time for armed robbery and burglary. Police have been unable to unearth a motive in the shooting.
Jones was shot in the face and the back during the incident, while Miller, his high school teammate in Miami, was shot in the arm. The latter was released from the hospital shortly after the incident, while the former required a lengthier stay, although he was released after a two-week hospital stay.
Jones, the nephew of former Florida State star Dalvin Cook, ran for a team-high 88 yards in FIU’s season-opening loss to Indiana. He also accounted for a career-high two rushing touchdowns in the same game. Miller saw his first career action in the opener after redshirting as a true freshman last season.
Neither player has played since being shot.
One of the nation’s most prolific players on the offensive side of the ball may not be available this weekend. Or he may be. One of the two.
Late in the third quarter of then-undefeated Colorado’s loss to USC, Laviska Shenault went down with a toe injury and didn’t return. With Washington, also reeling from a tough overtime loss to Oregon, on tap this coming weekend, Shenault’s status is decidedly up in the air.
“We haven’t found out anything on it yet,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said by way of the Boulder Daily Camera. “They’re still evaluating everything. We haven’t found out any total results or anything. He still has a sore toe, but we’ll see.”
Per the Daily Camera, the wide receiver didn’t practice Monday and was seen wearing a walking boot. As of Tuesday, he’s still considered day-to-day.
Shenault currently leads the country in receptions per game (10) and receiving yards per game (130). His six receiving touchdowns are second in the Pac-12 and tied for 14th nationally.
What was a temporary absence has apparently turned into a permanent one.
Oct. 10, a Pitt spokesperson confirmed that “[i]t was mutually agreed upon that Tyler Sear will take leave of the team for personal reasons.” Less than a week later, the tight end took to Twitter to announce that, “after much communication and discussion between myself, my coaches, and loved ones… I have decided to pursue a fresh start and transfer.”
In the social media missive, Sears indicated that he took “a leave of absence to focus on my mental health.”
Sear started five of the first six games this season for the Panthers, catching two passes for nine yards. He started two games as a freshman last season and caught one pass for 10 yards.
Sear is the third tight end to leave the program in the last seven months.
In March, it was confirmed that UCLA transfer Chris Clark was taking a leave of absence from Pitt; the projected 2018 starter is not expected to return. In July, Charles Reeves Jr. was dismissed for unspecified violations of team rules.