Update on the latest sports

COLLEGE FOOTBALL-TENNESSEE-HEUPEL

New AD Danny White hires Josh Heupel to join him at Vols

UNDATED (AP) — Josh Heupel (HY’-pul) was hired as Tennessee’s football coach on Wednesday, giving the Vols a package deal with athletic director Danny White, who started in his job last week.

White announced that Heupel will become Tennessee’s 27th head coach. He’s now the Vols’ fifth coach, not counting interim or acting coaches, since the end of the 2008 season.

White said the school looked at a number of candidates before coming to Heupel, someone he has worked with the past three years at UCF. White said Heupel wins with integrity, has a history of winning titles and is an architect of explosive offenses.

Heupel will be introduced at a news conference later Wednesday.

He takes over a program that went 3-7 in 2020 and is expected to deal with NCAA sanctions — a challenge that previous coaches Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley, Butch Jones and Pruitt did not face.

Tennessee has had five winning seasons since last winning the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division in 2007. That was also the last time the Vols double-digit wins. Their last SEC title was in 1998 when Tennessee won its last national championship.

SPORTS FEDERATIONS-TOKYO OLYMPICS

AP Interview: All 33 sports ‘unanimously’ want Tokyo Games

ROME (AP) — The IOC is adamant that the Tokyo Olympics will be held this year despite the pandemic. So are Japanese organizers. Now the man who represents all 33 sports in the Summer Games is adding his voice to the chorus, saying “we’re positive that the games will be held.”

The president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, Francesco Ricci Bitti, adds that all of the 33 sports “want the games.”

The more pressing matter now is qualifying. Ricci Bitti says “we still have 30% of the athletes theoretically not qualified.” He says half of the 33 federations are “really struggling” financially because of the Tokyo Games postponement.

TENNIS-MURRAY-CHALLENGER

Andy Murray enters challenger event in Italy

ROME (AP) — Andy Murray has entered a lower-tier challenger tournament in Italy next month after withdrawing from the Australian Open with the coronavirus.

The Italian Tennis Federation says Murray is listed to play an indoor tournament in Biella starting Feb. 15. The tournament has $160,000 in prize money. Murray tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before he was due to board a charter flight to Melbourne. He had been given a wild-card entry for the Australian Open.

Murray is a former No. 1 who is currently ranked 123rd as he works his way back from hip issues that led to two operations.

INDYCAR-JONES-COYNE

Ed Jones returns to IndyCar after sitting out 2020

UNDATED (AP) — Ed Jones will return to IndyCar after a one-year absence for a second stint driving for Dale Coyne Racing.

Jones was named Wednesday as driver of the No. 18 Honda entered by Coyne with Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan. The car will be sponsored for a fourth consecutive season by SealMaster Pavement Products.

Jones replaces Santino Ferrucci, who announced a move to NASCAR in the second-tier Xfinity Series when he could not complete a deal for 2021.

A British citizen born in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, who currently lives in Miami, Jones was sidelined all of 2020 because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Jones was IndyCar’s rookie of the year in 2017 when he drove for Coyne and finished third in the Indianapolis 500.

The strong rookie season helped Jones land a promotion to Chip Ganassi Racing for one season, and he then ran the street and road course events for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2019.

Jones drove the No. 19 for Coyne his rookie year and that seat has yet to be filled for 2021. Alex Palou drove the car as a rookie last season but moved to Ganassi this year.

Categories: National Sports