Houston, TX (SportsNetwork. Andrus Peat Jersey
.com) - The University of Houston has fired head football coach Tony Levine after three seasons. Levine was dismissed despite leading the Cougars to a record of 21-17 with a pair of bowl appearances, including a 7-5 mark this season. Houston was 5-3 in the American Athletic Conference in 2014, losing its regular-season finale at Cincinnati this past Saturday. Coach Levine and I met several times throughout the season, and again late (Sunday) night, to discuss the state of the program. I informed him we will be moving in a different direction with our football program, said Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades in a statement Monday. Coach Levine is an outstanding leader and over the last three years he has demonstrated great commitment to our student-athletes and has been an outstanding role model for our young men. He has left the program in a better situation than it was when he inherited it. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs has been named interim head coach and will guide Houston in its Jan. 2 Armed Forces Bowl game against Pittsburgh in Fort Worth. Levine was the named interim head coach in December 2011 when Kevin Sumlin left Houston for the same position at Texas A&M. He was then elevated to the full-time position later that month and guided the Cougars to a win in the TicketCity Bowl to cap a 13-1 season. After a 5-7 mark in 2012, the Cougars rebounded to finish 8-5 in 2013 with a loss to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl. Levine was then given a new five- year contract this past May. Although we are excited to play in our second straight bowl game, the expectations of our program have changed over the last five years with the opening of TDECU Stadium and the current college football landscape, Rhoades added. Houston finished just 4-3 at home this season and opened its new stadium in August with a surprising loss to Texas-San Antonio. The Houston Chronicle said Monday the school will owe Levine about $1 million as part of a buyout as well as a pro-rated sum of deferred compensation. Sterling Moore Jersey
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. Off-Season Game Plan examines a team facing some challenging times as GM Bryan Murray tries to put together a roster for next season. Perhaps the first challenge facing Murray is that its expected he will be moving out Jason Spezza, a premier point producer who is about to enter the final year of his contract.Given the depth of the Toronto Maple Leafs struggles, its somewhat surprising they still have an outside shot at a wild-card spot. The New Jersey Devils are five points behind the Leafs, but they look like the team thats more eager to make a playoff push. The Leafs return from the All-Star break looking to snap a six-game losing streak when they visit a Devils club thats earned points in five of seven Wednesday night. Toronto (22-23-3) scored more than one goal for the first time in six games last Wednesday but lost 4-3 at Ottawa. The Leafs trailed 3-0 after the first period in suffering their 14th defeat in 17 contests - all the losses coming in regulation. Thats left them 10 points out of the second wild-card spot with three teams to pass. We just have to keep trying to move forward, said center Nazem Kadri, who scored for the second straight game. Thats really all we can do is try and stay positive. We just have to play with that desperation through 60 minutes instead of 40 or 45. Toronto held a 40-26 shot advantage over the Senators - 17-6 in the third period - but exceeded the two-goal mark for just the second time in 10 contests. The Leafs havent been much better defensively, allowing 3.10 goals per game to rank near the bottom of the league, and theyll be without defenseman Dion Phaneuf on a week-to-week basis due to injury. Well definitely miss our captain, Kadri told the teams official website. He also logs a lot of minutes against (opponents) top guys so thats definitely a big hole to fill. Toronto has gone 5-10-3 without Phaneuf since he joined the Leafs in January 2010. They have a .517 winning percentage in the 359 games hes played. Toronto will get forwards Leo Komarov and Peter Holland back in the lineup for tonights contest. Joffrey Lupul (lower body), Stephane Robidas (upper body) and Dion Phaneuf (hand) will all sit out. The Leafs will start with Korbinian Holzer in Phaneufs place on the top pairing with Cody Franson, but head coach Peter Horachek said he may try others in that spot as well. Jonathan Bernier gets the startt between the pipes for tonights contest. Nick Fairley Jersey
. New Jersey (17-22-8) would need to pass six teams to capture the final wild-card berth, but the Devils have certainly appeared more motivated than the Leafs of late. New Jersey defeated San Jose 5-2 on Jan. 19 to complete a 2-1-0 California road trip, giving it a 4-2-1 mark in the past seven. Cory Schneider made 34 saves and five players scored for the Devils, who went 4 for 9 on the power play during the three-game swing. We can feel good about ourselves, Schneider said. We just have to capture this and realize this is what we have to do night in and night out. New Jersey, near the bottom of the NHL with 2.23 goals per game, has scored four or more three times in the past seven contests. Its likely to get more help offensively Wednesday from second-leading scorer Jaromir Jagr and Tuomo Ruutu, who both missed the last three games before the break due to the flu. You go in feeling good but you cant feel too good, general manager and interim co-coach Lou Lamoriello said. You just have to realize what you did to have success and take that from the game and just pick it up when you get back. New Jersey has won the last two meetings with Toronto and is 2-0-2 in the past four. The Devils took the first matchup of the season 5-3 on the road Dec. 4, getting goals from five players and 29 saves from Schneider. Those last four meetings represent all of Schneiders career starts against the Leafs, and hes posted a 1.93 goals-against average. Wednesdays Projected Lines vs. Devils: Forward Komarov - Kadri - Kessel van Riemsdyk - Bozak - Clarkson Winnik - Holland - Santorelli Booth - Smith - Panik Defence Holzer - Franson Rielly - Polak Gardiner - Granberg Game Notes: NJ is 1-0-0 vs TOR this season, winning in TOR TOR has gone 3-1-0 past 4 games in NJ (lost last) Devils: 4-2-1 past 7 games, 4GF or more in 4 of the games, 5/16 on PP Havlat (2G, 1A) 3 game PT streak Maple Leafs: lost 6 straight, outscored 20-5, 2/18 on PP Kadri (2G) has scored in back to back games Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Wholesale China Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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