Colorado lands San Jose St's Mike MacIntyre


Colorado lands San Jose St's Mike MacIntyre

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Mike MacIntyre's inaugural meeting with his new team lasted just long enough to leave his players with this thought: He's turned around one downtrodden program and he can do the same at Colorado.

Not someday, either, but starting next season.

The 47-year-old coach revived a San Jose State football team in short order. Now, he'll try to fix the beleaguered Buffaloes, who are coming off their worst season in the 123-year history of the program.

``We've got a long way to go. But I've been there before and I know what to do,'' MacIntyre told a room full of boosters and media on Monday night after agreeing to a five-year deal worth $2 million a season. ``There's no reason Colorado shouldn't be at the top of the conference and competing year in and year out.''

His hiring ends a two-week search by Colorado that included a rejection by its first choice, Butch Jones.

MacIntyre inherits a squad that's coming off a 1-11 record this year that led to the firing of Jon Embree. MacIntyre's first order of business was giving his new players a quick pep when he met with them at Folsom Field.

``I think he won a lot of guys over in his confidence, with what he did at San Jose State and what he can do now,'' quarterback Connor Wood said. ``He said we have a lot of talent here and can do the exact same thing. We believe it.''

And yet the past remains fresh for players such as defensive back Parker Orms, who was recruited by former CU coach Dan Hawkins, played for Embree and now will learn a new system under MacIntyre. Like Wood, he fully believes things will be different in Boulder next season, but he wants to see the progress on the field, not just talk about it.

``I came in here (to Colorado) with different expectations,'' Orms said. ``I thought I would be with Hawk the whole time, thought we'd be competing for a national championship. That didn't happen with Hawk. Embree came in and I felt the same way. I really liked both of those coaches.

``I was down a few weeks ago - just another bump in the road. But I met with (MacIntyre) today and he seems like a well-rounded guy. I have a good vibe.''

That's a step in the right direction, MacIntyre said.

``I can tell they're hurting a little bit and they should be,'' he said. ``They want to prove themselves. ... I saw the same thing at San Jose State.''

The Spartans (10-2) are ranked No. 25 in the BCS and are heading to the Dec. 27 Military Bowl in Washington, D.C. to face Bowling Green (8-4), two years after a 1-12 showing in McIntyre's first season. This is the first 10-win season in a quarter century for the Spartans, who are ranked 24th in both the AP and coaches' polls.

MacIntyre, the son of former Vanderbilt coach George MacIntyre, was 16-21 in three years as a head coach at San Jose State after serving as Duke's defensive coordinator and working as a secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

He took over a Spartans program still reeling from limited scholarships following academic penalties by the NCAA stemming from problems before previous coach Dick Tomey arrived. After the 1-12 season featuring a heavy schedule of ranked teams, the Spartans went 5-7 in MacIntyre's second season.

And now they're on the right track.

``Mike provided us with a nice model moving forward for our next head coach to follow,'' San Jose State athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.

Unlike at San Jose State, though, the pressure may be ramped up. After all, the Buffaloes gave a quick hook to Embree.

``There's' always a sense of urgency. But the word I use instead of patience is perseverance,'' said MacIntyre, who's undecided on whether he will coach the Spartans in the bowl game. ``Even at San Jose State when we were 1-12, which was tough, I could see us improving in every aspect.''

So, will the administration give him more leeway to get things straightened out?

``He's not going to be able to turn things around immediately, but I think what we'll see is steady progress and good recruiting, getting ready to make that push,'' school chancellor Phil DiStefano said. ``As far as a competitive athletic program, a competitive academic program, and a coach to put those two together, I think we hit on the right person.''

After missing on their first option.

Last week, Jones rejected a five-year, $13.5 million offer that would have made him the highest-paid coach in CU history, and instead took the vacant head coaching job at Tennessee. Jones also had been promised upgrades at Folsom Field and the team's training center, something MacIntyre has been guaranteed as well.

``Our resolve is undeterred. Our resolve has been escalated,'' athletic director Mike Bohn said. ``We're looking forward to the challenge.''

This marks Bohn's third head coaching hire since he fired Gary Barnett in 2005. Embree had three years remaining on a five-year contract when he was fired after going 4-21.

MacIntyre may have made a good impression on Bohn, but he's got his work cut out from him in winning over some prominent alumni.

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Justin Bannan, who criticized Bohn for not giving Embree more time to turn around the program, said he wasn't sure what to make of MacIntyre's hiring.

``I just got hit with the news, so I'm not sure what to think quite yet. So, I've got to find out who this guy is and what he brings to the table and figure it out from there,'' Bannan said.

The Buffaloes job isn't a glamorous one, with sub-par football facilities and a fan base and booster pool disenchanted by the seven straight losing seasons.

The new coach faces a truncated recruiting season and must try to keep defections to a minimum from a roster that's loaded with freshmen. Still, MacIntyre is confident things can change in a hurry.

After all, he did help recruit San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to Mississippi when MacIntyre was an assistant at the school.

``If you don't believe you can win, you're not going to win,'' MacIntyre said. ``You know how when you go swimming and you kind of stick your toe in the water and you go, `It feels good, I'll jump in' or you go, `It's cold?'

``Sometimes, football teams do that. They stick their toe in and think, `I don't know if I can play with them.' We're not going to do that. We're going to dive in and go play.''


AP Sports Writers Arnie Stapleton and Janie McCauley contributed.

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We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington


We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”

UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable


UMBC's NCAA Tournament hopes end vs. Kansas State, but its Cinderella run was unforgettable

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — UMBC's improbable run through the NCAA Tournament was brief. The statement the Retrievers made and their place in history is forever.

For one weekend in March, the tiny commuter school from Baltimore known for its academics and championship-winning chess team captured the hearts of the college basketball world and beyond. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to knock off a No. 1 in March Madness, a victory over Virginia that made the Retrievers the ultimate Cinderella.

The fairytale came to an end Sunday night in a 50-43 loss to No. 9 Kansas State -- heartbreaking because it was a game UMBC could have won, but still satisfying because the Retrievers touched so many people by accomplishing what many thought was impossible.

"We put our name on the map. We gave hope to teams that come to the tournament with lower seeds," said senior guard K.J. Maura. "I think we gave hope to guys that are not even that tall like me. People that feel like they are underdogs in their life, I think we gave hope to everything they want to do in life."


Stephen Curry noticed the team and sent UMBC the sneakers the team wore against Kansas State. The Golden State Warriors had his Curry 5s, which are in limited release, and other swag sent to the team. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared the Retrievers "Surgeon General approved" and posted a photo of himself on Facebook wearing a sweatshirt from his alma mater.

NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted to UMBC guard Joe Sherburne, who claims to be Rodgers' biggest fan. And for a team addicted to the video game "Fortnite," their dreams were made when Ninja, a popular gamer who recently played against rapper Drake and JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, FaceTimed with the team early Sunday.

"They play with passion, they play with heart, they play together," coach Ryan Odom said. "We do things together for one another, and obviously when you have a big win like that (over Virginia) and it's so shocking, you know, people love to see that. They love to see the upset.

"And our guys handled it with grace and understood the circumstances. They weren't pounding their chests or anything. They expected to be here and expected to compete."

When UMBC returned to the locker room following its ouster, Odom had written just one word on the whiteboard. The Retrievers needed a buzzer-beating 3 against Vermont to win their conference title and make the NCAA Tournament, but they showed up believing they could beat Virginia, and the same about Kansas State.


So Odom simply penned "Proud" on the board for his players.

"Just very proud of these kids and what they've been able to do as the representatives that they are for our university," Odom said. "Just captured our country and beyond, to be honest, from a sporting perspective and it's really, really neat to see."

Sherburne said Odom relayed stories from friends who had texted or called from outside the country to rave about UMBC. Near tears after an 0-for-9 shooting night, Sherburne found consolation in the joy UMBC brought to so many.

"From when we beat Vermont until the last two hours were the greatest time of my life," Sherburne said. "What we did, everyone in here, it's the greatest time of our lives."

Odom arrived at UMBC two years ago and inherited a team accustomed to losing. He told them he was going to get them to .500 that first year; they thought he was joking. But slowly the culture changed and the Retrievers did everything Odom told them they could accomplish.

And then some.

"When I got here, first we were a four-win team that year, and then the next year we went on to win seven games," said graduate student Jairus Lyles. "Then Coach Odom and his staff came in, we won 21 games and this year we had a tremendous season."

Odom doesn't know how far the UMBC program can grow. Those four letters are now synonymous with the biggest upset in college basketball history, but it's a long way from becoming a basketball school.

"UMBC is a unique place -- lot of high achieving kids on campus," Odom said. "We want guys that want to be great from a basketball perspective and want to play after college. But, at the same time, we want folks that are highly motivated academically that want to do great things past basketball. Because the air goes out of the ball at some point for everybody."