Turner announced as head coach at FIU

Turner announced as head coach at FIU

MIAMI (AP) Florida International announced the hiring of football coach Ron Turner at an introductory news conference Friday.

Turner signed a five-year deal with a base salary of $500,000 on Thursday night. He takes over for Mario Cristobal after a 3-9 season and will look to lead the Golden Panthers into Conference USA from the Sun Belt.

``I really believe this program is ready to take the next step, which is to win at a high level in Conference USA, to win consistently and compete for a Conference USA championship on a regular basis,'' Turner said. ``That's our goal. That's our vision.''

The 59-year-old Turner returns to college football for the first time since he was fired at Illinois in 2004 after eight seasons as the head coach. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past season and has coached 12 years in the NFL.

``I love the challenge of being the head coach,'' Turner said. ``The happiest times I've had in coaching were the nine years that I was the head coach in college. I love the relationships that you establish, that you build with the student-athletes, with their families. Those are the kind of things that when you go through what you go through, that last a lifetime.''

Turner was fired at Illinois three seasons after taking the Illini to what was their first Big Ten title in a decade. Illinois went to the Sugar Bowl after that 10-2 season in 2001 and Turner was Big Ten coach of the year. Illinois won only nine of its next 34 games under Turner, including just one Big Ten game in a two-season span. He left Illinois with a 35-57 record in eight seasons.

Turner worked with elite NFL players such as Peyton Manning (he was an offensive position coach with the Indianapolis Colts at the time) and Devin Hester (when Turner was the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator).

``FIU has made an excellent decision in naming Ron Turner as its head coach,'' Manning said. ``He was an important part of the offensive staff with the Colts during his two years with the team. I respect his knowledge of the game and his passion for coaching. I'm happy for him and wish him all the best at FIU.''

Turner is the brother of Norv Turner, who was fired as coach of the San Diego Chargers this week.

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Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility

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Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility

One head-scratcher from over the weekend was the Redskins’ apparent decision to hold on to defensive end Terrell McClain despite the fact that his 2018 base salary of $3.25 million would become fully guaranteed as of 4 p.m. on Sunday.

McClain missed four games with a toe injury last year and when he was playing he was not one of the top performers on the line. Perhaps he will improve in his second year in the defense but his performance certainly didn’t warrant a fully guaranteed salary.

Sunday came and went, and McClain was still on the roster. However, there was a change regarding the eight-year veteran. According to John Keim of ESPN, the Redskins and the player agreed to remove the full guarantee of the 2018 salary and change it to an injury-only guarantee.


The change will help alleviate what could be a numbers crunch down the road. The Redskins normally carry six defensive linemen. They have four keepers in Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. They have been trying to sign a free agent D-lineman like Johnathan Hankins and if they fail to do that they are likely to take one early in the draft. That would mean that five of the roster spots are spoken for.

If McClain had the guaranteed salary that might lock him into that sixth spot, leaving Ziggy Hood, a favorite of the coaching staff, on the outside looking in. The removal of the full salary guarantee levels the playing field between McClain, Hood and another possible free agent or draft pick when it comes to competing for that last roster spot.

If McClain loses out in the battle for a roster spot in training camp releasing him would save about $3.4 million in 2018 cap space. However, there would be a dead cap charge of $2.5 million in 2019. If his salary had remained fully guaranteed his departure would have caused a net cap charge of about $2 million.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 73 Capitals vs. Stars Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Dallas Stars

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Stars will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Stars game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (41-24-7) take on the Stars (38-27-8) Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena.


The Capitals-Stars game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Stars
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Islanders game:

Alex Ovechkin -  Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Travis Boyd - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny - Jakub Jerabek

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body injury), Alex Chiasson, Brooks Orpik (lower body injury)


The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.