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NC State introduces Doeren as new football coach

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NC State introduces Doeren as new football coach

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Dave Doeren wanted to go somewhere he could have an impact. He'll get that chance with a stagnant North Carolina State program in need of a push forward.

The school held a news conference to introduce Doeren on Sunday. It capped a busy 48-hour period that saw Doeren lead Northern Illinois to a second straight Mid-American Conference championship on Friday night, then agree to take over the Wolfpack on Saturday and replace Tom O'Brien.

``It seemed like a place that was very close to getting to the next step,'' Doeren said. ``I feel like I can make a difference here. That was the one thing I wanted to be able to do.''

Athletic director Debbie Yow said Doeren would receive a five-year contract worth about $1.8 million a year. There's also an automatic two-year extension that kicks in if his program finishes in the top 25 in either of his first two seasons.

``He is a smart guy,'' Yow said. ``Smart. Creative. He's not wed to a system. He's going to do what he has to do to match up what talent we have with whatever it is he's trying to do. ... That's a really important trait for any coach.''

Doeren was 23-4 in two seasons as Northern Illinois coach, including a 17-1 in conference play. He won't coach the No. 16 Huskies (12-1) in their bowl game.

Doeren turns 41 on Monday.

``I wasn't going to spend a whole lot of time looking around,'' Doeren said. ``At NIU, I had a very good team coming back. ... I wasn't going to leave it for just anything. I wasn't going to leave it for a place I didn't believe in or a place I didn't want to raise my family in.''

He takes over a program in need of a spark. The school hasn't appeared in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and hasn't won a league title since 1979.

The school fired O'Brien last week after six seasons. He went 40-35 in his six seasons in Raleigh and 5-1 against rival North Carolina while his teams reached four bowls. But the Wolfpack went just 22-26 in ACC play and 1-14 in Atlantic Division road games under the former Boston College coach.

Yow said Doeren was her top choice, though she worried whether the Wolfpack could land him with so many coaching vacancies in BCS conferences.

Doeren said he began making calls Saturday night to recruits who verbally committed to play for the Wolfpack under O'Brien. He met with the current players Sunday as they prepare for a bowl game under interim coach Dana Bible, a longtime assistant to O'Brien.

Before taking over at Northern Illinois, Doeren spent five years as an assistant at Wisconsin, where he served stints as defensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator.

Doeren also worked as an assistant at Kansas, Montana and Drake - his alma mater.

Doeren helped develop two-way threat Jordan Lynch into a possible Heisman Trophy contender - with nearly 3,000 yards passing and 1,771 yards rushing, he ranks third nationally in total offense - and his Husky teams scored at least 40 points in 16 of 27 games. They average 40.8 points this season and rank in the top 15 in the nation in five offensive stat categories.

Yow described Doeren as an overachiever who follows NCAA rules with a relentless work ethic.

``There's no shortcuts - I believe in that,'' Doeren said. ``I believe shortcuts are turnovers, shortcuts are losses. ... If we want to be a consistent top-25 program, then we have to be tireless workers that understand that that's our charge. And we will be.''

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Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

Capitals are the class of the Metropolitan Division for fifth year in a row

You know what’s fun? Winning Metropolitan Division titles. 

No, it’s not as good as the big prize. The Capitals will never top their 2018 Stanley Cup championship. But winning a competitive division against their biggest rivals five years in a row? Pretty, pretty good. 

Washington took its fifth in a row officially on Tuesday when the NHL announced that the regular season had concluded thanks to the ongoing coronavirus. The Capitals just outlasted the Philadelphia Flyers with 90 standings points to 89. The difference over 69 games? One extra Caps game going into overtime for a single point. 

Credit to the Flyers for making a late run. No one was playing better in the NHL than Philadelphia just before the season was halted. Whether that carries over into the Stanley Cup Playoffs remains to be seen. 

But the Capitals should take pride in that streak. It’s hard to do in an age of parity. They play in a division where the Pittsburgh Penguins won two Stanley Cups in the previous four seasons. The two teams slugged it out three times in the second round. That’s the luck of the draw, and so four straight division titles -- and two Presidents’ Trophies -- meant just one Cup for Washington. 

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It’s also rare to dominate a division the way the Capitals have for five years. The Anaheim Ducks won the Pacific Division title every year from 2013 to 2017. Prior to that, the Detroit Red Wings won the Central Division an astounding eight times from 2001 to 2009. It doesn’t get you a championship -- Washington won the expired Southeast Division from 2008 to 2011 -- but it does mean you played great hockey year after year.

And to do it in the reconstituted Patrick Division, where long-time rivals like the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils joined with newer rivals Carolina and Columbus, makes it even sweeter. Add another banner to the rafters at Capital One Arena. The Caps are the class of the Metropolitan Division yet again. 

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Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

Nationals will not lay off full-time business or baseball employees amid coronavirus pandemic

The Washington Nationals decided to use “partial furloughs” to keep their baseball and business employees at work through the end of their contracts or the calendar year.

The road map works like this:

All full-time business and baseball employees will receive a reduction in pay and hours ranging from 10 to 30 percent. If the employee’s contract runs to the end of baseball season -- typically Oct. 31 -- then these parameters apply from now until then. If the employee is not on contract, these reductions persist until Dec. 31.

No full-time employee is being laid off because of the economic impact from coronavirus.

An example: If a person works a 40-hour week, and has the 10 percent reduction in pay and hours, they are down to a 36-hour week at 10 percent pay cut.

The reduction scale slides. The highest-paid employees, like Mike Rizzo, are taking the largest reduction in pay. Then on down the line.

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The Nationals deciding to do this now allows their staff to know what the future holds as opposed to wondering month-to-month what decision the organization will make in regard to their job status.

Major League Baseball organizations remain uneasy about their financial future in 2020 since the season has stalled. The league and its team owners are in the midst of negotiations with the MLBPA while attempting to find a safe, revenue-satisfactory path back to the field.

Meanwhile, teams across the league are assessing their non-player finances, and the approach varies. For instance, the Anaheim Angels decided last week to furlough some non-playing employees.

In Washington, no full-time employee will be laid off because of this salary adjustment.

USA Today was first to report the Nationals’ overall decision.

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