Tar Heel tailback to enter draft
Louisiana Tech hires Skip Holtz as its next coach.
North Carolina tailback Gio Bernard is eager to make his early jump to the NFL.
The sophomore announced Friday he would enter next spring’s draft after a big year in which he ranked among the nation’s top rushers and punt returners to earn All-America honors.
“I didn’t want to base my projections or where I was (in mock drafts),” Bernard said during a news conference. “I think it was moreso that I wanted to move on to the next step in life and fulfill a dream.”
The 5-foot-10, 205pound tailback led the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing, scoring, allpurpose yards and puntreturn average. He was a first-team all-ACC selection the past two years, and was a third-team AllAmerican by The Associated Press earlier this week.
A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Bernard is drafteligible because he has been out of high school for three seasons. He missed the 2010 season with a knee injury and also missed almost three full games this year with another knee injury, but said fear of another injury wasn’t a major factor in his decision.
“It didn’t really weigh that much,” Bernard said.
Bernard said he plans to come back to earn his degree in spring 2014.
Bernard ran for 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns, ranked 11th nationally by averaging 122.8 yards per game and led the country by averaging 16.4 yards per punt return.
He scored a league-best 19 touchdowns, including two on punt returns.
Appalachian State: Interim coach Scott Satterfield was given the permanent job, replacing Jerry Moore.
Satterfield has spent 17 of the past 22 years at the school as either a player or assistant. He was a quarterback for the Mountaineers from 199295 and served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this season.
Indiana State: The Sycamores have hired Mike Sanford as its head football coach.
The school sent out a news release announcing the hiring Friday and is planning to formally introduce Utah State’s assistant head coach next week. He replaces Trent Miles, who left after a third straight winning season to take the job at Georgia State on Nov. 30.
Louisiana Tech: Skip Holtz was named the new coach, replacing Sonny Dykes, who left to accept the job at California last week.
Holtz, 48, is the son of Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz. The younger Holtz most recently coached at South Florida, which fired him this month following a 3-9 finish. He was 16-21 in three seasons at USF and is 88-71 overall in 13 seasons.
Temple: The school made an offer to New York Giants assistant Matt Rhule to become its new coach, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. Rhule was one of the final two candidates for the job.
The Owls are in the market for their third coach in four seasons following Steve Addazio’s departure to Boston College last week.