Tar Heel tail­back to en­ter draft

Louisiana Tech hires Skip Holtz as its next coach.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS -

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.

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