Monday Sports in Brief

·6 min read


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The Jacksonville Jaguars fired coach Doug Marrone on Monday, a little more than 12 hours after ending the season with a 15th consecutive loss.

It was a move many thought owner Shad Khan should have made at the end of the 2019 season. But Khan gave Marrone another chance to make Jacksonville a playoff contender for the second time in four years.

Marrone went 24-43 in four seasons in Jacksonville, falling a few plays shy of the franchise's first Super Bowl in 2017 and then miring near the bottom of the league since. The Jaguars dropped 21 of Marrone's final 24 games, including 15 by double digits.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Chargers fired coach Anthony Lynn less than two seasons after he led the franchise to the playoffs.

Owner Dean Spanos on Monday fired Lynn after four seasons. Lynn led the franchise to the playoffs in 2018 but Los Angeles had losing records the last two seasons.

Los Angeles won its final four games to finish 7-9, but it wasn't enough to save Lynn's job.

DENVER (AP) - John Elway announced a major change in the Denver Broncos' football operations Monday, saying he'll hire a general manager who will report to him but have final say on the draft, free agency and the roster.

Elway, who has been GM since 2011, will remain as president of football operations in 2021, the final year of his contract.


MIAMI (AP) - The NBA is adopting a tougher policy regarding masks, telling teams Monday that players on the active roster will have to wear the face coverings in the bench area until they enter games.

That memo, obtained by The Associated Press, was released on the same day the Brooklyn Nets ruled All-Star forward Kevin Durant out for Tuesday's game against Utah in accordance with the league's health and safety protocols for dealing with coronavirus.

Among the new rules, which take effect Tuesday: players who are dressed for games and eligible to participate must wear a face mask until they enter the game, all players and coaches must wear face masks when outside the team environment if they are around other players and coaches, and players must report the names of any private trainer, therapist, chiropractor or other specialist who they work with outside of the team facility.


The American Hockey League will go ahead with 28 teams this season after announcing Monday that three have opted out of playing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Charlotte Checkers, Milwaukee Admirals and Springfield Thunderbirds opted out and will return in 2021-22, the AHL said. Those teams are affiliates of the NHL's Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues, respectively.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The NCAA is giving Indiana an exclusive ticket to showcase March Madness and the basketball-crazed state can't wait to take center stage this spring.

The NCAA announced Monday that its showcase event - the Division I men's basketball tournament, all 67 games of it - will be played entirely in or near Indianapolis. The hope is to limit the possibility that the coronavirus pandemic cancels the wildly popular and lucrative tournament for a second consecutive season.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, the historic home of the Butler Bulldogs, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, where the IUPUI Jaguars play, Mackey Arena at Purdue and Assembly Hall at Indiana are slated to host games.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Jay Wright's plan to resume coaching No. 3 Villanova following a bout with COVID-19 was put on hold Monday when two players tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing the program to postpone its next three games.

The Wildcats (8-1) were scheduled to play Tuesday at DePaul, Friday vs. Marquette and Jan. 13 at Xavier. No makeup dates have been announced.

The Wildcats are the latest team to have their season thrown into disarray by the pandemic, though Wright has remained steadfast that the season should continue.


Marshall football coach Doc Holliday is out after 11 seasons with the Thundering Herd after the school said Monday it would not renew his contract.

Holliday was named Conference USA coach of the year, but the Thundering Herd lost their final three games of the season after starting 7-0 and moving up to No. 15 in The Associated Press poll.

The 63-year-old Holliday went 85-54 at Marshall, including 6-2 in bowl games. His six-year contract was set to expire June 30.


CHICAGO (AP) - Jon ''Boog'' Sciambi is the new TV play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs, replacing Len Kasper.

Sciambi joins color analyst Jim Deshaies in the booth for Marquee Sports Network, which is jointly owned by the Cubs and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Sciambi has worked at ESPN in a variety of roles since taking a full-time position at the network in 2010, including TV play-by-play for Wednesday night games since 2014. He will continue to do some work for ESPN, in addition to his job at Marquee.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Sandra Scully, wife of Los Angeles Dodgers' Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully, has died from complications of ALS. She was 76.

The team said Monday that Sandra Scully died Sunday night at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. She had been fighting ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease, for the last several years.

Born Sandra Hunt on Dec. 27, 1944, in Cascade, Virginia, she married Vin Scully in November 1973. The couple had one daughter, Catherine, together. She had two children of her own from a previous marriage and he had three children with his first wife, who died of an accidental overdose in 1972.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - George Whitmore, a member of the first team of climbers to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and a conservationist who devoted his life to protecting the Sierra Nevada, has died. He was 89.

Whitmore died on New Year's Day from complications caused by COVID-19, said his wife, Nancy. She said Whitmore, a cancer survivor, was extremely careful about wearing a mask and his family doesn't know where he contracted the virus. He tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 13, after developing a rattling but occasional cough and subsequent fever. He died in a Fresno rehabilitation facility from damage to his lungs about a week after being released from a hospital, his wife of 41 years said.

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) - John Muckler, who coached four NHL teams and won five Stanley Cup championships with the Edmonton Oilers, has died. He was 86.

The Oilers confirmed Muckler's death Monday night. No cause was given.

Muckler was part of the staff that put together the Oilers dynasty of the 1980s. He joined Edmonton in 1982 as an assistant coach under Glen Sather and won five Stanley Cups with the organization from 1984-90, the last one as head coach.

He also coached the Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars, finishing with a career record of 276-288-84.

Muckler later held front office positions with the Ottawa Senators and Phoenix Coyotes.


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