- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Turner Gill era kicked off at Kansas with a promise that fans will never forget.

“I’ve been asked if I’m taking this job to get to another program. The answer to that is a very decisive ‘no,’ ” Gill, a former Nebraska quarterback and Buffalo coach, said Monday at a packed news conference.

“I’m not coming here to use it as a stepping stone to a football dynasty but rather to create a football dynasty here at KU. I hope to be here 15 or 20 years because if I’m here 15 or 20 years, that will mean we have done well.”

Athletic director Lew Perkins said following the news conference that Gill will make “about $2 million a year,” very close to what former coach Mark Mangino was paid.

Gill wasted no time in adding some heft to his staff: He said Carl Torbush was leaving as Mississippi State defensive coordinator to join the Jayhawks in a similar capacity. Former San Diego State coach Chuck Long will be Kansas’ offensive coordinator.

Torbush also was the coach at Louisiana Tech and North Carolina, so both coordinators will bring head-coaching experience.

The 47-year-old Gill was 20-30 in four seasons after taking over a Buffalo program that for years had been nothing but a bottom feeder — not unlike the Jayhawks during most of the past 40 years in the Big Eight/Big 12.

WASHINGTON: Quarterback Jake Locker announced he will return for his senior season, quickly putting to rest any lingering questions about his future.

In a statement released through the university, Locker said he will not make himself available for the 2010 NFL Draft and instead will return to the Huskies for one more shot at restoring the program to prominence.

“After a great deal of careful thought and deliberation, I have decided to return to Washington and play my senior year,” Locker said. “I am very excited about this team’s opportunities and potential for the upcoming season, and I am looking forward to being a part of it.”

SOUTH FLORIDA: The school plans to look into a report that football coach Jim Leavitt struck one of his players in the face during halftime of a game last month.

Citing the player’s father, high school coach and five USF players who were not identified, AOL FanHouse reported Monday that Leavitt grabbed Joel Miller by the throat and hit him in the face twice because he was upset about a mistake on special teams Nov. 21.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier has been given another year to build the Gamecocks’ football program.

The university’s Board of Trustees approved a one-year contract extension for Spurrier, taking him through the 2013 season. His salary will remain $1.75 million.

The Gamecocks went 7-5 this season and begin practice Tuesday to play Connecticut in the PapaJohns.com Bowl on Jan. 2 in Birmingham, Ala.

PENNSYLVANIA: Glen Miller did more than lose games with the Quakers. He struck the wrong chord with fans and alumni from the day he was hired because he had no previous connections to the Ivy League school.

When losses piled up and attendance dipped at the famed Palestra, Miller was on his way out.

Pennsylvania fired Miller after the Quakers dropped their first seven games, a rare early-season college basketball coaching change for a program that not long ago was a regular in the NCAA tournament.

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