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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
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Tuesday, December 29, 1998

Eagle boys face Devils; girls beaten

PECOS, Dec. 29 -- The Pecos Eagle boys will be facing the Presidio Blue Devils for the second time this season today, while Pecos' girls could be facing the Fort Stockton Prowlers for the fifth time in five weeks this afternoon, at the Mary Tatum Invitat
ional Basketball Tournament in Reagan County.

Pecos fell to 3-11 on the season Monday following a 44-30 loss to the Iraan Braves in the first round of the tournament. Shaye Lara scored nine points to lead the Eagles, who were to play this afternoon in the consolation semifinals against either the A
lpine Bucks or the Prowlers. Fort Stockton lost their tournament opener to Monahans 38-29, while Alpine fell to Reagan County by a 68-55 final score.

The Eagles and Prowlers have split their first four meetings of the season, with Pecos taking the last one at Fort Stockton on Dec. 18 in overtime, by a 48-46 score. The Eagles have yet to face the Bucks this season.

After beating Pecos, Iraan lost to Greenwood, 45-37 in their second round game, while Monahans upset the host Owls, 46-41, in the other second round matchup.

Pecos' boys will be trying to get back to .500 this afternoon both on the season and in their meetings this season against Presidio when they face each other at 2:30 p.m. today. The Blue Devils beat Pecos in Presidio back on Nov. 18 by a 54-49 final sco
re. Frank Perea and Oscar Luna had 15 points apiece that night to lead Pecos, which played without their leading scorer, Fernando Navarette.

Pecos' boys last played on Dec. 21 in Sonora, where they came away with a 44-40 victory over the Broncos. Luna had 17 points and Navarette 10 in the win.

Play for the boys starts at 1 p.m. with the junior varsity contest. The freshmen team will be idle.

Coaches' firings may continue

AP Football Writer
NEW YORK, Dec. 29 -- The next time a group of NFL coaches gets together and someone says ``Black Monday,'' nobody should ask him what he's talking about.

It was the day five NFL coaches - one-sixth of the league's total - were fired within a few hours of one another.

And it probably didn't end there.

``I think it's disgusting. Some of the better coaches in the NFL got fired today,'' said one of the survivors, Miami's Jimmy Johnson - a close friend of fired Chicago coach Dave Wannstedt.

``I know we're highly paid, but it's a shame when coaches' jobs are dependent on injuries, skyboxes, people in the stands and officiating calls,'' Johnson said. ``... It doesn't give me a good feeling about our profession when I see things like I saw thi
s morning.''

The five who went were Wannstedt (4-12); Dom Capers of Carolina (4-12); Ray Rhodes of Philadelphia (3-13); Ted Marchibroda of Baltimore (6-10) and Dennis Erickson of Seattle (8-8).

``It hurts to see empty seats, people who've already paid for those seats choosing not to show up,'' said Chicago owner Mike McCaskey.

And Baltimore owner Art Modell said: ``Ted Marchibroda is a proud, wonderful human being. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out here.''

Each of the fired coaches knew his fate or sensed it long before it was announced. In fact, this might have been a record day in a record year - there could be as many as 10 or 11 vacancies this year approaching the 11 new coaches after the 1996 season.

Most of the victims took it with equanimity.

``We are 3-13,'' Rhodes said. ``A new coach will be in here shortly.''

There already are seven vacancies: Monday's five, plus the expansion Cleveland Browns and San Diego, where June Jones, who replaced Kevin Gilbride in midseason, has opted for the job at the University of Hawaii rather than take a shot at the permanent jo
b with the Chargers.

There will be more.

While Bruce Coslet in Cincinnati was told he was safe Monday after a 3-13 season, Norv Turner in Washington is on shaky ground.

Moreover, the Mike Holmgren scenario won't be played out until Green Bay finishes its season. The Packers coach is free to pursue a head coach-general manager slot and would be the first choice of almost everybody.

And San Francisco's Steve Mariucci still hasn't signed a contract extension because he's unsure about the team's future with Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark now running the new Browns in Cleveland.

``There aren't too many industries in this country where two years ago we had a 33-percent change, and of this morning 20 percent,'' said Bill Parcells of the Jets. ``There's tremendous pressure on everyone, on owners.

``I guess that's the same as any other business. They have to say, 'We are not just standing still, we are going to do something.' It makes everyone think they are going to start over. A lot of those start-overs in two years are worse off than they were.

One of the many rumors floating around has Holmgren going to San Francisco, Mariucci to Cleveland and Rhodes, the NFL's coach of the year in 1995, ending up as head coach in Green Bay - where he was Holmgren's first defensive coordinator.

Capers, coach of the year two seasons ago for getting Carolina to the NFC title game in its second season, is a candidate for the vacancies in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

But the NFL office is most concerned about Rhodes, one of three black coaches in the league.

Since Tony Dungy was hired by Tampa Bay after the 1995 season, all 15 coaching vacancies in a league in which 70 percent of the players are minorities have been filled by whites. The league has gone so far as to hire a consulting firm to videotape potent
ial candidates for owners to view.

Other than Rhodes, there are no obvious black candidates among the ``hot'' list of names for head-coaching jobs.

Holmgren and former San Francisco coach George Seifert are at the top of most lists.

Others include Capers; offensive coordinators Gary Kubiak of Denver, Brian Billick of Minnesota and Chris Palmer of Jacksonville; defensive coordinators Bill Belichick of the Jets, Jim Haslett of Pittsburgh and Greg Robinson of Denver.

Add defensive coordinator Rich Brooks of Atlanta, the former coach of the Rams and the temporary replacement for Dan Reeves, who is recovering from heart surgery.

The list of potential black coaches, in addition to Rhodes, is headed by Sherman Lewis, Green Bay's offensive coordinator. But there seems to be a feeling among team officials that Lewis' time has passed after two years of interviews.

The most obvious candidate is Art Shell, Atlanta's offensive line coach, who was the NFL's first black head coach in the modern era and who is the last winning coach of the Raiders at 56-41 in 4½ seasons. Shell, however, is devalued by some teams because
Raiders coaches are considered pawns of Al Davis.

The other possibilities among the minority candidates are Tyrone Willingham, the Stanford head coach; Willie Shaw, Oakland's defensive coordinator; and Herman Edwards, assistant head coach of the Bucs.

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