Iowa’s Robinson kicked off team
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz announced Monday that Robinson had been dismissed from the Hawkeyes one week after he was arrested for marijuana possession. The coach said he would have no further comment.
Robinson, 21, was charged with possession of marijuana on Dec. 27 in his hometown of Des Moines. The Iowa State Patrol said Robinson was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for not having a front license plate. A trooper detected a marijuana odor from the vehicle, then found marijuana after a search.
Robinson was suspended for Iowa’s win over Missouri in the Insight Bowl for failing to comply with team policies. His arrest came the night before the bowl game, leaving the Hawkeyes (8-5) with an unwanted distraction they overcame in beating the Tigers, 27-24.
Robinson rushed for a team-high 941 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010 as the Hawkeyes’ featured back. Robinson led Iowa with a freshman-record 834 yards and five TDs in 2009 while sharing time with fellow freshman Brandon Wegher.
Wannstedt won’t coach Pitt in bowl game
Pitt no longer has its new coach or its old coach.
Dave Wannstedt, ousted as Pittsburgh’s football coach last month, announced Monday he won’t be on the sideline for the Compass Bowl against Kentucky on Saturday.
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, the former SMU head coach, will serve as the interim coach for a program that soon will have its third coach in two months.
Wannstedt was forced to resign Dec. 7, after the Panthers went 7-5 in a season they were picked to win the Big East. Wannstedt, a former Pitt player and the head coach for six seasons, was given the option of coaching in the bowl.
Wile Wannstedt and his staff conducted practices and put together the game plan, Wannstedt said it would distract attention from his players if he accompanied the team to Birmingham, Ala.
“Ultimately, the focus and the attention for the next few days should be on the players who are here,” Wannstedt said Monday. “The focus and attention should not be on their coach, who won’t be coaching.”
Wannstedt declined to talk about Pitt’s chaotic New Year’s weekend, when newly hired coach Mike Haywood was fired by Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg after being jailed in Indiana on a domestic violence charge. A magistrate on Monday entered a not guilty plea for Haywood on the felony charge.
Florida confirms Weis hire
Florida’s coaching staff is nearly complete.
The Gators confirmed Monday that former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis will be Will Muschamp’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Muschamp also hired Seattle Seahawks defensive line coach Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator and line coach. Quinn spent the past 10 years in the NFL and has seven years of college experience.
Frank Verducci was added as offensive line coach and running game coordinator. Verducci coached at Notre Dame in 2009 after eight seasons with four NFL teams.
George Wynn will be director of football operations. He spent the past six seasons at assistant athletic director for football operations at Texas.
Weis and Quinn will remain with their NFL teams through the postseason.
Edsall assumes ‘dream job’
Randy Edsall’s enthusiasm over the prospect of becoming Maryland’s head football coach was a big reason why he got hired for the job.
That, and his ability to win.
Edsall, who enjoyed unprecedented success during his 12 years at Connecticut, beat out former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach and several other applicants in a search that began immediately after Ralph Friedgen was fired on Dec. 20.
The first college football game Edsall saw in person was at Byrd Stadium in the 1970s. And now, he will walk the sidelines as Maryland’s head coach.
Hired Sunday night, Edsall was formally introduced Monday at a crowded news conference in the football team house.
“It’s not every day that you can go do something that you like, 70 miles away from home, at an institution that I think has everything that you need to be successful,” Edsall said. “For me, it was a dream come true.”
Edsall took UConn from what was then called Division I-AA (now FCS) to the Division I level and won Big East titles in 2007 and this year. Hours after the Huskies lost to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, the 52-year-old Edsall was on a plane headed toward Maryland to interview for the job he always coveted.
Hank Hughes, who has been a member of the Connecticut football staff for the past 10 seasons, was named the team’s interim head coach on Monday. Hughes spent the past six seasons as assistant head coach for defense.