Western Kentucky University athletics director Ross Bjork has announced Ken McDonald has been released from his duties as men's basketball coach. Ray Harper, who has been an assistant during McDonald's tenure, will be the interim coach for the remainder of the season. McDonald had served as head coach for the last four seasons in his second tenure at Western. He was once an assistant coach on the Hill.
Harper coached 12 seasons at Kentucky Wesleyan and Oklahoma City University, compiling a 342-63 record in that time and won four Division Two national championships at KWC and a NAIA national title at Oklahoma City.
A news conference will be held this afternoon in Bowling Green in regards to Harper's hiring.
Meanwhile, ESPN.com reports the officials who worked last night's WKU-Louisiana game could face a suspension for not calling a technical foul on the Ragin Cajuns for having six men on the court prior to the Cajuns winning basket. Sun Belt Conference coordinator of officials Mike Wood said he watched video of the final possession and could see six players were on the floor. Wood also says he received a call from the game site asking if they could call a technical foul after the game ended.
Wood says it was not a correctable error, but officials could have stoped play before the winning score by Elfrid Payton and called a technical foul if they had counted six red jerseys on the floor. The conference office will review the situation and make a determination what they will do next.
High School Basketball
Christian County swept a pair of games from Fort Campbell at Colonel Gym Thursday night.
The Lady Colonels got the night started with a 55-29 win over the Lady Falcons. Desherica Edwards led a trio of double figures scorers with 14, Jaquasha Nicholas added 11 and Kimberly Hyde had 10. Fort Campbell was led by Alli Tellez with eight points. Christian County is now 6-6 on the season and 1-0 in 8th district action, while Fort Campbell falls to 1-8 and 0-4 in district play.
In the nightcap, Christian County built an early 9-0 lead and never looked back in a 100-43 win over Fort Campbell. Five Colonels were in double figures led by DeAndre Mosby with 16, Quan Poindexter, TJ Small and Jamarius Taylor each added 12 and Jarvis Irby had 10 points. Fort Campbell was led by Michael Clayton with 11 points. Christian County is now 4-8 on the season, while Fort Campbell goes to 1-7.
Madisonville defeated University Heights 69-62. UHA was led in scoring by K’Quan McNeese with 16 points, Boo Johnson pitched in 14. Madisonville was led by Byron Dulin’s 14 points. Madisonville improved to 8-5 with the win, while UHA is now even on the season at 6-6.
Boys: Christian County and Hopkinsville renew their rivalry at Tiger Gym. Hopkinsville brings a 13-2 record into the game against Christian County who is 4-8 on the season. Tip off at 7:30, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 7:06 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP and whopam.com.
Elsewhere this evening: Fort Campbell hosts Christian Fellowship, Dawson Springs at Caldwell County, Trigg County at Lyon County, Russellville at Logan County, Henderson County at Ohio County, Livingston Central welcomes Crittenden County, Mayfield at Graves County, Union County at Webster County and Marshall County at Ohio County.
Girls: Christian County travels to Henderson County, University Heights hosts Madisonville, Fort Campbell plays at Hopkins Central, Trigg County at Lyon County, Dawson Springs at Caldwell County, Russellville at Logan County, Mayfield at Graves County, Livingston Central hosts Crittenden County, Union County at Webster County and Marshall County at Calloway County.
Hopkinsville has named Jeff Gillespie as its new baseball coach. The 62-year-old Gillespie comes here from Tallahassee, Florida where he coached at six different high schools in a 23 year career there. Gillespie takes over from Randy Harrell, who led the Tigers to a 32-5 record last season.
The Kentucky New Era reports Trigg County High School has named Ken Oakley as its new athletics director. Oakley replaces Dennis Walls, who resigned unexpectedly last month. Oakley currently works as a Kentucky Teacher Internship Program Teacher educator. He has also worked in his past as a school administrator and was one time the sheriff in Trigg County and served as the county’s circuit clerk.
Former Hopkinsville football coach Craig Clayton was relieved of his duties as football coach at Franklin, TN High School. The Tennessean reports Franklin principal Willie Dickerson as saying the school has been instructed to say they are going in another direction, while Clayton told the newspaper that an assistant coach tried to force his dismissal following the 2009 season.
The 61 year old Clayton was 65-22 at Franklin and led the school to an 8-4 record in 2011. Clayton guided Hopkinsville to the 1996 and 97 Class 3-A championship games and left Hopkinsville as the Tigers winningest coach.
Louisiana’s Ragin Cajuns defeated Western Kentucky 73-70 in overtime at Diddle Arena. Former Christian County Colonel Donovan Kates had two points in Manhattan’s 61-60 loss to Loyola-MD.
Women’s scores: Number seven Tennessee defeated number 15 Georgia 80-51, number nine Kentucky defeated Arkansas 84-72 and South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt 66-55.
The Kentucky Wildcats open Southeastern Conference play against South Carolina Saturday, with pre game coverage at 1:30 on Lite 98.7. Also tomorrow, number 18 Murray State plays Austin Peay in Clarksville.
Murray State University has extended the contract of coach Chris Hatcher. Hatcher received a two year extension to his current deal which now expires in December 2015. Hatcher is 13-9 in two seasons as Racers coach, including a 7-4 mark in the 2011 season.
Former Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher will interview for the St. Louis Rams coaching job. Steve Spagnuolo was fired earlier this week after going 10-38 in three seasons with the Rams. Fisher also interviewed with the Miami Dolphins about their head coaching vacancy earlier this week.
Shea Weber returned to the Nashville Predators lineup last night, but it wasn’t enough as the Dallas Stars beat the Predators 4-1. Nashville hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at Bridgestone Arena tomorrow night at 7.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports former Seneca High School quarterback DaMarcus Smith will enroll at the school and join the football program. The four star recruit from the 2011 class first committed to the University of Louisville, before switching to the University of Central Florida. Smith was reportedly never cleared to play at Central Florida for the 2011 season, did not enroll in school and returned to Louisville. Smith could not comment on the situation. Smith threw for 2,664 yards and 26 touchdowns during his senior year at Seneca, and also rushed for 204 yards and four touchdowns.
Jeff Gillespie has been named as the new baseball coach at Hopkinsville High School. Gillespie comes to Hopkinsville from Tallahassee, Florida where he coached at six different high schools during his 23 year career. Gillespie replaces Randy Harrell who resigned following the 2011 season. Gillespie will also teach physical education at Hopkinsville High.
Hopkinsville High School will announce its new baseball coach at a 10:15 news conference this morning. We'll have more on this story later today on the WHOP Sports Flash and on our websites.
The Kentucky New Era reports Trigg County High School is close to naming a new athletics director. The Wildcat program has been searching for a new athletics leader following the unexpected resignation of Dennis Walls last month. Walls had been hired last fall to replace Jim Perrin, who returned to Christian County High School as its softball coach.
High School Basketball
Christian County’s boys and girls are back in action for the first time in the New Year at Colonel Gym against Fort Campbell. Coverage of both games with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 5:45 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP.
Also this evening, you’ll be able to hear the University Heights at Madisonville boys game at around 7:30 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP.
Other games this evening include Livingston Central hosting Community Christian in a boy-girl doubleheader and Hopkins Central’s boys travel to McLean County.
18th ranked Murray State won its 15th straight game knocking off Eastern Kentucky 76-67. Donte Poole tied his season and career high in leading the Racers in scoring with 22 points. Isaiah Cannan and Ed Daniel each added 16, with Stacy Wilson scoring 13 points off the bench. The Racers put their 15-0 and 3-0 Ohio Valley Conference mark on the line Saturday night at Austin Peay.
Tennessee posted season lows in shooting percentage and points in falling to Memphis 69-51.
Women’s action: Western Kentucky edged Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns 49-45.
Tonight’s games: Western Kentucky hosts Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns and Manhattan takes on Loyola-Maryland. Women’s SEC action has Kentucky hosting Arkansas and Tennessee goes against Georgia.
The Ohio Valley Conference announced Wednesday Murray State’s basketball game at SIU-Edwardsville will be on ESPN U. The game on January 21st which airs at 8 pm is one of three “wild card” dates on the OVC’s ESPN schedule, with the other dates Thursday February 2nd and Thursday February 23rd. Murray State’s game with Austin Peay in Clarksville Saturday night is also on ESPN U.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Tennessee basketball signee Jarnell Stokes has received clearance from the NCAA to join the team. Stokes graduated from Southwind High School in Memphis two weeks ago. A UT spokesman says the 6-8 Stokes will enroll in classes next week and begin practicing with the team.
The Bowling Green Daily News reported Wednesday former Western Kentucky head coach David Elson is returning to the college ranks. Elson has taken the defensive coordinator’s position at New Mexico State. Elson spent this past year as an assistant coach at Franklin Simpson High School, helping guide the Wildcats to an appearance in the Class 4-A state championship game.
The University of Louisville is reportedly receiving two transfers from the University of Florida. According to the Palm Beach Post, tight end Gerald Christian and wide receiver Robert Clark are planning to play for the Cards. Both will sit out the 2012 season and have two years of eligibility remaining.
One day after receiving his release from playing football at Tennessee, freshman wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett will transfer to Michigan State. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Arnett’s brother as saying the paperwork is completed and that the younger Arnett is expected to enroll in classes next week.
DeAnthony Arnett had asked to be released from his scholarship to transfer to a school closer to his ailing father in Saginaw, Michigan. Arnett plans to file hardship papers to the NCAA in order to be eligible for the 2012 season.
The Tennessee Titans released two members of its coaching staff Wednesday. Coach Mike Munchak says secondary coach Marcus Robertson and assistant secondary coach Curtis Fuller will not be retained. The Titans were 18th in total defense and 14th against the pass in the NFL this past season. The Titans were ranked in the bottom third of interceptions, with only 11.
The Nashville Predators are back in action at the friendly confines of Bridgestone Arena hosting the Dallas Stars this evening. First puck drops at 7 pm.
Meanwhile, the Tennessean reports the Predators are keeping things a secret on whether captain Shea Weber would return to the lineup this evening. Weber has not played since suffering a concussion against Dallas December 23rd.