Published: Saturday, January 3, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 3, 2004 at 12:26 a.m.

UCF coach O'Leary released from hospital

  • ORLANDO - Central Florida football coach George O'Leary was released from a Minnesota hospital on Friday, two days after having a mild heart attack.

    The heart attack came three days after the Minnesota Vikings' season ended with a last-play loss at Arizona.

    O'Leary was the Vikings' defensive coordinator. Since he was hired by Central Florida on Dec. 8, he was splitting time between the NFL team and the Golden Knights.

    ''I'll be heading down to Central Florida sometime this week,'' O'Leary, 56, told The Associated Press after being released from Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minn. ''Hopefully this weekend. ... I'll be there as soon as I can be there.''

    O'Leary, who guided Georgia Tech to a 52-33 record from 1994-01, was forced to resign as Notre Dame's football coach two years ago just days after his hiring because he lied on his resume.

    O'Leary was hired to replace Mike Kruczek, fired during a 3-9 season that also included off-the-field problems. His part-time status and health problems, though, have created difficulties in recruiting players and coaches.

    O'Leary has three more assistants to hire to complete a staff of nine, but he said the process is nearly done. Meanwhile, UCF assistants have been on the recruiting trail.

    Gators back to work, play host to Kentucky

  • The No. 3 Florida women's swimming and diving team and the fifth-ranked men's team host Kentucky in a dual meet today at 10 a.m. at the O'Connell Center.

    Both squads will be compete for the first time in nearly a month after the Gators last swam at the U.S. Open, while the diving team took part in the Texas Invitational in early December. The women's team (6-1 overall, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) is 8-0 all-time against the Wildcats, while the men's team (4-1 overall, 2-0 SEC) sports a 12-0 mark against Kentucky.

    The women's team has won 15 consecutive dual meets at home, while the men's team will look to improve to 4-1 this season against opponents ranked in the top 25 as the Wildcats enter the meet as the 22nd-ranked team in the nation.

    Saints lose game at Florida JUCO Shootout

  • Santa Fe CC sophomore forward Alonzo Hird scored 21 points, 14 of which came in the first half, but the Saints were unable to hold off Hillsborough in their 63-58 loss Friday in the Florida JUCO Shootout.

    Hird shot 10-of-13 from the field and added a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Clark Williams had 11 points and tied a career high with seven rebounds.

    In other games Friday, Broward defeated Pensacola 78-59, Tallahassee defeated Palm Beach 84-59 and Gulf Coast defeated Daytona Beach 64-58.

    Santa Fe (8-9) plays Palm Beach at 7 tonight in the final day of the shootout. In other games, Pensacola plays Daytona Beach at 1 p.m., Gulf Coast vs. Broward at 3 p.m. and Tallahassee plays Hillsborough at 5 p.m.

    Penn State forward decides to leave team

  • STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State forward DeForrest Riley-Smith left the team and most likely will transfer, meaning the Nittany Lions will lose their second-best scorer and leader in assists.

    Riley-Smith, averaging 13.3 points, asked for a release from his scholarship this week. He said his decision had nothing to do with coach Ed DeChellis or the program.

    ''I feel like I need a change,'' Riley-Smith said. ''This is not a good fit for me as far as the environment goes.''

    The Nittany Lions (5-5) play their final nonconference game of the season today at home against Bucknell.

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