San Francisco All week, Jim Harbaugh had a good feeling about making the jump to the NFL and joining the San Francisco 49ers — just the way mentor and late Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh did more than 30 years ago.
Declaring it a “perfect competitive opportunity,” Harbaugh accepted the job as coach of the 49ers on Friday and said his goal is to win a Lombardi Trophy for “one of the legendary franchises in all of football.”
The successful Stanford coach receives a five-year deal and gets to remain right at home in the Bay Area, moving to the NFL after four years with the Cardinal. A longtime NFL quarterback, he replaces fired coach Mike Singletary. ESPN reported Harbaugh’s deal is for $25 million.
Chiefs G Waters practices
Kansas City, Mo. — Kansas City guard Brian Waters has returned to practice after missing two days due to an undisclosed illness. The Chiefs appeared to be close to full strength Friday for Sunday’s home playoff game against Baltimore. Pro Bowl wide receiver Dwayne Bowe was back Thursday after missing Wednesday’s practice.
Titans keep Fisher for 17th season
Nashville, Tenn. — Bud Adams has thought it over, and the Tennessee Titans’ owner has decided he isn’t ready just yet to part with Jeff Fisher. Fisher, the NFL’s longest-tenured coach, will be back for a 17th season.
NCAA: Texas Tech broke rules
Lubbock, Texas — The NCAA put Texas Tech on two years of probation Friday for a series of recruiting violations, saying 16 coaches or assistants sent nearly 1,000 impermissible text messages to football, softball and golf prospects.
The NCAA said the school discovered the violations and reported them. It did not add punishments beyond the school’s self-imposed probation, recruiting restrictions and scholarship reductions.
The NCAA said Texas Tech football, golf and softball coaches sent 951 text messages to 61 recruits and one parent. Golf coaches sent 399 messages and softball coaches sent 293.
TCU extends Patterson
Fort Worth, Texas — TCU coach Gary Patterson received a two-year contract extension through 2018 after leading the Horned Frogs to a perfect season and their first BCS victory.
Patterson is 98-28 in 10 seasons with the Horned Frogs and has won at least 11 games in six of the last eight seasons.
It is the third year in a row that Patterson has gotten an extension.
Texas hires Boise State OC
Austin, Texas — Seeking to add some punch to an offense that faltered badly last season, Texas coach Mack Brown hired Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin on Friday to handle the play-calling for the Longhorns.
Harsin will share the offensive coordinator title with former Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, who has been on staff the last three seasons as running-backs coach.
Texas State hires Franchione
San Marcos, Texas — Dennis Franchione has been hired at Texas State, returning to college football after three years.
Texas State introduced the 59-year-old Franchione on Friday. He coached the Bobcats in the early 1990s when the school was called Southwest Texas State.
Franchione’s last job was at Texas A&M. He resigned in 2007 after a disappointing 7-5 season that included embarrassing revelations of him selling inside information about the program in a secret newsletter.
Pelini not interested in Michigan
Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska coach Bo Pelini says he has no interest in the vacant coaching job at Michigan. Pelini told The Associated Press on Friday that “there is no truth” to a media report that he would listen to Michigan if there was interest. The Wolverines fired Rich Rodriguez this week.
Baylor hires new D-coordinator
Waco, Texas — Phil Bennett is leaving Pittsburgh to become the new defensive coordinator at Baylor. Bennett takes over for Brian Norwood, who was named associate head coach and will still coach defense for the Bears.
Missouri DE declares for draft
Standout Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith will enter the NFL Draft.
Smith, a third-year sophomore from Raytown, Mo., set a school single-season record with 111⁄2 sacks his freshman season and was Big 12 Conference defensive freshman and newcomer of the year.
In other NFL Draft news:
• Wisconsin running back John Clay says he will enter the NFL Draft. Clay had 1,012 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns this season.
• Alabama running back Mark Ingram, defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and wide receiver Julio Jones said they are leaving early to the NFL Draft. However, linebacker Dont’a Hightower said he will return for his final year.
E. Washington wins FCS title
Frisco, Texas — Bo Levi Mitchell led three straight late touchdown drives, the finale coming with 2:47 left, leading Eastern Washington a 20-19 victory over Delaware and its first FCS championship.
UK’s Kanter ineligible for good
Lexington, Ky. — Kentucky’s pursuit of an NCAA title won’t include freshman center Enes Kanter.
The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee upheld Friday an earlier NCAA decision that deemed Kanter permanently ineligible for receiving more than $33,000 in impermissible benefits while playing for the Turkish club team Fenerbahce two years ago.