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Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 14, 2001

Stoops to remain at Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. -- Talk that Oklahoma's Bob Stoops was thinking about taking the Cleveland Browns' coaching job turned out to be just that.

Stoops said Saturday that he plans to remain at Oklahoma, ending speculation that the coach who led the Sooners to a national championship might move on after just two years.

"Regardless of what you hear, I plan on being at Oklahoma for a long time," Stoops said to thunderous applause from a near capacity crowd during halftime at the Kansas-Oklahoma men's basketball game.

"I still believe it's a privilege to be the head football coach at Oklahoma," Stoops said. "I've got the very best assistant coaches in the country and I get to coach the best players in the country."

The Browns fired coach Chris Palmer on Thursday.

CHARGERS: General manager John Butler hired longtime associate A.J. Smith as assistant general manager and pro personnel director. Smith was released from his contract with the Bills, which was to expire Feb. 15, and will join Butler in Mobile, Ala., today to begin scouting practices for the Senior Bowl.

TEXANS: The name alone is enough to evoke Houston's NFL nostalgia: "Phillips."

This time it's son of Bum, Wade, coming in for consideration as coach of the expansion team. Bum Phillips became a cult figure in Texas, leading the Oilers to the brink of the Super Bowl in the late 1970s.

"I was here at the time, and those were great days and great memories," Wade Phillips said Saturday after talking with the Texans. "But I think they are starting a new era with new memories for everybody here.

"Hopefully, they'll start a new team and do well and have the same kind of memories we had in the Luv ya Blue era, which I will always cherish."

Phillips, an assistant to his father with the Oilers, who have since become the Tennessee Titans, became available after he was fired Monday as Bills coach.

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