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By DEBI JONES, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published May 30, 2001

Gator women's tennis coach calls it quits

Florida women's tennis coach Andy Brandi announced his resignation Tuesday, ending one of the most successful collegiate careers after 17 years.

Brandi finished with a 460-43 record. His winning percentage of 91.5 percent was the highest among coaches with at least five years of experience. He led the Gators to three national titles (1992, '96 and '98) and six undefeated seasons ('87, '91, '92, '96, '97 and '98). With Brandi in charge, the Gators won 14 SEC titles and all 103 of his home SEC dual matches.

"This is a sad day for me," said Brandi, who is leaving to coach at IMG Tennis Academy in Boca Raton. "This has been a wonderful experience and I am surely going to miss it, but this is it for Andy Brandi."

After losing in the team semifinals in the NCAA Tournament last week, Brandi told his team he was leaving. Senior Whitney Laiho and junior Jessica Lehnhoff then won the doubles title. Athletic director Jeremy Foley would not say how long it would take to find a replacement.

AUTOS: Lawyers for the widow of Dale Earnhardt urged a Daytona Beach judge to keep an injunction in place barring the public release of autopsy photos. "Indeed, the only reasons access seems to be sought at all are to grab public attention and sell newspapers, all of which would come at the expense of the Earnhardt family," Teresa Earnhardt's attorneys said in a memorandum filed in Circuit Court in Volusia County. But an attorney for the Independent Florida Alligator, a University of Florida paper seeking to dissolve the injunction, countered that the state has no right to keep photos sealed. "Access to public records has always been regarded as a paramount value in Florida," attorney Tom Julin said. Circuit Judge Joseph Will is scheduled to hear oral arguments June 11. ... Ratings were up for Sunday's Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600. ABC drew a 5.3 rating, about 5.4-million viewers and an 18 percent increase over last year, and a 14 percent share of TVs in use. Fox had a 4.9 rating, just over 5-million viewers, and a 10 percent share for the 600.

BOXING: Heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman telephoned Lennox Lewis to tell him he doesn't want a legal battle. "I said, "Let's fight in the ring, not the courtroom.' " Rahman said. "He said that's also what he wants to do." Rahman won the WBC-IBF titles from Lewis on April 22. The phone call, however, resolved nothing, and Lewis' lawsuit against Rahman and Don King, Rahman's new promoter, contends there was a rematch clause in the contract.

CRICKET: Pakistan's national team will receive police protection when it plays England on Thursday because of racial violence between Asians and whites in Manchester, England.

CYCLING: Denis Zanette won the 10th stage of the Giro d'Italia, and Dario Frigo kept the overall lead as the race crossed into Slovenia. Zanette of the Liquigas team completed the 131.4-mile leg in 5:16:21. Frigo finished in the main group 10 minutes behind, but he held a three-second lead over Jose Azevedo.

GOLF: At one of 13 sites around Florida, Andy Miller shot par 71 at Fox Hollow Golf Club to lead 15 qualifiers for the Florida State Amateur Championship on June 21-24 at World Woods in Brooksville. It took 76 or better to qualify.

HORSES: The thoroughbred certification of four siblings was revoked because they were conceived by artificial insemination, prompting legal action by the owners against racing's ruling body. The owners, Robert and Lauren Efford of Honey Brook, Pa., contend their constitutional rights were violated because no hearings were held before the horses' names were taken off the American Stud Book in February. Lauren Efford also said she was facing "financial ruin" because the horses' thoroughbred certification was nullified, and the horses' new owners want their money back. ... Preakness Stakes winner Point Given breezed 5 furlongs in 59.60 seconds at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., in preparation for the Belmont Stakes. Point Given is coming off a 21/4-length victory May 19 in the Preakness Stakes after finishing fifth as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. The 11/2-mile Belmont Stakes is June 9 in Elmont, N.Y. At Belmont, A P Valentine worked 5 furlongs in 59 2/5 seconds, trainer Nick Zito said. ... Celtic Silence was pulled from next week's English Derby in London with a leg injury. The 3-year-old was a 16-1 shot for the biggest prize in British racing.

SOCCER: A player born in Ghana scored a goal and became the first African to play for Germany's national team. Gerald Asamoah, 22, scored in the 50th minute of a 2-0 exhibition victory over Slovakia in Bremen, Germany. Asamoah, who has lived in Germany 12 years, left the field in the 64th minute to a standing ovation. ... Italy intends to play its World Cup qualifier against former Soviet republic Georgia amid security concerns after the kidnapping of a Georgian player's brother. The Group Eight game is Saturday in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, but Georgian players threatened to boycott after the kidnapping for ransom of the younger brother of midfielder Kakha Kaladze. ... Barcelona's Frank De Boer faces suspension after a second urine sample contained traces of the steroid nandrolone. ... European star Gheorghe Hagi was charged with assaulting a referee. The midfielder for the Turkish club Galatasaray faces a sentence of up to four years for the alleged assault after the ref ejected Hagi from what he said was his last game.

TENNIS: Top-seed Jack Brasington beat Oren Motevassel 6-3, 6-7 (7-3), 7-5 in the first round of a USTA Futures event at Seminole Lake Tennis Center. New Port Richey's Goran Dragicevic lost 6-1, 6-3 to Ivan Miranda. St. Petersburg's Marq Foster, Sarasota's Levar Harper-Griffith, Tampa's Thomas Blake and Bradenton's Andreas Bubik open today.

TRACK: Irina Privalova, winner of the 400-meter hurdles at the Sydney Olympics, had knee surgery in Moscow and will miss the World Championships in August. She is expected to miss eight months.

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