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The Associated Press

Ex-Clippers’ coach joins Suns’ staff

The Associated Press

Alvin Gentry, a former head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, has joined the Phoenix Suns’ assistant coaching staff.

“I am happy to have him join us and have him be a part of this coaching staff,” Suns coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He can bring a lot to the staff.”

Gentry was the head coach of the Clippers from 2000 to 2003. He also did two brief head coaching stints for Detroit and Miami.

Most recently, Gentry was an assistant coach with the New Orleans Hornets.

Irish change opener

Notre Dame changed its schedule and will now open the season at BYU on Sept. 4, giving the Fighting Irish a game before they play Michigan.

Notre Dame didn’t want to open its season against Michigan on Sept. 11, especially with the Wolverines having already played a game. Michigan opens the season against Miami of Ohio on Sept. 4.

Six schools, including USC and Stanford, changed schedules to accommodate the change, initiated by ESPN. Notre Dame agreed to play home games this decade against San Diego State and Nevada to accommodate changes made by those two schools.

Texas pitchers back

Texas, the overall No. 1 seed for the NCAA baseball tournament, reinstated pitchers Justin Simmons and J. Brent Cox yesterday, a week after they were arrested on public intoxication charges during the Big 12 tournament.

They will be allowed to play in Friday’s opening-round game against Youngstown State, coach Augie Garrido said in a statement.

Fox new Nevada coach

Mark Fox was hired as Nevada’s basketball coach after working four years as an assistant under Trent Johnson.

Johnson, who led Nevada to a 25-9 season and its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16, resigned a week ago to coach Stanford.

Fox, who was Johnson’s choice to succeed him, met with athletic director Cary Groth on Sunday after returning from a vacation.

“The program has been a great source of pride for our community, and it’s my privilege to take the reins,” Fox said at a campus news conference yesterday. “All I ever wanted to do was to coach college basketball.”

Fox has been a Division I assistant for 11 years at Nevada, Kansas State and Washington.

He also was endorsed by former Wolf Pack coaches Sonny Allen, Len Stevens and Pat Foster.

It’s Taurasi again

Diana Taurasi had solid all-around game to lead a balanced offense and the Phoenix Mercury set a franchise record with 11 3-pointers, beating the Houston Comets 73-63 last night.

Penny Taylor, Anna DeForge and Shereka Wright scored 16 points apiece for the Mercury (3-1), who have won three straight.

Taurasi had 13 points, six assists and five rebounds.

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