• Texas women's track coach Bev Kearney stepping down

    Texas head women's track and field coach Bev Kearney has resigned following an investigation of an "intimate consensual relationship" with "a student-athlete in her program," according to a statement released by UT vice president for legal affairs Patti Ohlendorf on Saturday.

    "Coach Kearney is a good person and has been very important to the University," Ohlendorf said in the statement. "However, she made this terrible mistake and used unacceptably poor judgment in having this relationship."

    Kearney was placed on paid administrative leave in November for then-undisclosed reasons and it was revealed in an Associated Press report that women's athletics director Chris Plonsky asked UT President William Powers Jr. to give her a pay raise before the investigation began.

    According to the statement, the investigation showed that Kearney began this relationship with the student-athlete "about 10 1/2 years ago" and ended it "about eight years ago." When Kearney was told that the University was preparing to terminate her, she decided to resign.

    "The University determined that it no longer was appropriate for Coach Kearney to serve as head coach to work directly with our student-athletes," Ohlendorf said in the statement. "We cannot condone such an intimate relationship, including one that is consensual, between a head coach and a student-athlete. We told Coach Kearney such a relationship is unprofessional and crosses the line of trust placed in the head coach for all aspects of the athletic program and the best interests of the student-athletes on the team."

    Kearney's resignation was first reported by the Austin American-Statesman, who spoke with the former Longhorns track coach in an exclusive interview that took place in the office of Kearney's attorney, Derek A. Howard.

    "You destroy yourself. You start questioning how could you make such a judgment," Kearney told the Statesman. "How could you make such an error after all the years? You can get consumed [by it] ... It's been a difficult challenge for me simply because I have to forgive myself for making an error. I didn't commit a crime, but I displayed poor judgment."

    Kearney had been the head women's track and field coach since 1993, leading the Longhorns to six national championships  three indoor and three outdoor  during her 20-year tenure. She was named her conference's coach of the year 16 times and guided Texas to 14 straight top-10 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships between 1994 and 2007, a previously unprecedented feat. Kearney was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2007.

    "It's a shame that this remarkably talented female African-American coach, who has devoted her life to helping others, is being bullied and scapegoated by the University of Texas," Howard told the Statesman in a statement. "We believe that Ms. Kearney has been subjected to a double standard and has received far harsher punishment than that being given to her male counter-parts who have engaged in similar conduct."

    The identity of the former student-athlete that Kearney is said to have previously had an intimate relationship with was not revealed.

    "As a public University, we are committed to transparency and disclosure," Ohlendorf said in the statement. "We also have a responsibility to our students to follow the strict federal laws that are designed to protect their privacy. The University will not identify the former student-athlete. We respect her privacy and appreciate her cooperation during our review."

    Rose Brimmer, who has spent eight seasons as an assistant coach under Kearney, will take over as interim head women's track and field coach while Stephen Sisson, who has been an assistant women's track and field coach at Texas since 2006, will take on "expanded duties" in Kearney's absence.

    Published on January 14, 2013 as "Questions remain after Kearney's resignation".

  • Texas hires ASU's Larry Porter to be running backs coach

    Arizona State running backs coach Larry Porter has been hired to the same position at Texas, the school announced Wednesday.

    Porter helped the Sun Devils run for 205.3 yards per game in his only season at Arizona State, the 24th-most in the country. He also spent two years as the head coach at Memphis, going 3-21 between the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Before that, Porter coached running backs for 12 years, including three at Oklahoma State and five at LSU.

    "We are very excited to have Larry Porter joining our staff," head coach Mack Brown said. "He brings a wealth of experience and has a reputation as one of the best coaches and recruiters in our game. Larry has spent a great deal of time in the Big 12 and SEC and has a strong familiarity with our state and staff. During his time at Oklahoma State and LSU, he did a tremendous job recruiting Dallas and Houston."

    Co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, previously in charge of coaching Longhorns running backs, took over as play-caller and quarterbacks coach for Bryan Harsin, who was named Arkansas State's head coach earlier this month, leaving a vacancy in Texas' coaching staff. Porter filled that vacancy this week.

    "I'm just really excited to be joining what I think is the best program in the country," Porter said. "The future of Texas football is very bright and being able to work with Coach Brown and so many guys I've known and worked with before is an opportunity I couldn't pass up. My family and I are really excited and looking forward to getting started."

    A productive running game proved to be very important to Texas this season. In the Longhorns' nine wins this year, they averaged 208.4 rushing yards per game and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. In their four losses, they ran for 98.5 yards per game and averaged only 3.1 yards per carry.

    "Having the opportunity to work under a man like Coach Brown, who I look at as a legend in college football, is an honor and a privilege," Porter said. "He has done so much for college football and is so well respected. I'm thrilled to be joining his staff and to be a part of a program that I've had such great admiration for."

    While at LSU, Porter coached the likes of Joseph Addai and Jacob Hester and helped the Tigers win a national championship in 2007. He was a part of an LSU staff in 2005 that included current Texas defensive tackles coach Bo Davis and offensive line coach Stacy Searels, who also coached with Porter at LSU in 2006.

    Addai ran for a team-high 911 yards in 2005, Porter's first as the Tigers' running backs coach, before being selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Addai was named NFL Rookie of the Year that season while helping the Colts win a Super Bowl.

    Oklahoma State had someone run for at least 1,000 yards in each of Porter's three seasons as its running backs coach. Tatum Bell ran for 1,096 yards and 11 touchdowns under Porter's guidance in 2002 and rushed for 1,286 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2003  while Vernand Morency ran for 1,474 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Cowboys in 2005.

    Porter's first college coaching job was as Tennessee-Martin's running backs coach in 1998. He spent one year there before serving as Arkansas State's running backs coach from 1999 to 2001. Jonathan Adams ran for 1,004 yards in each of Porter's last two seasons with the Red Wolves, leaving as the program's second-leading rusher.

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