CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Western Carolina said Monday it has hired Dennis Wagner as the 12th head coach in the Catamount football program.
Wagner is the former offensive line coach at Nebraska and former Wayne State head coach.
WCU athletics director Chip Smith said the 49-year-old Wagner will be formally introduced at a news conference Friday at 2 p.m.
Wagner will take the place of Kent Briggs, who was moved to another job at the university after the 1-10 season of 2007.
• Mississippi State football coach Sylvester Croom said that defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has joined the coaching staff at Arkansas.
Johnson will be the defensive coordinator at Arkansas, Croom said in a statement released by Mississippi State.
Croom said Johnson told him of his decision Sunday. No statement had been released Monday by Arkansas.
Johnson, 55, joined the Mississippi State coaching staff after three seasons as the head coach at The Citadel.
Johnson has also served as defensive coordinator at Alabama (1997-2000) as well as an outside linebackers coach there from 1990-93.
He has also coached at Southern Miss (1988-89), Clemson (1994-96), Gardner-Webb College (1983), Appalachian State (1984) and East Carolina (1985-87).
He played at The Citadel.
• PRO BASEBALL -- Roger Clemens is still welcome at a convention of Texas high school baseball coaches.
The group reconsidered its invitation after Clemens was mentioned prominently in the Mitchell Report on steroids. On Monday, the coaches said they found no reason to prevent the star pitcher from addressing their annual meeting next month.
"He still wants to come," said Jim Long, president of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association. "He said he intends on speaking."
The group's decision was first reported by Houston television station KRIV.
• The Kansas City Royals signed right-handed pitcher Chin-Hui Tsao to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
The 26-year-old was hampered last season with a shoulder injury, making 21 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers for a 0-1 record with a 4.38 ERA. Tsao had an operation in May 2005 to repair a torn labrum and missed all of the 2006 season for the Colorado Rockies.
In Tsao's four-year career with the Dodgers and Rockies, he has a 4-4 record with a 5.40 ERA in 50 games.
• PRO BASKETBALL -- Former Denver general manager Kiki Vandeweghe has joined the Nets as a special assistant to New Jersey president Rod Thorn.
Vandeweghe, who served as the Nuggets' general manager from 2001-06, will help Thorn prepare for the NBA draft and evaluate players.
Vandeweghe reshaped the Nuggets during his tenure, signing free agents Andre Miller, Jon Barry, Earl Boykins and Voshon Lenard, and selecting Carmelo Anthony with the third pick in the draft. He also acquired Nenê and veteran Marcus Camby in a draft-day deal from New York in 2002, a season the Nuggets improved their win total by 26 games and reached the postseason for the first time since 1995.
• With Antonio Daniels set to return to their starting lineup, the Washington Wizards waived guard Mike Wilks.
Wilks played in four games and averaged 1.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 11 minutes. Washington was his eighth NBA club since he started with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2002-03 season.