Sports

Toman leaves USC for head coaching job at Liberty

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina assistant coach Jim Toman is leaving the Gamecocks to become head coach at Liberty.

Toman has been an assistant with South Carolina for 11 years. The Gamecocks went 500-220 during that time with nine NCAA tournament appearances and three straight trips to the College World Series.

"After talking to dozens of college coaches, major league scouts and front office personnel, it became quite apparent coach Toman carries with him the reputation as one of the top evaluators of baseball talent in the country," Liberty athletics director Jeff Barber said.

Toman replaces coach Matt Royer, who resigned after going 153-132 in five years with Liberty. The Flames finished the 2007 season 36-25.

Toman has worked with South Carolina coach Ray Tanner since 1990, when Tanner was at North Carolina State. This is his first job as a head coach.

• SOCCER -- Change the venue, change the coaches, change the players. The only thing that doesn't change when Mexico and the United States play is the result.

Landon Donovan scored his 34th career goal, tying Eric Wynalda atop the career list, and Benny Feilhaber connected on a gorgeous volley as the United States rallied for a 2-1 victory over Mexico on Sunday in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

The victory extended the Americans' dominance over their neighbors to the south and gave them a berth in the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa, an important tuneup ahead of the 2010 World Cup. The United States is 9-2-1 against Mexico since 2000, including 8-0-1 on U.S. soil.

Mexico at least managed a goal this time, snapping a streak of eight straight shutouts in the United States. Jose Andres Guardado's goal in the 44th minute was El Tri's first on U.S. soil in 797 minutes.

• AUTO RACING -- Dario Franchitti hung around the lead as car after car ran into trouble on the Iowa Speedway's new short oval. He made a daring move to grab the top spot as soon as he saw an opening, then kept it by using his head.

Franchitti, the IndyCar Series points leader, survived a slippery track and a furious late charge from teammate Marco Andretti to win the inaugural Iowa Corn Indy 250.

Franchitti, whose other victory in 2007 came at the Indy 500, held the cherished bottom line on the final laps to win by 0.0681 seconds. The victory helped Franchitti open a 51-point lead over Tony Kanaan in the overall standings.

Scott Sharp was third, followed by Buddy Rice and Darren Manning. Eight of the top 10 drivers in the points standings, including Kanaan and Sam Hornish Jr., were either involved in crashes or had mechanical trouble through the first 100 laps.

• Paul Tracy pushed his way to the front and held off rookie Robert Doornbos on the final lap to win his third Grand Prix of Cleveland, ending Seabastien Bourdais' three-race winning streak.

Tracy was involved in two accidents early in the race, but the gutsy Canadian worked his way through the field and took the checkered flag, finishing .513 seconds ahead of Doornbos and another rookie, Neel Jani, who was 5.405 seconds back in third.

The victory ended a 23-race winless streak for Tracy, whose last win came at Cleveland in 2005. With another win 1992, he joins Danny Sullivan and Emerson Fittipaldi as the only three-time winners of the event.

• TRACK AND FIELD -- Tyson Gay again overcame adverse weather and ran the second-fastest 200 meters ever, a 19.62-second run that broke Michael Johnson's meet record at the U.S. track and field championships.

Running on a damp track with a 0.3 meters-per-second headwind, Gay took the lead early, then extended it to add the 200 crown to the 100-meter title he won at 9.84 into a headwind on Friday night.

Gay's time was second only to Johnson's world record 19.32 set at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. Johnson set the U.S. meet record of 9.66 at the Olympic Trials earlier that year, a run that was the world record at the time.

  Comments