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Thursday, December 30, 2004



[ COLLEGE FOOTBALL ]

Tomey back
in the WAC

The former UH coach takes
over at San Jose State

SAN JOSE, Calif. » At an age when most coaches with Dick Tomey's credentials are trying to relax, the 66-year-old has decided to rebuild.

Tomey became San Jose State's new head football coach yesterday, taking the sidelines of his third college program.

The longtime Hawaii and Arizona coach knows his new task is difficult: The Spartans have struggled with losses, funding and poor attendance in recent years, and some at the school have argued for the team's elimination. The Spartans went 14-33 in four seasons under Fitz Hill before his resignation last month.

None of that dissuaded Tomey, who campaigned for the job with a fervor that showed his famed competitive fire hasn't been extinguished.

"This is a wonderful community in one of the greatest places in the United States," said Tomey, who will finish his first season as Texas' assistant head coach this weekened. "If we can't have a great program here, I'll be shocked. We will build a great program, because I know exactly what I want to do."

Tomey agreed to a four-year deal. After the Longhorns face Michigan in the Rose Bowl on Saturday, Tomey will return to San Jose to begin preparations for next season.

Tomey lived in San Jose in 2003 during one season as a defensive assistant with the San Francisco 49ers. That's where he cemented his friendship with Bill Walsh, who helped with San Jose State's coaching search while his alma mater was changing athletic directors.

"If anyone can bring it back, Dick can," Walsh said. "He did it in Hawaii, which was almost defunct when he went there, and he did it in Arizona. San Jose State is very fortunate to have this man."



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