---- — Ausmus is Tigers’ pick for new skipper
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers hired Brad Ausmus as their new manager Sunday, turning to a 44-year-old former catcher with almost no managerial experience to replace Jim Leyland at the helm of the three-time defending AL Central champions.
Ausmus, who worked most recently in the San Diego Padres front office as a special assistant to the general manager, emerged as Detroit’s pick less than two weeks after Leyland stepped down. He takes over a team that has reached the AL championship series three straight years and should be well positioned for another big season in 2014.
Ausmus managed Israel’s team for the World Baseball Classic, but he’s inexperienced as a manager compared to some other potential candidates. Ausmus played in the majors from 1993-2010.
The Tigers also interviewed Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach — as well as Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.
If continuity was Detroit’s main concern, McClendon may have been the choice, but the Tigers acted a bit more boldly in hiring the Dartmouth-educated Ausmus, whose name also recently surfaced in connection with the Chicago Cubs’ job.
Broncos coach Fox to miss several weeks
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Denver Broncos coach John Fox remained hospitalized Sunday as he awaits aortic valve replacement surgery in North Carolina.
The 58-year-old Fox will have surgery in a few days and will miss several weeks while recuperating.
Fox had been told earlier about his heart condition and was hoping to put off the operation until February. As part of his trip to North Carolina over the Broncos’ bye week, he met with his cardiologist in Raleigh and was told to seek medical attention immediately if he felt any discomfort.
On Saturday, Fox became dizzy playing golf near his offseason home in Charlotte and was taken to a hospital, where tests revealed he couldn’t wait any longer to have the surgery.
At 7-1, the Broncos trail the Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) in their division, but they’re widely considered Super Bowl favorites in the AFC with a high-octane offense led by Peyton Manning and a star-studded defense that recently was bolstered by the return of All-Pro linebacker Von Miller from a suspension.
IUK volley team wins regular-season finale
VALPARAISO — The IU Kokomo volleyball team closed its regular season on a winning note by beating Purdue North Central 19-25, 22-25, 25-13, 25-20, 15-10 Saturday. The match lasted nearly three hours.
“We had to really battle after a rough start. It was nice to see that fight and determination from our team,” IUK coach Heather Hayes said.
Micayla Speidel led the Cougars’ attack with 22 kills. Kaley Harness and Megan Riley had nine kills apiece. Cortney Hanson had 40 assists. Defensively, Kaleigh Ensley had 20 digs and Lael Burrus had 19 digs.
Next up for IUK (28-10) is the Kentucky Intercollegiate Conference tournament on Nov. 15 at Midway, Ky.