Oregon athletic officials were so convinced that Chip Kelly was destined to be head coach of the Ducks that they offered him the job before it came open.

Smart move.

In just his second season leading Oregon, Kelly is taking the second-ranked Ducks to the national championship game on Jan. 10 against No. 1 Auburn -- and for that he was voted AP Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Kelly received 24 votes from the 60-member AP football poll panel to beat out his BCS title game counterpart, Gene Chizik of Auburn, who received 17 votes. Stanford's Jim Harbaugh was third with five votes.

  • Tennessee reported secondary violations to the NCAA after discovering 36 student-athletes were given special treatment at the Knoxville bar where a fight involving Volunteers football players broke out in July.

  • No special plans for Joe Paterno on his 84th birthday -- just two Penn State practices. The Nittany Lions spent the day drilling in the morning and afternoon in Clearwater, Fla., as they get ready for the Outback Bowl against Florida on Jan. 1.

  • Justin Burke threw for two touchdowns and Jeremy Wright scored on a 95-yard kickoff return to help Louisville (7-6) beat Southern Mississippi (8-5) 31-28 in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla.

  • Syracuse punter Rob Long will have to undergo post-operation treatment after doctors found malignant cells in a brain tumor removed a week ago.


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  • Josh Atkinson and George Atkinson III of Granada High were among the 42 high school seniors to be selected to play on the U.S. under-19 national team in the Team USA vs. Team World game. The game is on Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas.

    Soccer

    San Jose Earthquakes forward and De La Salle High product Chris Wondolowski and Los Angeles Galaxy defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Sean Franklin were among 12 players with no international experience selected for a U.S. national team training camp ahead of the Americans' exhibition against Chile (Jan. 22 in Carson).

  • The Earthquakes will hold the Verizon Tryout Tour in Danville at the Mustang Soccer Complex on Feb. 6 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. A maximum of 200 participants will be allowed to try out for a fee of $75 per person. Go to sjearthquakes.com. to register.

  • Former Earthquakes star Landon Donovan is staying put this offseason, forgoing the chance to be loaned to a European club for the third straight winter.

  • Notre Dame junior Melissa Henderson has won the Honda Sports Award as the nation's top collegiate women's soccer player.

    NHL

    Tyler Ennis scored two goals to lift the host Buffalo Sabres to a 5-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

    Boxing

    Manny Pacquiao plans to fight Sugar Shane Mosley in his next bout May 7 in Las Vegas. Promoter Bob Arum told The Associated Press that the deal will be done after Mosley's lawyers approve the final paperwork for the welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

    Winter sports

    Marlies Schild of Austria flew down the Courchevel (France) course to win her second World Cup slalom of the season, while overall leader Lindsey Vonn and rival Maria Riesch crashed out in their first runs.

    Tennis

    Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in Zurich to open a two-match exhibition series for charity between the world's top-ranked tennis players.

    Wire services contributed to this digest.