Sports breifs

Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Walsh to step down as 49ers' GM Wednesday

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Bill Walsh, who coached the San Francisco 49ers to three Super Bowl victories during the 1980s, will step down as the team's general manager on Wednesday.

In a move in the works for months, the 49ers called a news conference to announce Walsh will turn over GM duties to top assistant Terry Donahue. Walsh will assume a position as a vice president and consultant in the organization.

''I'm just glad the organization is pointed in the right direction again,'' Walsh said recently. ''We've accomplished what I wanted to do when I came back for my second turn here.''

Hairston, member of 1971 Lakers, dead at 58

LOS ANGELES -- Former Los Angeles Lakers forward Harold ''Happy'' Hairston, a member of what many consider the greatest basketball team of all time, died Tuesday. He was 58.

The 6-foot-7 Hairston died at UCLA Medical Center from complications of inoperable prostate cancer, said family friend Donna Seaton.

He was diagnosed with the cancer in late 1998 and had been receiving chemotherapy since January 1999, she said, noting it had spread to his bones and he underwent 21 surgeries.

He contracted pneumonia and had been hospitalized since August, Seaton said.

Jagr expects to play Game 4

PITTSBURGH -- Jaromir Jagr expects to play Game 4 against Buffalo on Wednesday after missing the Pittsburgh Penguins' last two games because of a strained right shoulder.

Jagr skated for about an hour Tuesday and said he felt much better than he did Monday, when the five-time NHL scoring champion was in so much pain he couldn't shoot the puck.

''The doctors and trainers are going to have to do something before the game, give me some painkillers or numb it. But I want to play,'' Jagr said of a potentially pivotal game in which Pittsburgh could go up 3-1.

However, Jagr is wary about numbing the shoulder because he wouldn't know if he was further damaging it. Doing so might cause him to miss the rest of the playoffs, possibly ending any chance Pittsburgh has to win the Stanley Cup.

Flames promote Greg Gilbert to head coach

CALGARY, Alberta -- Greg Gilbert, the Calgary Flames' interim coach, was promoted to head coach Tuesday.

''We want to get better as an organization, as individuals, and that's what we're all here for,'' Gilbert said.

He signed for two years plus an option year. Gilbert became interim coach after Don Hay was fired in March.

Gilbert, the assistant coach under Hay, had said he would only consider the head job if it did not detract from his family situation.

Gilbert, who signed a three-year deal with the Flames as an assistant last fall, was a former AHL Coach of the Year and won a Stanley Cup as a player with the New York Islanders.

In his brief tenure as Flames head coach, he conducted tough practices and benched disgruntled forward Valeri Bure. In 14 games as coach, Gilbert had a record of 4-8-2, but he appeared to make a favorable impression with team officials.



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