Texans ink top-pick Clowney

HOUSTON — Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, signed his rookie contract with the Houston Texans on Friday.

The four-year deal is reportedly worth $22.272 million — fully guaranteed — and includes a $14.518 million signing bonus.

Clowney, a 6-foot-5, 266-pound defensive end, registered 40 tackles, including 11 1/2 for loss, and three sacks during his junior season at South Carolina in 2013 after posting single-season school records for sacks (13) and tackles for loss (23 1/2) during his sophomore campaign.

Following his stellar 2012 season, Clowney became the first sophomore to win the Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s top defensive end, and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting.

He holds the school record with nine forced fumbles and finished his collegiate career at South Carolina second in school history with 47 tackles for loss and third with 24 sacks.


Timberwolves announce Saunders as head coach

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Timberwolves officially named Flip Saunders as the franchise’s new head coach on Friday.

Saunders served as the Timberwolves’ bench boss for parts of 10 seasons from 1995-2005 and oversaw the most successful era of the franchise’s history, highlighted by trip to the Western Conference finals following a franchise- best 58-24 regular-season record in 2003-04.

After struggling to a 25-26 record to start the 2004-05 season, the Timberwolves decided to dismiss Saunders, who returned to the organization in May 2013 as president of basketball operations. He also took a minority ownership stake in the team.

Saunders also spent time as head coach of the Detroit Pistons and Washington Wizards before his return to the Twin Cities. He has a record of 638-526 in parts of 16 seasons, including 411-326 with the Wolves.

He replaces the retired Rick Adelman, who spent three seasons with the Wolves and 23 years as a head coach in the NBA. Adelman guided Minnesota to a record of 97-133, including 40-42 this past season. The Wolves missed the playoffs for the 10th straight year, but the 40 wins were the club’s most since a 44-38 mark in 2004-05.

Jazz name Snyder head coach

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz named Quin Snyder as their eighth head coach in franchise history on Friday.

Snyder replaces Tyrone Corbin, who was not offered a new contract after compiling a 112-146 record over three-plus seasons with the Jazz, culminating in a 25-57 mark during the 2013-14 campaign.

Snyder, who has 10 years of experience as a head coach in the NBA, Europe, the NBA Developmental League and college, most recently served as an assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks under Mike Budenholzer, helping the team to a playoff appearance in 2014.

Snyder’s first head coaching position came at the University of Missouri, where he led the Tigers to a 128-96 record and four NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2002, over seven seasons (1999-2006).

His only other head coaching experience came with the Austin Toros of the NBADL from 2007-10.

Prior to his time at Missouri, Snyder served as associate head coach to Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 1993-99, and as an assistant for Larry Brown with the 1992-93 Los Angeles Clippers.