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Coach named by Irish

Willingham signs six-year contract

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame hired Stanford's Tyrone Willingham as its football coach Monday, looking to move past the embarrassment of the George O'Leary fiasco.

Associate athletic director John Heisler said Willingham signed a six-year contract but did not disclose the financial terms. Willingham will be introduced at a news conference today.

ESPN.com quoted the agent, Ray Anderson, as saying Willingham will get $2 million to $3 million a year to coach the Fighting Irish. Calls to Anderson by The AP were not immediately answered. Heisler called the figure "a real exaggeration."

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Willingham was among the leading contenders for the job when Bob Davie was fired Dec. 2 after five mostly disappointing seasons. The Irish were 5-6 this season.

Willingham would replace O'Leary, the former Georgia Tech coach who resigned five days after taking the job Dec. 8 because he lied about his academic and athletic achievements on his resume. It was one of the most embarrassing moments in school history.

Willingham served as Vikings assistant under Dennis Green, Page 7C

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