A SWIMMING coach who trained thousands of children was sentenced to 7 years in prison yesterday in Rockville, Md., for sexually abusing one of the girls he instructed.

Richard J. Curl, who last year was banned for life from the sport by USA Swimming, apologized for abusing the girl over a 4-year period in the 1980s. The abuse started when she was 13 and took place in their respective homes, inside his private school office and at hotels where they stayed for swim meets. He was charged last year after the allegations of abuse against the now-43-year-old victim became public.

Curl turned to the woman inside a courtroom packed with his supporters, apologized, and told her, "Every day of my life has been spent thinking and feeling awful about my behavior."

Philly File * 

Frank "Roscoe" Natale, of soon-to-close Edward Bok Tech, will be Southern's football coach for the 2013 season.

* Former Penn State quarterback Steven Bench will play for South Florida next season.

* Drexel's Robert Church and Ben McIntosh have been named All-Americans by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Golf * 

Colonial member Ryan Palmer shot an 8-under 62 to match the first-round record at Hogan's Alley and take a one-stroke lead at the PGA Tour's Colonial Tournament in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jay Haas and Duffy Waldorf shared the first-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship, shooting 66 at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis.

* South Africa's James Kingston shot a 6-under 66 at Wentworth to take the first-round lead of the BMW PGA Championship in Virginia Water, England. Sergio Garcia opened with a 72.

* The Bahamas LPGA Classic is to start today with a 12-hole round, using the holes that aren't under water from the worst flooding in about 20 years.

Sport Stops * 

Denny Hamlin broke the track record with a lap of 195.624 mph to capture the pole for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

* Elon University will join the Colonial Athletic Association for the 2014-15 academic year.