Dale Baird

, 72, the winningest thoroughbred trainer with more than 9,400 victories, died Sunday in a crash along an icy highway in Greenfield, Ind., when he lost control of his pickup truck while hauling a livestock trailer.

He was killed in the accident on Interstate 70 along with two teenagers whose car broadsided the truck about 20 miles east of Indianapolis. Hancock County police said that strong winds and a slick road most likely contributed to the crash, which happened after Baird's truck crossed a median and slid into oncoming traffic.

He was heading to Martinsville, Ill., to spend Christmas with his mother and family, his ex-wife,

Diane

, said yesterday. He then planned to go to Chicago for a paddock sale.

Baird was granted a Special Eclipse Award from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association in 2004.

Colleges

Southern Methodist is interested in Hawaii coach

June Jones

as its new football coach, the Dallas Morning News reported, citing a source with knowledge of the school's search.

The interest may help explain why SMU still is looking for a coach despite firing

Phil Bennett

on Oct. 28.

Jones has led Hawaii to a 12-0 record and the Allstate Sugar Bowl - one of five Bowl Championship Series games - against Georgia on Jan. 1 at the Louisiana Superdome.

A Hawaii spokesman could not be reached Monday evening, though as recently as last week, SMU had not asked Hawaii for permission to speak with Jones. SMU has declined to comment on candidates while its search is going on.

Baseball

Cleveland Indians pitcher

Juan Lara

, who was nearly killed in a car accident last month while going home from a game in the Dominican Republic, underwent two surgeries Sunday.

The Indians said the 26-year-old's spine was stabilized and he also had an arm fracture repaired. The operations were performed by surgeons

Jeff Lawton

and

Doug Orr

at the Cleveland Clinic.

Lara suffered life-threatening injuries when the SUV he was driving was struck at an intersection by a motorcycle on Nov. 24. Both the motorcycle's driver and passenger were killed instantly.

Lara had severe brain trauma, a fractured spine, two broken ribs and a punctured lung in the crash.

He pitched in one game for the Indians last season and went 4-3 with two saves and a 3.88 ERA in 52 appearances for triple-A Buffalo.

Soccer

Former Yugoslavia defender

Miroslav

Djukic

was hired as the national soccer coach of Serbia, which failed to reach the 2008 European Championship.

He replaces

Javier Clemente

, who was fired last month.

The appointment of the 41-year-old Djukic was announced by Serbia's soccer federation. Djukic resigned as Partizan Belgrade coach this month.

Partizan hired former Chelsea midfielder

Slavisa

Jokanovic

as its coach. This will be the first coaching position for the 39-year-old Jokanovic, who played for Chelsea in the 2000-01 season.

Sailing

Wild Oats X1 will attempt to do what no other yacht has done since 1948 - win the Sydney to Hobart race three years in a row.

About 80 yachts from around Australia and overseas set sail yesterday from Sydney harbor on a 723-mile trip down the southeast coast of Australia and across Bass Strait to the island state of Tasmania.