Michael Phelps has added another triumph to his list of accomplishments: Associated Press male athlete of the year. The retired swimmer, who won four gold medals and two silvers at the London Games to become the most decorated Olympian ever, edged out LeBron James in voting announced Thursday.
Phelps finished with 40 votes in the media balloting to win the award for the second time. James had 37, followed by track star Usain Bolt with 23.
Carl Lewis is the only other Olympic-centric athlete to capture AP male athlete of the year more than once, taking the award in 1983 and '84. The only men honored more than twice are Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, and Michael Jordan.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy forced a fumble in the end zone and recovered it for a touchdown and scored on a 17-yard interception return, both in the fourth quarter, to rally Brigham Young over San Diego State, 23-6, in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. The big plays swung the momentum for the Cougars (8-5) in what had been a defensive struggle at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. The Aztecs finished 9-4.
Former Utah State head coach Gary Andersen will be officially introduced Friday as Wisconsin's new football coach. Andersen replaces Bret Bielema, who left Wisconsin for Arkansas on Dec. 4, three days after the Badgers won the Big Ten title and a third straight trip to the Rose Bowl.
Utah State, meanwhile, has promoted offensive coordinator Matt Wells to replace Andersen as head coach. Wells quarterbacked the Aggies in the mid-1990's and has been at Utah State two years.
The Maxwell Club selected Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene as the winner of Brian Westbrook Tri-State Player of the Year award. Greene led the Big East with 125 tackles and was the conference's defensive player of the year for a second consecutive year.
SOCCER: Legendary soccer star Diego Maradona is the leading candidate to take over as coach of Iraq's national team, according to Telam, Argentina's state-run news agency. Hernan Tofoni told Telam the Iraq football association was expected to complete an offer to Maradona on Friday.