The Indiana Pacers hired Nate Bjorkgren as their new coach Tuesday.

Bjorkgren’s hiring ends a two-month search that began when the Pacers fired Nate McMillan on Aug. 26, just weeks after giving McMillan a contract extension. Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Bjorkgren joins the Pacers after spending the last two seasons on Nick Nurse’s staff in Toronto, where he helped the Raptors capture their first NBA championship in 2018-19. Bjorkgren was an assistant with the Phoenix Suns from 2015-17 and spent four seasons as a G-League head coach.


WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The University of Connecticut has agreed to pay a total of just under $250,000 to seven women, including four members of Geno Auriemma’s 2014 women’s basketball coaching staff, after the U.S. Labor Department found they had been underpaid when compared with men in similar positions.

A total of $249,539 will go to the women, who were identified by the Labor Department as two law professors and five women who hold the title of Specialist IA and Specialist IIA in the school’s athletic department.

UConn, responding to an email request from The Associated Press, identified those employees by title as its women’s associate head basketball coach (Chris Dailey), the team’s two assistant coaches in 2014 (Shea Ralph and Marisa Moseley), the director of women’s basketball operations (Sarah Darras) and the director of football operations (Sarah Lawless).


NASCAR CUP SERIES: Chase Briscoe earned job security for the first time in his career with a well-deserved promotion to the Cup Series to cap a season that has so far been storybook.

Briscoe was named the replacement for Clint Bowyer in the No. 14 Ford at Stewart-Haas Racing, the team co-owned by Briscoe’s childhood hero. Briscoe idolized fellow Indiana native Tony Stewart and dreamed of one day driving Stewart’s car.

“People would ask me ‘What’s the goal?’ and I’d say ‘Man, the dream is to drive the 14,’” Briscoe said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Never in a million years did I think that was possible. Getting to drive Tony’s car, and how much of a diehard Tony fan I was, it’s just crazy that I’m getting to drive that car.”

The 25-year-old native of Mitchell, Indiana, is a third generation racer who watched his father compete against Stewart on Midwest dirt tracks. Now he’s a nine race winner in the Xfinity Series, the championship points leader, and just the third driver of the No. 14 at SHR since it was created for Stewart in 2009.


SPANISH VUELTA: Defending champion Primoz Roglic attacked in the final kilometer after a difficult climb to win the opening stage of the Spanish Vuelta.

Roglic, the Jumbo-Visma rider who a few weeks ago lost the Tour de France on the final competitive stage, was never challenged at the line after breaking away from a small group of riders who were at the front in the final kilometers.

Richard Carapaz of team Ineos was second and Dan Martin of team Israel Start-Up Nation was third.

GIRO d’ITALIA: Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria became the latest cyclist to test positive for the coronavirus and be withdrawn from the Giro d’Italia as the race heads toward an uncertain conclusion this weekend.

A staff member for Team AG2R La Mondiale was the only other positive out of 492 tests carried out Sunday and Monday to coincide with the race’s second rest day, organizers RCS Sport said.

The race is scheduled to end Sunday in Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region which is putting in place a nightly curfew beginning Thursday because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in an area already hard hit during the first wave of infections earlier this year.

• Jan Tratnik earned his first stage victory in a Grand Tour by winning the 16th leg of the Giro d’Italia, and João Almeida held onto the pink jersey.

Tratnik, a Slovenian rider with the Bahrain–McLaren team, beat Ben O’Connor by seven seconds at the end of the hilly 229-kilometer (142-mile) route from Udine to San Daniele del Friuli.


DOPING: The women’s 400-meter world champion has avoided being banned for a doping rule violation on a technicality, according to a ruling published.

The Athletics Integrity Unit said the charges against Bahraini runner Salwa Eid Naser for missed tests and filing failures were dismissed by an independent tribunal.

Naser, who was born in Nigeria but competes for Bahrain, will keep her title and has been cleared to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics. The 22-year-old Naser ran the fastest women’s 400 since 1985 to win the world title last year in Doha, Qatar.

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