Football Ryan is Saints’ defensive coordinator
The Saints have hired Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator, hoping they can overhaul a unit that was historically bad last season. Ryan, the brother of Jets coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two seasons as Dallas’s defensive coordinator. He was fired after last season, when his defense ranked 19th. Last year, New Orleans allowed 7,042 yards under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, the worst total for a season in NFL history. Saints coach Sean Payton said he also added Stan Kwan as an assistant special teams coach. Kwan was a special teams assistant in Buffalo the past three seasons . . . Receiver Anquan Boldin said Friday that he would retire if Baltimore cuts him. The 32-year-old said on NBC Sports Radio that he wants to retire a Raven, but the team may have to make salary-cap related moves in the offseason. Boldin has one year left on his four-year, $25 million deal, and is due $6 million next season . . . Doug Kenna, quarterback of West Point’s 1944 undefeated national championship team, died Jan. 28 in North Palm Beach, Fla., according to a longtime friend. He was 88.
Liriano finally inks deal in Pittsburgh
The Pirates completed a one-year contract with Francisco Liriano that was delayed after the lefthander injured his right arm over the holidays. The Pirates announced the deal late Friday night and said it also includes a vesting option for the 2014 season. Pittsburgh had agreed to a $14 million, two-year contract with Liriano in December, pending a physical. But then Liriano got hurt, putting his status with the Pirates in jeopardy . . . The Indians signed first baseman/designated hitter Jason Giambi to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 42-year-old won the 2000 AL MVP . . . The contract that Brandon Lyon and the Mets agreed to Friday is a $750,000, one-year deal . . . A representative for Felix Hernandez told ESPNdeportes.com Friday that the Seattle ace will not play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic while he works on completing a contract extension with the Mariners.
Nadal victory sets up a doubleheader
Rafael Nadal beat Jeremy Chardy, 6-2, 6-2, putting the Spaniard in both finals of the VTR Open after a seven-month layoff because of a left knee injury and a stomach virus. Nadal and Juan Monaco won their doubles semifinal Friday, meaning Nadal is scheduled to play twice Sunday . . . Varvara Lepchenko won in her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the United States to a 1-1 tie against host Italy. Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, after Sara Errani defeated Jamie Hampton, 6-2, 6-1. Defending champion and host Czech Republic took a 2-0 lead over Australia in their first-round series after Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova won their opening matches. In Moscow, Ayumi Morita beat Ekaterina Makarova, giving Japan a 1-1 tie with Russia. Maria Kirilenko defeated Kimiko Date-Krumm in the opening match . . . Richard Gasquet will face Benoit Paire in an all-French final Sunday at the Open Sud de France. Gasquet defeated Jarkko Nieminen and Paire overcame Michael Llodra . . . Top-seeded Marin Cilic will face Jurgen Melzer in the Zagreb Indoors final in Croatia after each won three-set matches.
US women win soccer coach’s debut
Tom Sermanni coached the US women’s soccer team to a 4-1 win over Scotland in his debut. Christen Press scored two first-half goals in Jacksonville, Fla. . . . Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid prime its attack for Wednesday’s highly anticipated Champions League clash with Manchester United by scoring his 21st career hat trick in a 4-1 home win over Sevilla in the Spanish league . . . Washington’s Jeremy Taiwo set a world record when he cleared 7 feet, 4½ inches in the high jump segment of the heptathlon at the Boise State Challenge in Nampa, Idaho. The record was 7-4¼; Taiwo’s previous best was 6-11½ . . . The Kentucky Derby winner in 2011, Animal Kingdom, finished second in what was expected to be his final US race, the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up Point of Entry won the 1⅛ -mile Grade I race by 1¼ lengths . . . In Arcadia, Calif., Slim Shadey led all the way in winning the $150,000 San Marcos Stakes by a length at Santa Anita, giving Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens his first stakes victory since his comeback began.