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Former XFL coach set to lead Fury

The Detroit Fury will announce Al Luginbill as its new coach next week.

On Friday, the Arena Football League team called a news conference for 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Palace to introduce the successor to Mouse Davis, fired after a 1-13 season. General manager Greg Myford would not confirm Luginbill's hiring.

"The Fury's very pleased and extremely excited to have reached a decision on a head coach for 2003 and beyond," Myford said.

Luginbill coached the Los Angeles Extreme to a championship in the now-defunct XFL in April 2001. He hasn't coached since then. He also has coached in NFL Europe and in college.

Quarterback Scott Semptimphelter called the hiring an intriguing choice.

"His past successes at every level he's been at lead me to believe he's a winner," he said.

Luginbill led Pasadena Junior College to the national championship in 1977 and coached the Amsterdam Admirals to a World Bowl berth in 1995. He was also head coach from 1989-93 at San Diego State, where he recruited Marshall Faulk.

`He hate me' joins up with Carolina Panthers

"He hate me," but apparently the Panthers don't. Running back Rod Smart, who wore the phrase "He hate me," on the back of his Las Vegas Outlaws jersey in the XFL, was waived by Philadelphia Monday and claimed by Carolina."Basically, it's me playing against my opponent, and if I outdo him, he's going to hate me," Smart, 25, told the Associated Press in explaining his nickname.

Smart, 5-foot-11 and 201 pounds, gained 6 yards for the Eagles last year. In his 2000 XFL season, he rushed for 555 yards, second in the league.

The Panthers also continued their search for a nickel cornerback, adding Rodney Heath, who was waived by Cincinnati after starting 23 games for the Bengals during the past three years. He had three interceptions in 1999.

Heath is 5-10 and 177 pounds. He played collegiately for Minnesota and also for the Minnesota Monsters of the Pro Indoor Football League.

The Panthers also brought cornerback Terry Fair, who was waived by Detroit, in for a physical, and would like to sign him. Fair was still exploring his options, which might include Miami.

To make room for the new guys, Carolina waived cornerback Cordell Taylor and linebacker Brad Jackson.

From the South Carolina State