NAMED: As football coach, at Mississippi State, JACKIE SHERRILL, 47, who last coached al Texas A&M in 1988; at Purdue, JIM COLLETTO, 46, who for the last three years was assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Ohio State, replacing FRED AKERS, 52, who had resigned on Nov. 29; at Oregon State, JERRY PETTIBONE, 51, who was the coach at Northern Illinois the previous six years; at Kent State, PETE CORDELLI JR., 37, quarterback coach at Notre Dame since 1986, who succeeds DICK CRUM, 56, whose contract was not renewed after he had guided the Golden Flashes to a 7-26 record over the past three seasons; and at Bowling Green. GARY BLACKNEY, 47, formerly an assistant at Ohio State. He replaced MOE ANKNEY, 48, who coached the Falcons to a 20-31-2 mark in five years.
RETAINED: As captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, TOM GORMAN, 44, whose job was rumored to have been in jeopardy before the U.S. won the Cup by beating Australia on Dec. 1.
DIED: CLINT THOMAS, 94, who played second base and outfield for 17 years (1921-38) in the Negro leagues; after a long illness: in Charleston, W.Va. A lifetime .300 hitter, Thomas played centerfield for the New York Black Yankees in the 1930s and was often called "the black Joe DiMaggio."