Mark Humphrey, Associated Press
Former BYU, USC and Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow was hired by UCLA on Monday.

LOS ANGELES — Norm Chow, who tutored a pair of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks at Southern California, is returning as offensive coordinator at rival UCLA.

Chow, fired last week by the Tennessee Titans, joins the staff of coach Rick Neuheisel, the former Bruins quarterback who took the job late last month.

"I've always admired his work," Neuheisel said. "You don't have to look far into the stats to see this guy can diagram and call plays. If anybody in college football has done better, I'm not aware of it.

"I think UCLA deserves the best."

The 61-year-old Chow said he enjoyed working at USC, where one of his sons graduated and another is still in school.

"It's a unique place and obviously Pete (Carroll) has done a great job. We'll still have that same respect — except for Saturday afternoon," Chow said Monday during a conference call.


WOODS: TILGHMAN MEANT NO HARM Tiger Woods says Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman meant no harm when she used the term "lynch" during television commentary about him, and he regards the issue closed as he returns to work this week.

"It was unfortunate," Woods said Monday in his first public comments since Tilghman was suspended for two weeks. "Kelly and I did speak. There was no ill intent. She regrets saying it. In my eyes, it's all said and done." The unveiling of a statue at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif., turned into a family photo Monday.

Behind him was a bronze of Woods wrapping his arm around the shoulder of his late father, Earl Woods, the backbone of a foundation that led to a 35,000-square-foot educational center next to the golf course where they grew up. The center has been open just under two years and already has reached more than 16,000 kids.

MICKELSON COPING WITH ILLNESS: Phil Mickelson's start to the 2008 season was in doubt Monday when his doctor directed him to stay in bed for two days for a respiratory problem. Mickelson postponed a press conference today at the Buick Invitational, and his management company said his goal was to play in the pro-am Wednesday so that he could play in the tournament.


YADIER MOLINA GETS CONTRACT: Cardinals teammates say Yadier Molina, one of the top defensive catchers in the major leagues, is a bargain at any price.

"Yadier is the best catcher in the game, period," pitcher Adam Wainwright said Monday after Molina agreed to a $15.5 million, four-year contact.

Molina threw out 50 percent of would-be basestealers last year, catching 23 of 46. He's also coming off a career-best .275 average, with six homers and 40 RBIs in 111 games.

TOMKO, ROYALS AGREE AT $3M: Brett Tomko agreed Monday to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, promising he's worked out the problems that led to failure with the Dodgers last year.

PROCTOR AND DODGERS AGREE: Reliever Scott Proctor and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,115,000, avoiding salary arbitration.

Proctor had asked for $930,000 in arbitration and had been offered $1.3 million. He made $445,923 last season, when the Dodgers acquired him from the New York Yankees on July 31 for Wilson Betemit.


PHELPS WINS TWO MORE: Michael Phelps went 2-for-3 in consecutive events at the Southern California Grand Prix on Monday night in Long Beach, Calif., swimming faster times in each than he did a year ago. Phelps opened with the 100-yard butterfly, coming from behind to beat Matt Grevers in 45.40 seconds. About 40 minutes later, the six-time Olympic gold medalist returned for the 100 backstroke. Phelps again rallied to beat Peter Marshall and Grevers, touching in 45.50.

Horse racing

LIBERTY BULL WINS SMARTY JONES RACE: Liberty Bull won the inaugural Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park on Monday, holding off Isabull by a neck in Hot Springs, Ark.

The $50,000 race for 3-year-olds is named after the horse that nearly won the Triple Crown in 2004. Smarty Jones won over Arkansas fans that year with victories in the Southwest Stakes, Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn before also taking the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.