By CHRIS DUNCAN
AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman was hired as Texas A&M's coach Monday, three days after Dennis Franchione resigned.
Sherman's current job is as the Houston Texans' offensive coordinator under Gary Kubiak, a former quarterback and assistant for the Aggies.
Sherman was A&M's offensive line coach from 1989-93 and then in 1995-96 under R.C Slocum.
Franchione took a contract buyout and stepped down Friday, less than an hour after Texas A&M upset Texas 38-30. Defensive coordinator Gary Darnell was named interim coach Saturday and will lead the Aggies (7-5, 4-4 Big 12) in a bowl game.
The 52-year-old Sherman hasn't coached in college since leaving A&M to become an assistant in Green Bay in 1996. He'll coach the remainder of the season for the Texans (5-6).
Sherman became the Packers' head coach in 2000, and Green Bay went 59-43 and won three NFC North titles in his six seasons. The Packers also produced two of the four highest-scoring seasons in franchise history under Sherman.
Sherman joined Kubiak's Texans staff after he was fired by Green Bay last year. He became the offensive coordinator this season, after Troy Calhoun left to become the coach at Air Force.
A&M went 32-28 in five seasons under Franchione and couldn't gain ground on the Big 12's elite teams, going 3-12 against Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech. The Aggies haven't won the Big 12 since 1998.
This season began to spiral downward after Franchione's personal assistant was caught sending out a newsletter with inside information about the team to boosters for a fee. Athletic director Bill Byrne fired the assistant, admonished Franchione and ordered the coach to shut down his personal Web site.
Byrne said the school completed an internal investigation into the newsletter - called the ``VIP Connection'' - and found that Franchione ``did not intentionally, knowingly, or directly participate in actions that were inappropriate or in violation of rules or policies.''
Byrne said he never knew about the newsletters and acknowledged that Franchione may have breached his contract by not reporting the income he received from them. Byrne also said the newsletters may have violated NCAA and Big 12 rules.
A&M's impatient fan base was already fed up with Franchione.
He was reputed as a program rebuilder and an offensive innovator before he arrived, but the Aggies finished with losing records in two of his first three seasons. While other Big 12 programs employed fast-paced, pass-oriented offenses, A&M switched to an old-fashioned option scheme.
The Aggies rank last in the Big 12 and 101st nationally in passing offense, averaging 187 yards per game.
They're hoping Sherman can bring some of the Packers' offensive fireworks to College Station.
In 2003, the Packers scored 442 points, just 14 shy of the franchise record. The next season, Green Bay set team records for total yards (6,357) and passing yards (4,449).
Few coaches have made successful transitions recently from the pros to college.
Former Raiders coach Bill Callahan was fired Saturday after four mediocre years at Nebraska. Former Bears and Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt has struggled at Pittsburgh.
Former Cowboys coach Chan Gailey was fired Monday after six seasons at Georgia Tech. After two strong seasons under former Patriots offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, Notre Dame set a school record for losses this year.
Pete Carroll is one of the coaches who has had success at both levels. He guided New England to the AFC East title in 1997 and has led Southern Cal to two national championships since taking over the program in 2000.
Source: ncaafootball.com; Photo Credit: Texas A&M Media Relations Office