The Best Of The Year In Sports For State, Region In 2013
Say goodbye to the Big East Conference and say hello to the American Athletic Conference. Say goodbye to Paul Pasqualoni and say hello to Bob Diaco. Say goodbye to the legendary Mariano Rivera. Say hello to a group of scruffy, bearded World Series winners. It was year of transition for sports fans in Connecticut. Locally, UConn navigated through the turmoil of conference realignment and emerged in a new home. Meanwhile, none of the conference drama touched Geno Auriemma — his team won its eighth national title, reaffirming its place as an elite program regardless of league affiliation. Kevin Ollie settled nicely into his job and a new football coach arrived from the Golden Dome. Fans of the Red Sox were rewarded with a title; fans of the Yankees watched one of their favorites leave the stage. The Giants missed the playoffs, the Patriots endured off-the-field drama. Greater New Haven became the center of the college hockey world, just as the state university was boosting the program in Storrs. As 2013 ends, keep an eye on the college rinks in 2014. Let's review the year that was in state and regional sports, 2013 (Text by The Courant's Paul Doyle):
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Aaron Hernandez In Jail
Bristol's Aaron Hernandez, one of the most decorated high school football players to come out of Connecticut in recent year, was building a solid NFL career with the Patriots before 2013. He was a Pro Bowl player in 2011 and signed a five-year contract extension in 2012. But as 2013 ends, Hernandez is sitting in prison cell in connection with the murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez, released by the Patriots in June, was charged with the murder nine days after Lloyd's body was found in an industrial park about one mile from Hernandez's North Attleboro, Mass. home. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty and he is being held without bail at a Bristol County Jail, awaiting trial.