Arizona hired Jen Welter to coach inside linebackers through their upcoming training camp and preseason. The Cardinals say Welter is believed to be the first woman to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL.

Welter played running back and special teams in 2014 for the Texas Revolution of the Indoor Football League, becoming the first woman to hold a non-kicking position for a men's professional sports league.

She coached linebackers and special teams for the Revolution last season, becoming the first woman to coach in a men's pro football league. Welter played linebacker for more than 14 seasons with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women's Football Alliance and holds a master's degree in sports psychology.

Bullying victim Martin to retire

Backup Panthers offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, best known for his role in the Dolphins bullying scandal two years ago, decided to retire. Martinhas a back injury that could require surgery. At 25 years old, Martin decided to retire rather than get the surgery.

... The Texans placed outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery, on the physically unable to perform list.


Hastings' Stepan gets huge deal

The Rangers and center Derek Stepan avoided salary arbitration, agreeing on a six-year contract worth $39 million. The 25-year-old Stepan, a former Hastings native, Shattuck-St. Mary's and Wisconsin star, has 252 points (89 goals, 163 assists) in 362 games with New York.

… The Predators signed forward Colin Wilson to a four-year contract worth $15.75 million.


Cavaliers trade ex-Wolf Miller

The Cavaliers traded former Timberwolves forward Mike Miller and center Brendan Haywood to the Trail Blazers to create salary-cap room and save luxury-tax money. Cleveland also re-signed Matthew Dellavedova to a $1.2 million contract for next season. … The Heat traded Zoran Dragic, Goran's brother, to the Celtics.


Soccer: The United States will host Aruba or St. Vincent and the Grenadines at St. Louis on Nov. 13 in the Americans' opening qualifier for the 2018 World Cup. Seeking their eighth straight World Cup appearance, the Americans are at Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 17, then play at the Guatemala-Antigua and Barbuda on March 25 before hosting the winner of that series on March 29.

College football: Michigan State says running back Delton Williams is returning to the Spartans this fall as a non-scholarship athlete. Williams was suspended from the team in March, shortly after being arraigned on a charge of brandishing a firearm in public. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced weapons charge, according to court records.

Minnesota scene

East Ridge investigation ongoing

Amid accusations leveled by a former East Ridge football player, an investigation continues whether additional players violated eligibility rules. East Ridge forfeited all of its victories, plus conference and section football titles from the 2013 and 2014 season after a South Washington County School District investigation found that a player never actually lived at the residence listed on the paperwork provided by the family.

Jojo Garcia, a top defensive lineman who verbally committed to the Gophers, confirmed to the Star Tribune that he was deemed ineligible to play. He said he was not the only East Ridge player with a residency issue.

"East Ridge did a couple things illegally," said Garcia, who plans to transfer to Simley and will not be eligible to play football. "There are a couple of big-time recruits that probably shouldn't have been there."

A South Washington County spokesperson, when asked Monday when the investigation might be completed, said "in a timely way prior to the start of the football season.''

Practice begins Aug. 10.

East Ridge coach Mike Pendino declined to comment when reached Saturday.


•Carding five birdies during her final nine holes Monday, Kenzie Neisen fired an opening-round 4-under par 69 at the Minnesota Women's State Amateur at Interlachen Country Club, good for a four-stroke lead.

Katherine Smith, a four-time Class 2A state champion, shot an even-par 73. Anni Heck and defending champion Cassie Deeg were tied for third at 76 seven stroke behind Neisen, a former Class 3A champion from New Prague and reigning Big 12 medalist from Oklahoma State.

Bob Peterson, former sports information director at Minnesota and St. Cloud State, died Sunday night of cancer. He was 84. Peterson retired in 1994 after 18 years as the Gophers' SID.

•The Wild will have 12 nationally televised games this season, including the Stadium Series game at TCF Bank Stadium against Chicago on Feb. 21 on NBC.

Wild games on NBCSN will be Oct. 8 at Colorado, Nov. 17 at Pittsburgh, Dec. 1 at Chicago, Dec. 22 vs. Montreal, Jan. 7 vs. Philadelphia, Jan. 10 vs. New Jersey, Jan. 20 at Anaheim, Feb. 9 vs. Dallas, March 6 vs. St. Louis, March 20 at Chicago and March 22 vs. Los Angeles.