Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky will become the first hockey player to lend his voice to The Simpsons, when he appears in an episode set to air next month.Simpsons executive producer Al Jean tells NHL.com that the show was looking for heroes of winter for the Dec. 11th episode and there couldnt be a bigger hockey hero than Wayne Gretzky.Gretzky, known as The Great One in hockey circles, won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers before moving on to play for Los Angeles, St. Louis and the New York Rangers. The Oilers tweeted out a picture of the cartoon version of Gretzky, in which he has four fingers on each hand and yellow skin, just like other Simpsons characters.The leagues website says that Gretzky recorded his role over the summer. Craig Anderson Jersey . Just as Montreal was settling into the first full working week of a new year, the Impact announced the appointment of their new head coach. Wholesale Senators Jerseys . 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A knee to the thigh might have stung him the most, but his sixth straight double-double made up for the brief burst of pain. AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas players who packed the room were there to hear their coach speak. Some fought back tears.They heard Charlie Strong plead for a win this week to get their senior teammates to a bowl game. They heard him suggest that a win against TCU might be enough to save his job.And then dozens of them mobbed Strong with hugs amid laughs and praise as a teacher, mentor and builder of men.He doesnt want to fail us, and we dont want to fail him, senior defensive lineman Paul Boyette Jr. said as tears ran down his cheeks. He taught me what it really means to be a man ... My heart hurts for him.Strongs players clearly love him. It may not be enough to save him.Strong faced his weekly news conference on Monday amid reports that he will be fired after Fridays game, the result of a 5-6 record so far this season after last weeks loss to lowly Kansas, and a 16-20 mark over the past three years. The game against TCU (5-5) could be Strongs final game.Next year, I want to come back, Strong said. They said we will be evaluated after that game. I dont know how they will be thinking, but winning that game would help.Athletic director Mike Perrin on Sunday dismissed multiple reports that Strong would be fired as rumors, and said no decision would be made until after the game. Perrin didnt show up at Strongs news conference Monday and neither did school President Greg Fenves, who has publicly supported Strong but has been silent on his future since the Kansas loss.Strong didnt think a decision on his future was already made and expected school administrators to live up to that promise.The highest-ranking school official to attend was Greg Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. Vincent broke through the scrum of players to hug the first black head football coach in program history.Whats most important to me as an educator, vice president and professor, is how he develops these young men, Vincent said.Strong has two years and nearly $11 million left on a five-year guaranteed conntract.ddddddddddddHe admitted the wins and losses dont stack up but he tried to make a case Monday that he should stay despite his poor record on the field.He noted key injuries that decimated his first season, top-level recruiting and a two-deep roster packed mostly with freshmen and sophomores that he and his staff brought to Texas. The foundation for greatness is there, he said.This group of guys will win a national championship, Strong said with a nod to the players in the room. I stand by that statement.But Texas hasnt even been close to winning the Big 12 and may not qualify for a bowl game for the second consecutive year.Strong also said hed evaluate his job tenure not just in wins and losses, but as leader for young men who need a father figure in their lives. When Strong first arrived, he set his core values that included no guns, no drugs, respecting woman and honesty. The discipline message connected with fans as Strong dismissed 10 players in his first year.Theres no direction for a lot of young people, thats part of my job, Strong said. When they leave this place, they know who they are.Wide receiver Jacorey Warrick said a group of older players mobilized to get their teammates to attend the news conference to support their coach.He doesnt have the support of people who are trying to get him out, but the people who really matter, the players, you can see where their support lies, Warrick said.Strongs situation was noted among Big 12 coaches on Monday on their weekly conference call.Kansas coach David Beaty, whose victory pushed Strong to the brink at Texas, called Strong one of the finer individuals that Ive met in college football.My heart aches for him -- I mean, it aches for him and his staff, Beaty said.---More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25---This story corrects spelling of Beaty in last 2 paragraphs. 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