Garces assistant football coach Frank Gonzales is acting as the Rams' head coach while Jim Maples is on administrative leave, athletic director Lela Steiber said Thursday.

Like Maples, Gonzales is in his fourth year on the Rams' staff. He specializes in coaching the team's offensive line.

Steiber said Gonzales would fill in for Maples as long as the head coach was suspended -- for the entire season if necessary.

Garces placed Maples on paid leave Monday after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno received allegations of misconduct. The Diocese has begun an investigation that will conclude by the end of next week, said Richard Sexton, the Diocese's Superintendent of Catholic Schools.

Sexton said he would make no further comment until the investigation was complete.

Lucas to coach RFK

Kennedy athletic director Les Lucas will serve as the Thunderbirds' interim football coach for the upcoming season, he said Thursday.

Kennedy's second-year coach, Shawn Austin, left the team earlier this month to take a collegiate coaching position at a small school in Alabama.

Lucas said he reviewed several applications for the job but decided to wait until after the season to make a permanent hire because Austin's departure was so close to the season.

US Open swimming

IRVINE -- Four members of the Roadrunner Aquatic Club -- three from Cal State Bakersfield and Independence High junior Chris Salcido -- won their 800-meter freestyle relay heat at the U.S. Open Swimming Championships at the Woollett Aquatic Center.

Tom Bruce, Mitchell Huxhold, Gabriel Bertrand and Salcido combined for a club-record time of 7 minutes, 35.67 seconds. It was the 10th-best mark in the competition.

All four had their all-time fastest times for 200-meter freestyle, coach Chris Hansen said.

CSUB's eight-team heat included teams representing the college programs at Purdue, Minnesota, Wyoming and Wisconsin.