Former San Francisco 49ers and Stanford head football coach Bill Walsh will serve as interim athletics director until the start of the next academic year, while the University searches for a permanent replacement for outgoing AD Ted Leland, PhD ’83. Walsh currently teaches a class at the Graduate School of Business and has served as a special assistant to Leland since 2004. He coached the Cardinal from 1977 to 1978 and again from 1992 to 1994. Walsh was appointed head coach of the 49ers in 1979 and led that team to three Super Bowl championships. . . . In October, women’s volleyball player Cynthia Barboza, a freshman outside hitter who was leading the Pac-10 in kills, went out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee. Ten days later, sophomore starting setter Bryn Kehoe dove for a ball in a practice session and broke her right hand. But junior outside hitter Kristin Richards said the No. 5 team was “hanging in,” and she proved it by notching a career-high 33 kills, along with 22 digs, to help the Cardinal beat 13th-ranked USC on November 26, in the final game of the regular season. The Cardinal (26-6) ultimately lost to 15th-ranked Santa Clara 23-30, 30-19, 30-27, 31-29 in the second round of NCAA championship play. It was the first time in 20 meetings that the Broncos had beaten Stanford. . . . In a tough championship match against No. 1 USC, the men’s water polo team (17-5) lost its bid for the NCAA championship, 3-2, at Bucknell’s Kinney Natatorium in December. Peter Varellas capped his senior season as lead scorer with 62 goals, for a total of 168 goals in four years. Sophomore goalie Sandy Hohener finished the season with 171 saves. It was the Cardinal’s 19th appearance in the finals in 30 years. . . . After a season-opening loss on November 19 to the UC-Irvine Anteaters, 79-63, the men’s basketball team followed with two convincing wins. The Cardinal routed the University of San Francisco, 71-56, on November 23, with senior Matt Haryasz scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Haryasz had 16 points and 12 rebounds and senior Chris Hernandez contributed 22 points to defeat Cal Poly 82-58 on November 28. The team then dropped its next two contests, to Montana, 88-69, and UC-Davis, 64-58.