Irish, Weis part waysCharlie Weis arrived at Notre Dame flashing Super Bowls rings and talking about outscheming opponents. He leaves one of college football’s most prestigious programs without even matching the records of the two men who were fired before him.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Charlie Weis arrived at Notre Dame flashing Super Bowls rings and talking about outscheming opponents. He leaves one of college football’s most prestigious programs without even matching the records of the two men who were fired before him.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced the decision to let Weis go on Monday, and said during a campus news conference that the school has not contacted any potential replacements.
The search for a new coach will begin immediately and will be finished “as fast as we possibly can,” Swarbrick said.
Notre Dame (6-6) finished the season on a four-game losing streak that made Weis’ firing seem inevitable, though the athletic director insisted it wasn’t.
“For many of you who may have thought that was a foregone conclusion, I would say to you that the decision was harder than you might have thought, principally because of the man it involved,” Swarbrick said, adding there was a huge gulf between the coach’s brash image and personal style. He said Weis called him on Monday to see how the AD was doing.
On Sunday night, Swarbrick recommended to the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, that Weis be let go with six years left on his contract. Weis finishes with a 35-27 record in five seasons, third-worst among coaches who worked at least three years at the school.
“He’ll add some Super Bowl rings to the ones he already has as a successful coordinator in the NFL and we will miss him,” Swarbrick said. “But for us it’s time to move forward. It’s time to move forward because it is critical to this program and to its place in the university and college football that we compete at the highest level. That we compete for national championships.”
Swarbrick said the decision to fire Weis was more of an “evolution,” saying Weis knew which direction the decision was headed. After Saturday’s season-ending loss at Stanford, Swarbrick told Weis the recommendation he planned to give Jenkins, and they talked more on the plane ride home.
“So there wasn’t a point in time so much as it was a conversation throughout the evening,” Swarbrick said.
Assistant head coach Rob Ianello will step in for Weis until a new coach is hired.
Weis has not met with the team since they returned from Stanford, but has been in touch with some players.
Star receiver Golden Tate said Weis has indicated he might attend the team banquet Friday night. University spokesman John Heisler confirmed Weis might attend, and said he would be welcome.
Tate said he and his family plan to meet with Weis on Friday about whether the junior should enter the NFL draft.