The Fall of Charlie Weis

The writing was on the wall. It was inevitable.

Charlie Weis was fired as the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Monday, with a legacy at Notre Dame pretty much tarnished with empty promises, and underachieving teams.

The legacy of Weis at Notre Dame is going to be a tarnished one. He was an alum of the prestigious school, and when the team was not performing, he complained about the state of the program to the president of the university. With the chance to have the job himself, coming off the wave of three Super Bowls in four years, Weis seemed like the perfect fit for the Irish. He promised them that this program would return to prominence, and he promised them that this team would be dominant and nasty.

The results on the field were no where near dominant or nasty. Weis started out his first two seasons at 19-4 (mainly with previous coach Tyrone Willingham’s recruits), but then declined to 16-23 over the final three years, including a 3-9 record in 2007. After two 6-6 seasons in 2008 and 2009, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick decided it was time to pull the plug.

So what’s next for Weis? He will not be out for long, as several NFL teams have contacted him already for offensive coordinator positions. He is a brilliant offensive mind, he won three Super Bowls, and eventually he will be a head coach again… in the NFL. A team will need his services, and he will be back.

The Irish though need a head coach, one that understands the tradition and prestige, and the huge responsibility that it takes to win national championships. Florida head coach Urban Meyer, who once said Notre Dame was his “dream job”, is staying put. Do not include Bob Stoops of Oklahoma in the discussion, as he has stated that he is staying at Oklahoma, and that “you can’t be in two places at one time.”

Some names come to mind though: Phillip Fulmer, former Tennessee head coach, who won a national championship in 1998 with some guy named Peyton Manning. Others include TCU’s Gary Patterson, Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly. Whoever takes the job has a huge responsibility in bringing Notre Dame its first National Championship since 1988, as they are mired in their worst championship drought in years.

Weis may be out of a coaching job, but at least his love for the university will be in his blood forever. There will be no hard feelings between him and his alma mater.

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  1. The Irish must go get Brian Kelly, there’s no one else to get. Stoops won’t take the gig, Gary Patterson won’t either. Either get Kelly, or maybe…Charlie Strong from Florida (a hire similar to Stoops was 10 years ago) and plow ahead.

    -Ed.

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