Archive for the 'Charlie Weis' Category

Better Late Than Never – My Thoughts on Brian Kelly to Notre Dame

Brian Kelly to Notre Dame

I probably should have blogged about this on Friday, after the official Brian Kelly press conference, but I have some thoughts on the first week of the Brian Kelly regime in South Bend.

First, his press conference was great – the guy is very articulate and came across as confident, not arrogant.  You can tell Kelly has a political background by how he speaks and the way he deals with the media.  Kelly has been on a media roadshow ever since taking the job – I have heard him on PTI, Mike & Mike, the Dan Patrick Show, ESPN Radio, and AM 670 in Chicago.  In every one of his interviews the message was the same – he wants players who will be tough and play all 4 quarters.  His promise is he will develop his players.  This is in stark contrast to Weis, who claimed to have a schematic advantage in every game.  Weis came across as arrogant and smug in his press conference and these were labels he carried throughout his time at ND.  Kelly came across as completely different.  I especially liked when asked about the talent on the current roster, here is how he responded:

“Does it matter? I mean, it really doesn’t matter. These young men want to win, and that’s why I’m here at Notre Dame. I want to be around men that are committed, and we can’t trade anybody. There’s no waiver wire. We’re going to develop our players, and they’re going to play their very best for us. That to me has always been the most important principle. Let’s go; don’t tell me what you don’t have; I don’t want to know about it. Tell me what you can do to help us win. And that’s the way we’ll hit this thing running.”

I love this statement – this is what Kelly has done his entire coaching career, figure out how to win with what you have.

I have read a ton about Kelly – before and after his hiring.  Former players say he was the toughest coach they have ever played for, obsessed with winning, almost a tyrant when it comes to conditioning his players in practice.  This is exactly what Notre Dame football needs.  They need a guy who can be a great face to the media and a win-at-all-costs dictator to his team.

As positive as everything is with Kelly, I still have some concerns.  Will he be able to handle to bright spotlight?  Kelly has never dealt with public pressure like this in his coaching career.  Will it tire him out?  Will he bring in assistants that can handle working at a top program?

Right now, I am hopeful.  I think Jack Swarbrick made a great hire.  No one will really know until probably next November.  Weis had the ability to get his teams through September and October but his teams fell apart in November.  Will Kelly train his teams to be tough, especially as games get more important in late November?  We have no reason to think he can’t.

Charlie Weis: A True Notre Dame Man

Folks on message boards are already saying that Charlie Weis is going to shoot his way out of town…saying “things will get ugly” when he finally breaks his silence about his firing from Notre Dame.  I’ve even seen people start the smear campaign by saying throughout his time at Notre Dame it was “always and only about Charlie.”  Well tonight there is this.  Charlie Weis, just fired, calling his recruits and making sure they keep their commitment.  The guy is an alum, he is Notre Dame though-and-through.  You can say a lot of negative things about the guy but one thing you can never say is that he is disloyal.

Reaction to Swarbrick’s Press Conference

I watched the press conference on ESPN last night and felt confident that Notre Dame will end up with the right coach when it is all said and done.  Jack Swarbrick is a man with a very impressive resume and a background in law.  He may have said that the search started yesterday but I am sure that the due-diligence started a long time ago – probably the Monday after the Navy game.  In the next few days, and possibly weeks, coaches will be falling over themselves to say they are not interested in the job even though the reality is Notre Dame is not interested in them.  Swarbrick and Jenkins know that this hire is pivotal for the future of Notre Dame Football.  There is no room for error.  And even though people complain about the ND administration not being committed to putting a winning product on the field, they did not get in the positions they are in by being stupid.  A successful football program means more money is coming into the school’s war chest.  For that reason alone, they know they can’t continue to have this team wallow in mediocrity.

Finally, on his words about Weis: I think this truly was a tough decision for him to make.  It seems that everyone around Weis liked him as a person.  His dedication to the team and school was unmatched.  Although he didn’t deliver on his promises, he left the program in better shape than when he left.  Hopefully in 10 years, we will be able to look back and say Weis laid the groundwork and the new coach brought Notre Dame back to greatness.

Jack Swarbrick’s Email to the ND Student Body

According to UND.com’s official Twitter account, here is the email that Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick just sent out to the Notre Dame Student Body:  “Charlie Weis will not be retained as Notre Dame’s football coach.  We have great expectations for our football program, and we have not been able to meet those expectations.  As an alumnus, Charlie understands those goals and expectations better than most, and he’s as disappointed as anyone that we have not achieved the desired results.”  The email also says that Rob Ianello will assume all responsibilities for football operations until a new head coach is hired.

There is also word that the team has voted against accepting a bowl bid.

NY Daily News: Source – Weis Out as Notre Dame Football Coach

UPDATE: ESPN has confirmed this with a Notre Dame Assistant Coach.  The Charlie Weis Era is officially over at Notre Dame.

In the one of the most expected “breaking news” stories of the year, the NY Daily News is reporting it is finally official: Charlie Weis is out as the head coach of Notre Dame

Notre Dame Football: Weis to Speak with Team this Afternoon

UPDATED: Mike Frank of Irish Sports Daily is reporting that there will be meetings with the team and the staff held by Jack Swarbrick at 2 and 3 pm today.  I would say you should expect information to be leaked out about the content of those meetings by this evening.

The word around Notre Dame is Charlie Weis will meet with the team this afternoon with the expectation that he will officially let them know that he has been dismissed.  There is also word that Jack Swarbrick will be meeting with the team and the assistant coaches as well.

Expect the rumors to continue to intensify until a new coach is named but we can almost say that the Weis era has officially ended in South Bend.

Fitting End to the Charlie Weis Era

Charlie Weis Billboard

And last night marked the end of the Charlie Weis era, and it couldn’t have ended more fittingly.  ND lost the game in which the dominated offensively because the defense continually gave up big plays and long drives.  Clausen had a chance at the end and was driving the team down the field when the offensive line let him down, again, and gave up a sack which effectively ended the game.

It was a bitter end to one of the most disappointing seasons that I have watched any team play in any sport.  This team was (is) by all accounts, loaded.  They had firepower on offense, a veteran line, and a young-promising defense.   In a season where the Irish should have been pushing for a BCS berth, they end at 6-6.

Weis tried everything that he could to turn this team into a winner, but he just couldn’t do it.  He pulled every string imaginable and it always ended up in disappointment.

I will thank Charlie for what he did off the field – as I have stated before, he did well recruiting and worked tirelessly.  Sadly, he just is not a great game day coach, player developer, or motivator.  Falling short in just one of these areas can lead to failure, Weis failed at all three.  It is unacceptable.

Don’t feel bad for him though, he will take his 8 digit buyout and be a coordinator in the NFL next year.


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