Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick addressed the media Monday night to officially announce the firing of head coach Charlie Weis. Here are some highlights from the Irish AD’s presser.
Here are some highlights from his introduction.
- Swarbrick recommended firing Weis to Father Jenkins on Sunday night after conducting his review of the program. He also said that he informed Weis of the decision Saturday in an “on-going conservation” throughout the day and that Weis knew Swarbrick recommended his dismissal.
- The decision was harder than people may think according to Swarbrick because of the affinity he developed for him. Swarbrick lauded Weis for his love of the University and his players as well as his ability to bring in elite student athletes.
- Swarbrick said that Weis did win a national championship at Notre Dame because the Irish finished first in graduation success rate this year.
- In describing his relationship with Weis, Swarbrick said that Weis called him this morning to see how he was doing.
- Swarbrick thinks Weis will “add some Super Bowl rings to the ones he already has as a successful coordinator in the NFL.” He later clarified this remark by saying that he assumed Weis will return to the NFL based on some of the previously published reports.
- In explaining why he recommended firing Weis, Swarbrick said it was because, “it is critical to this program and to its place in this University and college football that we compete at the highest level, that we compete for National Championships.”
- He asked Ianello to assume responsibility for football operations because of the integral part Ianello played in coordinating Notre Dame’s recruiting.
- The search for a head coach has begun immediately as of today. Swarbrick reiterated what he said in published reports Saturday that Notre Dame has not had any contact with any potential replacements yet. When later asked specifically about Bob Stoops’ statements from earlier Monday, Swarbrick said that no contact has been made by Notre Dame to any candidate.
- Swarbrick has reached out to a number of people for council during the search. He said he was talking to people close to the University about what characteristics they think the next coach should exhibit.
- He thinks that the Notre Dame job is one “in which there is great interest”.
And here are some highlights from the questions and answer session.
- The timetable for finding a replacement is “open ended”. They will begin searching immediately and will move to close in on a coach as fast as they can. He did mention that Bowl commitments or other things could play a role in the timetable though.
- Notre Dame would talk to a candidate whose team is not finished with its season yet depending on the reaction of the other university and the coach himself.
- Swarbrick mentioned that Notre Dame will be looking for someone who has demonstrated “an ability to build and sustain a Division I college football program.” Swarbrick also said that he feels that Notre Dame needs to be able to play good defense to get back to where Notre Dame wants to be.
- A decision on a potential bowl game has not been made yet. That decision will come once Notre Dame is aware of what it’s options are.
- Swarbrick sees Notre Dame being able to return to prominence with the right coach. “I believe our ability to take the next step and return to a level of prominence is all about bringing the right individual in here.”•
- There isn’t a formal interview or search committee. Swarbrick will make a recommendation to Father Jenkins just as he did with his recommendation to fire Weis. He has also asked for input from a select group of players in making his recommendation. He wouldn’t rule out using a search firm, but that decision hasn’t been made yet.
- It didn’t bother Swarbrick that Weis decided not to address the media after Saturday’s loss given the circumstances.
- Swarbrick thinks it’s realistic for Notre Dame to get back to winning national championships. He said that it is harder for Notre Dame because of the standards of the University but that they shouldn’t prohibit Notre Dame from contending.
- Swarbrick isn’t too worried about the current commitments because most of the student athletes that select Notre Dame do so for more than just the coach or football reasons.
UPDATE: Here is some video og Swarbrick’s press conference from Rivals.