Sage Advice for Weis from Wojo

Gene Wojciechowski had an excellent column on today.  I don’t always agree with Wojo, but his column today had some outstanding advice for Charlie Weis and what he needs to do in order to turn things around and right the ship at Notre Dame.  The entire article was spot on, but here is a passage I found particularly interesting.

Look at your staff. You need someone willing to stand up in a coaches’ meeting and say, “Charlie, you’re wrong.”

Do you have someone like that? Can you handle someone like that? Because if you don’t, or if you can’t, you’ll never succeed at Notre Dame. You need to allow, even encourage, dissent, even if that dissent annoys you.

You can’t constantly overpower your staff with your personality. If you do, eventually your assistants are going to quit trying to offer alternative views.

On defense, I think Weis has “no” men because he realizes that defense isn’t his forte.  On offense though, I think Wojo hits the nail on the head.  Weis built his reputation as an “offensive genius” and I think a lot of the problems with the offense the last two seasons could have come from Weis not having someone willing to tell him “no” on offense.  You know, like when he decided to try and install the spread with Demetrius Jones last summer – someone on the offensive staff shouldn’t have just said “no”, they should have been screaming and yelling it until they scrapped it.

Like I said in a post last night, changes to the coaching staff are looking very likely based on Swarbrick’s comments as well as the on field product. Hopefully some of those changes will involve bringing in some coaches who fit Wojo’s description.

It was refreshing reading such a balanced and well thought out article from ESPN for a change.

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  1. David, You tell it like it is and theres no arguing that. The reality is that College football can be a harsh and unforgiving place.But college sports is supposed to be part of the University’s education equation in developing upstanding students and future citzens. It is supposed to be based on respect for your opponent and sportsmanship. That message is getting lost in the high dollar BCS world. You can still go out, play hard, win, and do it with class.I don’t think the college administrators who first adopted football as part of their schools curriculum would be too pleased with the “win at all costs” attitude and the message it sends to our young men and woman in college sports today. When a college coach and his team can win a championship while exhibiting Class, sportsmanship, and fair play, everyone in college football wins. Not just one coach and one team.

  2. @ shazamrock

    Dont pretend like these college kids get their feelings hurt if they loose a game. You go into the game knowing you will win or loose. Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops do what they are paid to do, WIN GAME AND WIN THEM BIG. If the other kids feel bad about losing by that much, they shouldnt play the game. And if you havent noticed, style points are required to play for a national championship (exactly why Texas isnt playing in it this year).

  3. Wojo uses coaches like Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer as the high standard in college football that all other coaches are to be measured by. I can’t stand either one of those guys. They undermine the very values
    and traditions that College football was built on. By Great coaches. Which they will never be. Oh, they will win their games and national championships, but that doesn’t make them great. Or even special. Both of those guys intenionally try and do run up the score. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a league championship game or agianst some obscure blip on their regular season schedule like Chattanooga or the Citadel.
    You know, players on those teams have to ballance class work and football practice too. They play for the fun of the game. School spirit and team pride. These are 17, 18, & 19 year old kids who work hard, sacrifice, and pay the price so they can represent their University. They don’t get paid like an adult professional in the NFL. Are Stoops’ and Meyers’ goals and asperations that important that they feel absoultly no remorse or guilt in crushing some 18 year old, opposing players will, to even want to compete agianst them? There’s no need to do what they do. They teach the wrong Ideas and send the wrong messages. They’ll tell you that if you wany to play for a national championship that “style points” are important and required. I think that’s a cop-out for two classless coaches who have lost sight of what college sports are really all about. And it’s not them or their ill defined teams. There are however, some College coaches who “do get it”. They uphold the morals, values, and traditions that go beyond ones self. As a Notre Dame fan, I’m glad I don’t have to look far to fine one.

  4. Amen, Chris, and how much more mediocrity before NBC cuts bait and runs over to FLORIDA?

    Hmm…….Do I see a Brink’s truck on the horizon backing up to Urban’s house?

    Besides, he just won his 3rd SEC Championship and more than likely his 2nd National Championship.

    Think about the duration of Urban’s head coaching jobs, he gets bored quickly and moves on. Even Lou said; “don’t look for Urban to be at Florida much longer.” Moreover, he doesn’t have any thing left to prove there and claims ND is still, I repeat, still his dream job.

    In my view, this coming week will determine whether ND will remain aloof in the wilderness on a wish or they decide to return to Glory with a PROVEN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER.

    Without question, NBC will be BREATHING on ND and maybe one or two Alums.

    I’ll take Urban’s 3 years and out….any day of the week.

  5. Reality reemerged watching the Florida – Alabama game. ND is light years away from even thinking about playing on the same level of these teams w/ Charlie. Gosh – I am so not looking forward to next year. This is a bad move to retain this guy. To think ND was once the epitome of college football and then to see how far they haven fallen and continue to drift. Who wooda thunk it? Not me.

  6. Well, if there was ever a glaring performance appraisal, Urban Meyer makes less money than Charlie Weis.
    (Confirmed by NBC Sports)

    Who indeed, got the better payout?

    So, if the rumors are true about Urban still wanting to come to ND. It would be ridiculous not to talk to him on Monday when he’s free to talk to any school he chooses.

  7. Wojo is very right.

    Anyone looking to manage a team, just read the book,
    “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni. Dissent is a key factor necessary to help the leader make good decisions. The best leader is not right all the time. That’s why TEAM’s succeed more often than individuals.

    But who knows what will happen here. I think at this point any changes will be evident only by hearing that offseason strength, agility and conditioning is far more challenging to the players, that a new O-Line coach is found. Finally we’ll see true evidence by a team that comes out hardened, nasty, and finally does put respect and fear into the hearts of their opponents. It’s possible with this current roster, IF the right changes take effect.

  8. I enjoyed the whole article, however, when the administration shirks its responsibility to right the ship, and claim they will micro-manage the team since the head coach can’t. We are now way beyond real college football coaching experience. After 4 sub par head football coaches, the only proven expertise we have demonstrated to date is the ability to rearrange the chairs on the titanic.

    Clearly, we have been victimized by our own out-of-control-egos to have ever let Lou Holtz leave. 8-3 is not good enough and how many wins over USC?

  9. Agreed – probably the most constructive article I’ve seen out in the national media since the decision to keep Weis came down.

    I feel like he tried to make the right changes last offseason when he made Haywood the Offensive Coordinator – the error was creating a situation where the Head Coach was learning how to be a Head Coach and the Offensive Coordinator was learning how to be an Offensive Coordinator.

    This offseason, Weis needs to be very careful with the changes he makes – both with coaching staff and his approach. He can’t get it wrong again.

  10. 1. too bad that wojo knows nothing about coaching college football and nothing about college football at notre dame.

    2. in charlie and his staff and in the excellent student athletes whom they have brought to notre dame and will continue to bring to notre dame for many years to come.

    3. in charlie and in his staff and in notre dame’s student athletes we trust, not in rank amateurs like wojo.

    GO IRISH!!!

    robert thomas gilleran

  11. I enjoy reading this blog almost daily, but I have to disagree about Wojo’s article, it was condescending and pompous. Wojo has no right to write a fake letter to Charlie telling the head coach of ND how to run and coach his team. It makes me angry that columns with that tone are even accepting for getting posted online. I bet you anything if Wojo sat face to face with charlie, wojo would cower like a little boy because he cant hide behind his fake pen and fake letter. Other that I love this blog keep up the good work, your a great source of info to feed my need for everything ND.

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