Another Sign of the Inevitable

When Weis emerged from the tunnel arm-in-arm with his captains on Senior Day last week, it gave everyone a clue that Weis felt he might not be back for the 2010 season. (Photo - IconSMI)

As if we needed any more signs that Charlie Weis coached his last game for Notre Dame on Saturday Night, the soon to be former head man for the Irish offered up another – he declined to speak with the media after yet another disappointing loss for the first time in his tenure.

This week was full of signs that Weis wouldn’t be back in South Bend for a sixth season with Saturday night’s loss and post game disappearance act from Weis were just a couple more.

To recap, here’s what we’ve seen over the last week.

  • Last Saturday – Weis emerges from the tunnel arm in arm with the captains on Senior Day at Notre Dame Stadium with tears in his eyes.  This was the first indicator from Weis that he knew there was a good chance he wouldn’t be back next season.
  • Sunday – Weis tells the media that he understands if Notre Dame decides to make a coaching change based on the performance of the team. He also says that 6-5 is still not good enough – again suggesting that he feels he is not getting the job done.
  • Monday – AOL’s John Walters publishes a sit down with Weis in which he hints that Charlie Jr, won’t be going to college at Notre Dame and that he is more respected and well liked in the NFL than the college game. He also tells Walters that no matter what he will be looking to coach next year.
  • Tuesday – Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick says that Weis will not stay on the west coast to recruit as he has every other year after the Irish’s season finale. This was the first clear sign from Swarbrick and Notre Dame that a change was indeed coming.
  • Thursday – Eric Hansen publishes a list of coaches that he hears Notre Dame is looking at headlined by Oklahoma’a Bob Stoops. Also on the list were Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly, TCU’s Gary Patterson, and Texas DC Will Muschamp.
  • Saturday – CBS Sports announces in its post game show that Bob Stoops could be in South Bend as early as Sunday to interview for the job.
  • Saturday – reports that Weis has already cleared out his office at Notre Dame prior to leaving for Stanford.
  • Saturday Night – Notre Dame loses another game in which it held a second half lead to a team it should beat and Weis declines to talk to the media for the first time in his tenure at Notre Dame.

The writing isn’t just on the wall anymore. It’s etched in stone.

As someone who has been a Charlie Weis supporter throughout his time at Notre Dame, it’s definitely a little disheartening to see the Weis Era on the verge of ending.  Hopefully all of this means that Notre Dame will act quickly and make an official announcement on Sunday and not let everyone speculate for a couple days as they did last year.

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  1. NY Daily News reporting now that Swarbrick has decided to “go in a different direction” and Charlie is indeed fired. I’ve heard the same about a team meeting at 3 ‘irishfan’

  2. College Football Live just interviewed Brian Kelly and point-blanked asked him about the ND job. He had an easy chance to put this to an end and say he wasn’t going anywhere. Instead, he talked about how focused his team was and that they did not have time to worry about those kind of things. He also said he was glad it wasn’t his job they were trying to fill. Not one mention of not being interested or talking about how he isn’t interviewing for anything.

    Jesse Palmer even came out and said that he doesn’t think Brian Kelly will be on the sideline of Cincy’s BCS game because he will be up in South Bend. Kirk said that Kelly would walk to South Bend from Cincy for this job. When asked about that, he just said that would be a long walk and he has trouble getting up and down the sideline.

    I don’t know if Brian Kelly is on ND’s short list, but he gives me every indication that if he is offered, he’s going to take it.

    1. Of course he would take it. Seriously. I know everyone LOVES the Big East and all, but ND has a ton of resources. A ton. The Irish draw 80,000 on every fall Saturday when ND is playing in town. Cincinnati may not draw 80,000 for a month. This year, they did all right (35,000 is a sellout), but in years past, they haven’t drawn anywhere near 80,000 in a month.

      And, with a large fan base comes a very supportive administration, great facilities, and etc. Of course Brian Kelly would take it — unless, perhaps, he was offered a job somewhere else.

      This is a decent year for filling a head coaching job. There is no Nebraska or Florida competitor. Louisville is looking for a coach. I am not sure who else wants to fill the job. RichRod is lucky that UM wants him back.

  3. The CW era began with big promises and arrogant talk of schematic advantages. It ends with a gutless team, led by a gutless coach, who doesn’t even have the class to addess the media. Real class, way to show toughness. Good riddance!

  4. We need a northern style football scheme due to the fact that southbend isn’t always the perfect environment for a football game. Charlie could of had a great yr this season.. IF only armondo allen didn’t step out of bounds during the michigan game and Tenuta new how to stop anyone on any point during the season

  5. The telltale sign of a coaching change is the inability to win games. This he-said/she-said stuff is irrelevant. Notre Dame doesn’t want to make a coaching change, but there is no choice. Weis was 6-6 in 2008 and he is 6-6 this year. I don’t care how close the losses were. Without winning at least 8 games a year, any coach at Notre Dame is going to have a very hard time keeping his job.

    Bring on Stoops. Bring on Ferentz. Bring on Kelly. It’s interviewing time. Let’s find a guy that can win games with the academic standards that are in place.

    If Stoops is interested — I think that is a big if — he should appreciate that the recruiting that takes place at Notre Dame is very different than the recruiting at Oklahoma. We don’t have a 96% graduation rate by accident: the kids that are recruited are bright kids that compete academically and athletically.

    My hunch is that someone like Kelly or Ferentz may make a better fit, but buckle up, this will be interesting.

  6. It would be nice if we stopped trying to get a coach we have no chance at getting. This just makes us look stupid. Stoops, Saban or whatever “wish list” coach we want IS NOT COMING here. I sure the hell wouldn’t want to come to a place were were coaches come to die. The problem is the more than just coaching. Everything about this team works except the defense. If we had a decent defense we would be a two loss team. Charlie is a good coach who is stuck with the worst DB’s and linebackers I have seen in years.

    1. Weis picked these defensive backs and these linebackers to start for Notre Dame. That is part of the job of a big-time college coach — recruiting. And, the sacks at the end of the game should show you that it’s not just the defensive backs that are weak.

      Charlie is a good coach. He got a decent north/south quarterback here. He showed that Notre Dame can land real recruits. He just didn’t get enough big guys up front — on both sides of the ball — and that has been our struggle since Charlie took over.

      But, everyone taking this job knows that they get 4-5 years to recruit and win and graduate. And, if one of those things — or all of those things — doesn’t happen, the coach is gone.

  7. After watching the Cincy game, I understand what ND is missing. They need a passionate leader. Brian Kelly got into the face of a player for making a mistake, but he also praised the same player when he did something right. He also jumped into one of his assistants during the game. This guy wants to win and he seems to expect the very best from eveyone.

    Charlie coaches like he is dealing with professionals. No emotion, just trying to out think the opponent. I got the same feeling when Ty was coach. I’m starting to understand why kids love playing for Pete Carroll and Urban Meyer. They really seem to embrace the college game and Charlie never did.

    Again, I’m nervous that ND will not get who we expect, but I hope I’m wrong. Stoops would be nice, but Kelly or Patterson are more realistic.
    If we can land any of those three, 2010 will be an interesting year.

  8. I agree with everyone who says we need a proven college coach in ND. It’s obvious. Charlie is a good COORDINATOR, just wasn’t ready (nor will he ever be) to coach college football. Since it’s obviously going to happen I just wish Swarbrick would make the announcement already. I can’t stand hearing the word “possibly” in the same phrase as Charlie’s (possibly) on his way out. Its GOING to happen, if it doesn’t i’ll donate $1,000 to the American Blind Association, and rip my damn eyes out. I say Bob Stoops may be at the top of the wish-list but I’m going to doubt its going to happen. My opinion is Notre Dame goes with Kelly from Cincy at his cheaper price.

    Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving weekend.

  9. you can have all the schemes and great plays to call but you still have to block and tackle. charlie wies’s teams did not block and tackle. as far as the recruiting goes the offensive line that are seniors came in with five high school all-americans, the junior class had twelve players in the Army-All America game. either they’re all overated or they’re not be coached properly. either way the person in charge is doing something wrong. either he can’t judge talent or he can’t coach, or both.

    1. It is fair to say CW’s teams did not control the line of scrimmage and that is why they lost. The team can’t run and can not stop the run and in college football that is why you loose. In the pros the West Coast style of offense can win championships, but it doesn’t translate to college because you need a QB that is accurate and most college QB’s are not accurate and receivers are not pros. All it takes is one dropped pass and your 3rd and long. CW never recruited well for D-lineman and that is why our defense sucks.

      1. Agree. A strong defensive line would have made a difference. How many times did ND just get to the QB a shade too late. This happened all year.

  10. I would just like to throw in my two cents… I dont care about the coaching catastrophes of the past, that horse cant take anymore beatings. What i am completely excited about is getting the right guy in there this time around. I personally like Brian Kelly cause of his history of rebuilding programs not historically associatied with winning, and i am not worried about the recruiting aspect because he would now have a brand name with some clout behind it that could seal the deal with elusive talent. I think he just finds ways to win through….. Good Coaching… what a refreshing idea we could once again talk about at Notre Dame.
    As a guy who attends Ohio State (wish it was ND) Stoops reminds me of Tressel…. lots of success….one NC year…. and a lot of could of should ofs. And getting almost there each year gets real old, and its harder to justify finding a new coach who can get it done cause hey he has a winning record each year.

    One more quick thought. What I would love to here some feedback on is, how about someone under the radar? I would like to have that big name coach but think theres an assistant out there just waiting to be the next Meyer? Any names any thoughts?

    I want this hire, whoever it is, to stick to Notre Dames commitment to excellence academically and athletically If Duke can do it in basketball We can do it in football. Finally lets get this program back to where it belongs…. TOP 5… EACH YEAR… FIGHTING FOR A NC!!! GO IRISH!!!

    1. With Willingham as an exception, note that the three who haven’t succeeded at ND since Holtz left had no head coaching experience. College head coaching experience has to count for something. Ask Jerry Faust.

  11. Domer u seem like a big ty guy. Was he ever a winner for a long span? eg stoops always a winner—Kelly always a winner— Meyer always a winner—

    CW positives– offense was awesome! More b/c Clausen-tate- and floyd then
    charlie’s play calling
    He didn’t through Tenuta under the bus which is the most impressive display of character i have seen in a while. which i will always respect in CW but i still would like another def and Offensive coordinators.

    1. When Ty went 6-6 his last year, he beat #8 Michigan and #9 Tennessee.

      Who did Weis beat this year that anybody has respect for. Everyone talks about how close we are and that we only lose by a TD or less. My view is that we didn’t win and every time we do win is by a TD or less against little sisters of the poor.

      Ty beat ranked opponents the year he got fired. Every year he had a tougher schedule.

      My point is not that I want him back, but I have more respect for him an the job he did than I originally thought.

      Maybe we’ll say the same about Weis in 5 years.

      1. What was their ranking at the end of the year. Weis beat a Michigan team in his first year that I believe was ranked 4th in the Big House, but the were ranked low at the end of the year.

      2. I think this the fact that Willingham beat number eight Michigan and number nine Tennessee is irrelevant. He was still 6-6 and that’s not good enough. Ironically, it was Weis who took his job; Weis who approached Notre Dame about replacing a guy who’d had four years (instead of the usual five). Now it is Weis complaining about having to be replaced.

        Not that it matters much, but Michigan end Tennessee were 14th and 15th in the final AP poll that year.

      3. Baseballers agree that close losses (and wins) are the manager’s “fault”. Likely this applies to football, too — you think?

  12. ”God did not put Lou Holtz on this earth to coach in the pros.” Lou Holtz 1976

    We all need to use our gifts appropriately.

    God Bless Charlie, his Family and the Notre Dame Faithful.

  13. That was a heck of a game last night, and it is fair to point out that ND did not look like a poorly coached team. The effort from the players and coaching staff is commendable if in fact the inevitable happens.

    Stanford made the play that won the game and deserves to be congratulated. However, they are 8-4 and not heading to a BCS bowl game either.

    Parity reigns …… so let’s fire the coach.

  14. It sure didn’t take you long to get on the bandwagon to kick a guy when he is down! You need to remember that what goes around, comes around. Your time WILL come. There is/was NO NEEDS for your artricle. Have a great day.

    1. I was pulling for Weis to make it at ND since day one and it honestly saddens me that he didn’t. If you read my columns last week, especially the one in which I said that Weis deserved a proper send off last week when it was clear that Weis wouldn’t be back.

      Weis did a ton of good for Notre Dame while he’s here – which I plan on pointing out in future columns. He just didn’t get it done on the field.

  15. The question is how is the administration going to handle the players after this next coaching change. The key here is to keep your young talent from transferring. This will be the next big challenge for this AD. He needs to clean up the mess Kevin White left and make decision that not only put the University’s football program back but also talk to the players and make them loyal to ND and not CW. These are young men who loved playing for CW, they may view his being fired as a slight against them and leave. Also, last night watching the game, two transfers playing well against ND, Konrad Rueland blocking well and Whitaker kicking well. It just makes you wonder why they didn’t flourish at ND. This is a critical time in the programs history and the administration needs to watch each step and make sound decisions.

  16. J Who Dey-

    The quality of recruiting class isn’t determined by the day after signing. Results on the field are what matter. W’s and L’s; nothing else. The Weis era will not be remembered not for this year’s offensive achievements but for the consistently under-achieving and poorly coached defenses that have become the hallmark of this program during his entire tenure. It’s time to move on; there is nothing left to say.

  17. I am numb after watching this game.
    Great offensive plays but again defense let ND down.
    This has been typical—since the DAVIE era.
    ( You know the guy who says “footbaw.”
    This IS the best talent in stock since the days of Lou Holtz.
    Recruiting is fine. Coaching is not.
    I don’t give a damn about what the talking heads say why would guys want to go to Notre Dame when they could go to a Florida School and such?
    Recruits will still come.
    Coaching lacks passion and intensity.
    After watching Stanford’s coach last night, I saw A LOT of intensity.
    Granted, the F bombs ( over 12 of them –I counted)
    were uncalled for, he gets the job done.
    I don’t like the man at all as he is pompous, arrogant and self-centered.
    However, Charlie was out coached–again.
    His place is a coordinator-not in charge.
    I feel badly for Charlie as he feels bad for the team.
    Rumor has it Charlie will land in Cleveland with the Btowns and so $$$$ will be great for him. Interesting , huh?
    SHOULD have beaten Michigan ( bad offensive calls)
    COULD have won over USC
    SHOULD have beaten Navy, U. Conn and the left coast Tree.
    SHOULD have been 9-3 or 10-2 and at best 11-1.
    6-6 . Again. Living in the shadow of the Buckeyes of O. State, we hear how
    “GREAT” those teams were who beat Notre Dame and how “powerful” they were once again over the Irish. Yet when ND wins, it is “luck” and “struggle/”

    1. Agreed!

      If the next guy comes in with history of winning at the college level and stinks up the joint, this program will die.

      We need a guy who can win. Regardless of color, nationality, or religion.

      We need a winner and we need one quickly!

  18. Picking up a recruiting magazine and getting guys who have “5 Stars” next to there name is a bad approach. Sam Young was a 5 star guy because of his size and not his play ability. Sam Young was a big guy who never faced great talent in high school. He was just very big.

    Obviously if Weis can win 10 games with Ty’s players, but can’t finish over 6-6 with his 5 star players, theirs a problem.

    Is it with coaching or recruiting?

  19. Oh! it gets worse. Tate gone. Those two O-tackles who are not very good are also gone. This means two more tackles who are not very good will be protecting a QB who is unproven and not very good. 2010 means new coach, a struggling defense, and now a struggling offense.

    Everyone thinks Weis recruited well, but I disagree. Bad Offensive and Defensive lineman. Poor defensive players and nothing but, wide outs, tailbacks, and QBs.

    Program is in trouble folks.

    1. That not very good tackle Sam Young was the highest rated offensive lineman in the 06 class. Everyone wanted him. And we have several more guys who got offered everywhere. You can blame Young’s underachieving on whoever, like Latina, and/or not having Verducci’s coaching longer. But don’t make an idiotic statement that Weis couldn’t recruit.

  20. “…it’s definitely a little disheartening to see the Weis Era on the verge of ending”? Did I read this correctly? You must be closet USC or Michigan fan. This overpaid “nice guy” has regressed the program back where it was under Gerry Faust. And with Clausen likely leaving, there is no successor QB to learn the offensive system a new coach will bring this Spring (since Crist is likely out till late summer with his knee injury). The pain will likely continue well into next season.

    There are only two things certain at this point: (1) Weis is gone; 2 there is no chance ANY of our defensive players are leaving early for the NFL draft.

    1. your an idiot. The talent of the 2009 roster is the highest we have seen since the Holtz years. Since Davie and Ty didn’t do any better with wins and losses, I don’t think the program has regressed in the time Weis took over. If anything its progressed- at least Charlie stocked the shelves with top 5 recruiting classes for his successor. If only Ty could have done the same.

      1. Ty beat ranked teams. Look it up! Davie beat ranked teams. Look it up!

        Weis hasn’t beaten a ranked team in 3 years.

        4 straight losses to Navy, UConn, Stanford and wins over Nevada, Washington State don’t really impress anybody.

        Ty’s final year when he was 6-6, he beat #8 Michigan and #9 Tennessee.

        Who did Weis beat this year?

    2. Charlie has left this program full of talent on both sides of the ball. It is up to the administration and new coach to hold on to the verbals.

  21. Not a whole lot left to say. Charlie has disappeared into the night and Jimmy and Golden added one more game to their NFL Resume. It’s too bad they are going to go pro because this offense would have been fun to watch next year regardless of the coach.

    This defense on the other hand was hard to watch. How can you be this bad? I hope the next coach comes in and re-evaluates this defense. I think the Smith boys need to ride the pine next year. Put Teo in the middle and Fleming and Filer on the outside.

    I sure hope the AD does it right this year, I’m sick of going thru this every 5 years. We a coach with experience that can build a program as well as win some big games. I’m afraid we are going to see the top canidates start dropping like flys, I hope I’m wrong, but just look at the last 3 coaching searches. Hopefully, Charlies recruiting will make this job a little more attractive.

    Here’s to the end of another disappointing year.

  22. Well the Weis Era is over….i just hope that ND makes the announcement today or tomorrow. ND needs to send the message to perspective coaches.

    1. And the only time Ty really won was with… lets hope that we are not saying that about the next coach in a few years. Someone is gonna get some talent, depending on how many don’t transfer..

      1. Sure…

        Ty was 10-3 his first season. I think it was 2002. Team was ranked as high as 4th nationally.

        His final year he was 6-6.

        Another point: HE BEAT RANKED TEAMS! Weis never did.

      2. Ty’s final year, the 6-6 year, he beat #8 Michigan and #9 Tennessee.

        This guy had a better record with a tougher schedule. His 6-6 season they played 4 top 10 teams and they were 2-2 against them.

        The more you research and think, the more people think he didn’t get a fare chance.

        I wonder why?

      3. Get off of Ty, he didn’t have it. It showed at his next coaching stop which was Washington, he left that program a mess and he left ND a mess. He won with Bob Davie’s players. Weis wasn’t much better but to claim that Ty was better is a joke. CW beat him head to head both times. Both coaches did were not good and that is why they got fired before the end of their contract. CW has no defense and it shows in all the blown leads. He is a great O-coordinator in the NFL.

      4. Washington was bad before Willingham. Their problems came after rick neuheisel was fired for gambling and a player died on the field. Ty didn’t kill that program. It was dead on his arrival. Now after the problems with neuheisel, Ty was still able to get Locker, who was a highly rated recruit, to come to Washington.

        My point is if people defend Weis, they have no reasons not to defend Ty and I question them when they bitch about how he ruined their program.

        I don’t want Ty back, I just have a little more respect than I originally gave him.

      5. He also brought in two of the worst recruiting classes at Notre Dame in 30 years. And then went to UW, where he was even less successful, not winning a single game in 2008.

        TN and UM were top ten at the time they lost to Notre Dame. They both eventually lost 3 games by the end of the 2004 season. Weis would probably also meet that criteria with wins over UM and Penn State. Let’s not use this as a reason to question the firing of Ty. Weis’s failings do not make Ty a good coach.

      6. Ty could not recruit. Let it go, if he was so great what happened at Washington. You are acting like he was Urban Myer or something.

  23. Weis is a good guy – but being a good guy does not make you a great coach. He’ll be great in the NFL. He is dedicated to watching video, getting the stats, and working with pro players on wicked schemes. He just wasn’t cut out to be a college football coach at ND. Onward and upward for everyone hopefully.

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