(I’ll go ahead and get this out of the way for ya: “Again? That would intimate he’d already coached before.”)
It appears that fans won’t have Charlie Weis to kick around again, at least not in person.
As the 2014-15 spinning of the coaching carousel seems to be (very, very) slowly winding down yet again, it doesn’t appear there will be a spot for Weis on it. Since being fired as head coach at Kansas in late September, there’s been nary a whisper connecting Weis’ names to any openings, head coaching, coordinating or otherwise.
That appears to be just fine with Weis, who, in an interview with the South Bend Tribune‘s Eric Hansen, indicates that he very well could be hanging up his coaching whistle permanently.
“I think it’s highly doubtful that I will ever coach again,” Weis said, before going a little deeper into the “r-word” talk..
“People a lot of times retire for the wrong reasons. I enjoyed working. Now I probably won’t work 110 hours a week, but I don’t know how to do anything where I don’t dive in. I just can’t tiptoe my way through, I have to give it my best shot.
“And that’s exactly what this next stage of my life is going to get.”
If this is indeed the end of Weis’ coaching career, his legacy will certainly be a complicated one left tattered because o the past several years. Most people won’t remember his successful stint as an NFL offensive coordinator; rather, his legacy will be tied to failed head-coaching jobs at Notre Dame and Kansas, with one disastrous year as the coordinator at Florida sandwiched in between.
After going 19-6 in his first two seasons with the Irish, including a pair of BCS bowl bids, Weis stumbled to a 16-21 mark — and one bowl bid — the next three years before being fired at the end of the 2009 season. In a two-plus seasons with the Jayhawks, Weis went 6-22 — 1-18 in Big 12 play — before being fired after the fourth game of the 2014 season.
It would be a rough note on which to end a coaching career, but don’t shed any tears for Weis.
When it’s all said and done, Weis will be paid nearly $25 million by Notre Dame and Kansas for the non-work he performed after he was fired. Per the terms of the buyout in the first contract, Weis has been paid by the Irish every year since his dismissal in 2009 — the last installment of roughly $2.1 million will be paid in 2015 — and will receive nearly $19 million from the South Bend university for his post-Irish days. On his KU deal, Weis will receive a $5.625 million buyout, payable between the time he was fired and Dec. 31, 2016.
In 2015 alone, Weis will be paid a total of $4.6 million to not coach. That total would’ve made him the sixth-highest-paid head coach in college football in 2014, behind only Alabama’s Nick Saban ($7.1 million), Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio ($5.6 million), Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops ($5.05 million), Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin ($5.006 million) and Texas’ Charlie Strong ($5 million), and just ahead of Ohio State’s national championship-winning coach Urban Meyer ($4.5 million).
One silver lining for those athletic departments shelling out that kind of money for a coach who isn’t coaching? He’s apparently putting a sizable portion of it to good use.
“Obviously, it’s well-documented, people know every dollar that I’ve made, because everyone writes about it all the time,” Weis began, before getting to the charitable works the buyout money has allowed him to dive into.
“But what it’s done for me and Maura is that it’s allowed us to be philanthropists and really do well by the special needs community. As far as this new job, I know there’s a lot of travel involved and a lot of learning. But this is new territory for me.
“One of the things people thought, when I left Notre Dame, ‘Well that’s it for Hannah and Friends,’ that we were just going to bail out of here. We’re completely the opposite of what those thoughts are. We’re totally committed. My daughter is already taken care of. She’s all set. We just think we can do a lot more.”