First off let me just say that I don't know whether to be excited here, disappointed, assume this is another wild goose chase or perhaps a potential game changer. Whatever the case, Charlie Weis has popped on the radar in the last 12 hours and suddenly seems to be a name connected with the Kansas football head coaching search.
I think most football savvy folks are familiar with Wies on some level and his pedigree. It's impossible not to be given the high profile positions he has held. But let's dive a little bit deeper and see what Charlie brings to the table.
First and foremost we can bring back Joe College. That was a low blow, but hey what the heck.
Moving back to Wies and his background lets begin with the fact that Charlie is 55. That might sound old in some respects but I don't view it as a deal breaker considering the age of some of the candidates in play and when you think about the fact that Mark Mangino would have been this exact same age had he remained at Kansas. Now sure Weis probably isn't going to be a 20 year Bill Snyder type guy, but he'll certainly have the time to right the ship so to speak.
The second concern might be Charlie's desire for the big time. Kansas might not be the big time in Charlie's eyes and he's coached with the Patriots, at Notre Dame and on some of the biggest stages in football. I suppose you take that risk if it means you can fix what we're dealing with at the moment. If Charlie wins and commands a huge contract in the NFL then one would think Sheahon Zenger is in a much better position next go around when it comes to a search and that can be viewed as a positive.
Now first and foremost I do think Charlie Weis is another great person. He's active in raising money for a foundation established in his daughters name and I think that is a positive. I also feel like he is someone who has shown a great deal of integrity despite being the whipping boy at times during his Notre Dame tenure.
Some might say that Turner Gill was a great person too so why is Charlie any different? Well it's pretty clear that Weis knows a thing or two about running a football organization. He started and developed his career almost exclusively under the Bill Parcells umbrella. Time with the Giants, Jets and Patriots including offensive coordinator duties during the explosion of Tom Brady. Yes it can be argued that Tom Brady made a lot of people a lot of money, but Weis did do some good things in South Bend and he was the offensive coordinator for a Chiefs team a year ago that overachieved and made the playoffs.
Weis coached two first round NFL draft picks during his time at Notre Dame and led the Fighting Irish to one of the top offensive performances in the Nation during the 2006 season. Notre Dame would play in the Sugar bowl that year and overall Weis would finish 35-27 during his time in South Bend. That's a record Kansas fans would take, but because it happened at Notre Dame it's not looked upon very kindly.
Weis has coached at every level starting as a high school coach out of college and moving into a collegiate role at South Carolina shortly thereafter. Then it was on to the NFL from 1990 through 2004 where Weis would be a part of four Super Bowls. Not too shabby.
Weis now presides over a Florida offense at a Florida program struggling to regain some footing after Urban Meyer left them for 'retirement' a second time. And while the Gators haven't lit the world on fire, Charlie has proven throughout his career that he knows how to work with what he has and he's done a decent job of that in Gainesville.
Really this one is a tough call for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, is it legitimate? Why would Charlie Wies want to tinker with Kansas? Can Kansas afford to go the route of Charlie Weis given his pedigree and the level of staff that he would likely require?
Secondly is it the right fit? NFL to College doesn't always work. Weis has been at the college level and underachieved in the eyes of many. It's one of those situations where you look at the resume and it's really second to none when you evaluate it compared to others in the hunt, but something doesn't seem quite right about it.
I do think this is a name that puts people back in the seats. I do think this is a name that helps a guy like Reggie Mitchell recruit on maybe even another level and I do think Weis is a guy that could possibly help the overall state of Kansas football in some capacity. But it also sounds like a high risk, high reward move and perhaps even a completely out of left field rumor without much substance.