Notre Dame confirms WNDU reports that Weis is returning

By: Jeff Jeffers and Angelo Di Carlo Email
By: Jeff Jeffers and Angelo Di Carlo Email

As first reported on the air on NewsCenter 16 at 6 on Tuesday and on the Irish Eyes website, Charlie Weis will return for the 2009 season.

A source close to the football program tells NewsCenter 16 that the decision was made and Weis was informed to continue recruiting and to tell his coaching staff to maintain the status quo.

Notre Dame confirmed WNDU's story Wednesday morning.

“Though this past season fell short of the expectations that all of us have for our football program, I am confident that Charlie has a strong foundation in place for future success and that the best course of action is to move forward under his leadership,” Irish Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement released to the media. You can read the full statement below.

The University statement says that Swarbrick, after consulting with President John Jenkins, met with Weis on Tuesday in California for their post-season review. Both are still on the west coast, Swarbrick for business and Weis for recruiting. Weis is not expected back in town until Thursday. The football banquet is Friday at the Joyce Center.

“He, I and the others involved in leading our football program are committed to doing everything necessary to ensure a successful 2009 season," Swarbrick said. "We are examining every aspect of the program and will make changes wherever we think they are needed.”

It is not known if there will be staff changes in the off-season.

Weis is 28-21 in four seasons at Notre Dame. His winning percentage has dropped below both Bob Davie and Ty Willingham. He has lost a school-record 15 games over the last two seasons, including five of his last seven.

Weis is 4-10 versus ranked opponents, but three of those four wins came in his first season before he received his 10-year, multi-million dollar contract extension following a loss to USC in 2005.

As NewsCenter 16 first told you on Sunday, Weis would be owed around $20 million if he were let go, according to another source close to the situation.

We will continue to keep you updated on air and online on this developing story.


Notre Dame's Statement to the Press

Charlie Weis will continue as head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, University athletics director Jack Swarbrick announced today (Dec. 3).

Swarbrick, who made the decision in consultation with University president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., met with Weis in California on Tuesday to review this past season, discuss plans for 2009 and communicate his decision.

“Though this past season fell short of the expectations that all of us have for our football program, I am confident that Charlie has a strong foundation in place for future success and that the best course of action is to move forward under his leadership,” said Swarbrick.

“He, I and the others involved in leading our football program are committed to doing everything necessary to ensure a successful 2009 season. We are examining every aspect of the program and will make changes wherever we think they are needed.”

Weis’ four-season record at Notre Dame is 28-21 – after his first two Irish teams in ’05 and ’06 finished 9-3 and 10-3, respectively, and made Bowl Championship Series appearances. The Football Writers Association of America named Weis its 2005 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award winner as the national college coach of the year.

A 1978 Notre Dame graduate, Weis previously spent five seasons (2000-04) as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator and helped that franchise to three Super Bowl championships during his tenure. He also was a member of the New York Giants staff during the 1990 Super Bowl championship season.


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