LAWRENCE, KAN. (AP) - Charlie Weis‘ first try at being a college head coach ended in disaster, the longtime NFL assistant unable to live up to the lofty expectations at Notre Dame.
He’ll get another chance at a program with much more modest aspirations.
Weis accepted an offer to coach Kansas on Thursday, and will set about rebuilding a program that won the Orange Bowl just a few years ago but floundered under Turner Gill.
Weis will be introduced during a news conference Friday.
He’s wrapping up his first season as offensive coordinator at Florida after spending one season directing the Kansas City Chiefs‘ offense. But his most extensive college experience came with the Fighting Irish, where he went 35-27 in five seasons.
Kansas Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger is hopeful that Weis‘ high profile will energize a fan base that had grown apathetic under Gill, who was fired after going 5-19 in just two seasons.
School officials would not disclose the terms of Weis‘ contract.
Gill signed a five-year deal that guaranteed him $10 million, which means the school is on the hook for roughly $6 million. Weis was making more than $800,000 per year with the Gators.
It was little secret that Weis wasn’t fond of Kansas City during his time with the Chiefs, and he moved on to the Gators in part so that he could be near his son, who is also on the football staff. He bought a horse farm in nearby Ocala, and has several health issues that could hamper recruiting.
Still, the opportunity to rebuild the Jayhawks appears to be enough of a challenge.
“In the recent days, he was contacted about the job and we talked about it and he told me it was an opportunity he wanted to take,” Muschamp said. “Any time, and our profession is no different than the business world, when you’re able to take a step up, I support it.
“I asked him, I said, `Is this something you’re really interested in doing?’ He said, `Yeah, I want to talk to `em. If I wasn’t interested, I would not talk,’” Muschamp said. “So I said, `I support you 100 percent if that’s what you want to do. I think that’s great.’ Now, when guys make parallel moves, I don’t necessarily agree with that. When guys can further their career, I think it’s great.”
Weis was considered one of the bright stars of coaching when he took over at Notre Dame, his alma mater. The Bill Parcells disciple had a successful debut and was rewarded with a 10-year extension, but when the program didn’t progress, he was fired with six years remaining. He initially received a “termination payment” of about $6.6 million, but was to receive smaller annual payments through 2015.