- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

Navy yesterday fired football coach Charlie Weatherbie, who had just one win in the Midshipmen's last 18 games.
Defensive coordinator Rick Lantz was named interim coach, and his 0-7 Midshipmen, who lost 21-20 at Toledo Saturday night, will have this week off before they play host to Tulane Nov. 10.
In six-plus seasons with Navy, Weatherbie had a record of 30-45. Since compiling back-to-back winning seasons in 1996 (9-3, Aloha Bowl Champions) and 1997 (7-4), the Mids have won just nine of the last 41 contests, including a 3-15 mark at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Weatherbie, whose Mids were 1-10 last season, posted a 3-3 (.500) mark against Army and a 1-6 record against Air Force. Navy has not won the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy since 1981.
Chet Gladchuk, who was named athletic director Sept. 22 after doing the same job at Houston, didn't waste time making his first move.
"Change at season's end was inevitable, but acting today provides the administration with critical additional lead-time to invite and recruit interest from the coaching community for this important position," said Gladchuk, who fired Houston coach Kim Helton after the Cougars finished 7-4 in 1999. "The head football coach at the United States Naval Academy assumes a very important responsibility. He is asked to annually field a highly competitive and successful program that reflects standards of achievement consistent with our institutional mission. This season, unsuccessful to date, has led us to the conclusion that the Midshipmen clearly need a new perspective and consequently new leadership."
Weatherbie signed a 10-year contract extension before the 1997 season, and it was scheduled to run through January 2006. There has been speculation of a buyout clause, and if all five remaining years are guaranteed, Weatherbie would be due about $1 million.
"While we weren't able to achieve more success during the past two years in terms of our won-loss record, I am extremely proud of our players and staff's efforts on and off the field," Weatherbie said. "It was a privilege to have been associated with young men who will be the future leaders in our Navy and Marine Corp. I wish them all the best in their careers."
Lantz came to Navy from Virginia, where he had been the defensive coordinator for Naval Academy graduate George Welsh for the past 10 seasons. He has no Division I head coaching experience and was last a head coach at prep school Bridgton (Maine) Academy in 1964.
Lantz's task is to motivate a team that hasn't tasted victory since last year's finale against Army. The Tulane game is winnable, as is Army, but winning at Notre Dame, which the Mids haven't beaten since 1963, will be a monumental task.
"We are going to give it everything we have to win these last three football games," Lantz said. "I want these seniors to go out on a winning note."

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