With the official Notre Dame press release on und.com, the Great Notre Dame Coach Search of 2004 has finally come to an end.
Charlie Weis, a 1978 University of Notre Dame graduate and owner of three Super Bowl champion rings as products of a stellar 15-season career as a National Football League assistant, has been named the 28th head football coach of the Fighting Irish.The selection puts an end to a sometimes public, but largely private search that lasted 13 long days. The search received around-the-clock attention from media analysts eager to find new ways to criticize Notre Dame, as well as Notre Dame fans eager to move on from a near decade of lackluster Notre Dame Football. Both groups, however, agree that Weis is a shrewd football mind and a major reason the New England Patriots are working towards their 3rd Super Bowl in four years. Whether he will able to run the entire program with no head coaching experience is the one question on everyone's mind, but for now most Irish fans are cautiously optimistic.
Other tidbits from the press release offer Irish fans hope of improvement in areas sorely lacking at Notre Dame in the past eight years..namely offensive play calling, player development, and even video game design (!).
A widely-respected disciple of professional coaching standouts Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, Weis currently is the highly-regarded offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots (under Patriot head coach Belichick). He has played an integral role in New England's victories in two of the last three Super Bowls - and the Patriots currently own the best record in the NFL in 2004 at 12-1.
In Weis' first tenure with the Patriots from 1993-96, he assisted in the development of some of New England's all-time best individual season performances from Coates, Martin and Terry Glenn, respectively. During his first four seasons in New England, he coached three different positions. In 1993 and `94, he served as the Patriots' tight ends coach and, in his second season at the position, Coates set an NFL record for receptions by a tight end with 96 and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl. In `95, Weis coached the Patriots' running backs and was credited with developing Martin, a third-round `95 draft pick, into one of the premier running backs in the NFL. That year, Martin won league rookie-of-the-year honors and set franchise rushing records with 1,487 yards and 14 TDs. In `96, Weis coached the New England receivers, with Glenn leading the team and setting an NFL rookie reception record with 90 catches for 1,132 yards and six TDs.
Charlie Weis served as a consultant for the video game NFL Quarterback Club '99 - providing game strategy for the Nintendo 64 product made by Acclaim and designed by Iguana.I hope I speak for all of the calm, patient, and always understanding Notre Dame faithful when I say: the first game is in 265 days, Charlie. Get cracking.