Patriots Coordinator Weis Signs On At Notre Dame

<p>While the New England Patriots were taking on the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday December 12, 2004 at 1pm, offensive coordinator Charlie Weis had more than just a game on his mind, he was thinking about his future. At least he must have been, because only a few hours post game, Weis was on a flight from Boston to South Bend to sign a deal which will make him the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame. </p>

As the story first broke by ESPN a couple days ago, Weis' name had been mentioned as the leading candidate for the opening created when the university decided to fire Ty Willingham after only his third season.

Weis, many times a leading candidate for consideration as a NFL head coach had repeatedly been unable to interview for NFL positions due to the anti-tampering rules in effect which prevent teams from contacting personnel or coaches for other teams until their season ends. The Patriots have either been in contention for the playoffs, or have been in the postseason when many of those positions were filled.

The Patriots had discussed offering Weis a contract extension after this season, but declined to do so. Weis would have been free to pursue any coaching opportunity once the Patriots season ended. Figuring that the Patriots are set to roll into the postseason again this year, the only real opportunity Weis would have to interview for a coaching position, would have to be in the college ranks.

As the Boston Globe reported yesterday, Weis has been in negotiations all weekend. According to their report on Saturday, Patriots WR, David Givens, a Fighting Irish Alum, had this to say when asked how Weis would be as a coach or a recruiter:

"He's been a teacher and a coach of high school kids and he's got so much experience coaching young NFL players like myself," Givens said. "There's no doubt in my mind he would be an outstanding recruiter because he relates so well to young people. I can say this because I've played for Charlie and I played at Notre Dame. I understand the pressures of playing and the pressures the coaches had coaching us at Notre Dame. They're all things Charlie would do very well with."

While ESPN's John Clayton and Len Pasquarelli both reported that other NFL coordinators were in the running, it appeared Weis' opportunity to lose. According to ESPN, Weis never played for the Irish, but he is an alum, which goes a long way in the consideration process.

The AP is reporting that Weis and his agent attended a meeting at The Joyce Center in South Bend, smiling. Weis signs six-year contract to coach Notre Dame, and the press conference will be Monday at 11:00 am.

Patriots head coach, responded to questions about Weis before the Cincinnati game by saying, he expects Weis to finish out his tenure with the team through the end of the season.

The last Belichick assistant to leave for a head coaching position while still employed by his current NFL team, was Nick Saban, who was Belichick's defensive coordinator when they were at Cleveland. Saban left the Browns after the season to assume the coaching duties at LSU, where Belichick likes to find some hidden gems.

You can find out more about the Press conference from the Notre dame website, or here on Scout's site. Here's their version of this story: Charlie Weis Signs at Notre Dame.

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