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The Fighting Irish are on the coaching hunt again after giving Charlie Weis the boot. Hired five years ago after mentoring Tom Brady and helping the Patriots win three Super Bowls, Weis has been unable to win consistently in South Bend. Weis finishes with a 35-27 record as the ND head coach, worse than the identical 35-25 records posted by his two predecessors, Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham. He also finished this season with four straight losses, including his penultimate game against Navy at home, the second time in a row he has lost that game at home. With speculation that his job was in the balance, Notre Dame’s season spiraled out of control. They nearly came back to beat a ranked Pittsburgh team, then blew leads to Connecticut and Stanford to seal his fate.
Weis’ tenure began in 2005 with a 9-3 season and followed that up with a 10-3 season and a 10 year contract extension. He then went 3-9 in 2007, 7-6 last season, and 6-6 this season. Notre Dame went to BCS bowls in his first two seasons, losing the 2006 Fiesta Bowl to Ohio State and the 2007 Sugar Bowl to LSU. They won last season’s edition of the Hawaii Bowl over Hawaii, giving Weis a 1-2 record in postseason play. Weis and the Irish beat Boston College this season, the only victory he presided over in the series’ three tilts on his watch. Against other traditional rivals, he also had poor records, going 0-5 against USC and 2-3 against Michigan. He was also 1-8 against Top 10 teams and 4-12 against ranked teams overall, not up to Notre Dame standards.
Charlie Weis will most likely resurface in the NFL. He was a very hot commodity when he was the Patriots Offensive Coordinator and his offensive skill set, especially in the passing game, fits the pro style very well. He has been said to have been contacted by NFL teams for the OC position already. Notre Dame appears likely to go with an established college coach with rumored candidates being Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops.