Undoubtedly many Notre Dame fans feel he pulled a fast one on the Fighting Irish football program, but Charlie Weis is hoping to change his image.
Weis agreed to a five-year contract worth more than $12 million dollars in guaranteed money to fix the University of Kansas football team. However, Weis would like to first fix his tarnished reputation.
After stops with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and SEC's Florida Gators since leaving South Bend, Weis is well aware of how many fans and media pundits view him.
“Like I’m some kind of ogre,” Weis told the Sporting News. “Some arrogant, obnoxious, loudmouth punk from New Jersey.” … “What really bothers me more than anything is, partially (due to) myself but partially because of the image that was portrayed, you had so many people thinking you were such a bad person.”
Looking back on his time at Notre Dame, Weis admits he screwed up when taking over in 2005. “You take a job, your first job, and you say and do some stupid things. I’m certainly guilty as charged. Not that I didn’t mean what I said, but just the fact that I said it. You look back and say, ‘Why did you say that?’
Weis has dealt with the pain of having both knees and his left hip replaced since he was hit on the sidelines by a player while coaching the Irish in 2008. He's half-man half-titanium. “I hadn’t been pain-free not one second of one minute of any day from that hit in the Michigan game in September of 2008 until after that hip was done,” Weis said. “Now? I’m titanium all over the place, but it’s the best I’ve felt in a long, long time.”
Although he's unable to do normal exercise, Weis does walk four times a week, for an hour each time on an underwater treadmill in Lawrence, according to the Sporting News.
Jayhawks players will see a different coaching style from Weis this upcoming football season. “Instead of just grinding on players all the time, I’m picking my spots,” he said. “One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is eventually it goes in one ear and out the other when you just hammer them all the time. So I’m more selective — and trust me, when I do get on them, it has a much greater impact.”
Weis had a 35-27 (.565) record as coach of Notre Dame from 2005-2009. He takes over a 2-10 Kansas team that ranked dead last (120) in total defense and scoring defense. The Jayhawks offense wasn't much better, ranked 106 in total offense and No. 95 in scoring offense.
Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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