When Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger last left town, he vowed he would not return without a new football coach on the flight back with him. Zenger kept his promise.
Now it’s the new coach’s turn to head out of town. No, not to cross the border for a job interview with the Kansas City Chiefs. Nobody familiar with the gusto with which Charlie Weis has plunged into his new job is worried that will happen.
Weis leaves Lawrence today on a recruiting trip, where his name will arrive before he does.
“If you say his name, everyone knows who he is,” freshman safety Victor Simmons said.
Weis also has more that he can show to recruits than most coaches. For starters, four Super Bowl rings, if he chooses to do so. Weis was an offensive assistant with the New York Giants under Bill Parcells in Super Bowl XXV, an offensive coordinator under Bill Belichick in the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl victories in XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX.
His name opens doors. His rings open eyes. The answered doorbell ring and the shiny bling make a difference because style points do matter. But the really smart athlete makes his decision based on whether he thinks the coach seated across from him will find a way for him to maximize his potential.
For every quarterback he visits, Weis can prove that without even mentioning the name of Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time.
The most revealing quarterback statistics: 1. Win-loss record; 2. Touchdowns; 3. Interceptions; 4. Yards per attempt.
A look at the Notre Dame career of Brady Quinn with and without Weis as head coach, as well as studying the Kansas City Chiefs’ numbers compiled by Matt Cassel in one season with Weis as his offensive coordinator and two years under different bosses, sings louder than rings.
Weis coached Quinn as a junior and senior, so his numbers should have improved, but the extent to which they did blows the mind.
In starts under Tyrone Willingham, Quinn had a record of 10-11, averaged 6.4 yards per attempt and threw 26 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. In starts under Weis, Quinn went 19-6, averaged eight yards per attempt and threw 69 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
In Chiefs starts without Weis, Cassel has gone 7-16, averaged 6.1 yards per attempt and thrown 26 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. Working for Weis, Cassel went 10-5, averaged 6.9 yards per attempt and threw 27 touchdown passes and seven interceptions.
Weis won’t have any trouble recruiting quarterbacks to Kansas. Also, receivers and tight ends know they’ll get featured and, in turn, will look better to NFL scouts. Of greater import, their mothers will know they will earn college degrees, as did Weis’ Notre Dame players.