Friday, December 16, 2011


Charlie Weis deal looks smarter every day


Every day Charlie Weis spends on the job, Kansas University athletic director Sheahon Zenger looks smarter for gambling that a football coach with such a high profile would be eager to get into grinder mode to embrace the challenge of upgrading a football program that finished two games out of ninth place in a 10-team conference.

Since taking the job, Weis has kept busy juggling three balls:

  1. Assembling a staff that will aid him as he performs the duties of head coach and offensive coordinator.

  2. Deciding which players don’t fit and letting them know they won’t play if they stay.

  3. Hitting the road for new recruits. He already has been doing so aggressively, even paying a visit to TCU commitment Tyler Matthews of McPherson, the state’s top quarterback prospect (Matthews remains committed to the Horned Frogs).

Zenger also looks smart for the timing of getting Weis signed and the details of the contract.

Weis needed the full five years of the contract guaranteed and a $2.5 million annual salary, plus incentives, for the deal to appeal to him. Zenger needed protection against NFL teams — think: Kansas City Chiefs — from stealing his coach. He got that in the form of a buyout that stipulates KU must be paid $2.5 million for releasing Weis in the first four years of the deal, $1.5 million in the final year. That clause also removes any doubt recruits might have had about how long Weis plans to remain KU’s football coach.

Such a contract is called a compromise. Are you listening, Washington?

Had Zenger delayed in identifying Weis or had Chiefs coach Todd Haley’s final straw — a blowout loss to the New York Jets that featured a Haley meltdown so intense that he drew a rare unsportsmanlike conduct penalty — happened a week earlier, Weis might have wanted to look at the Chiefs’ job. We’ll never know. This much we do know: Weis, so far, has been a tireless recruiter, because he knows that’s necessary to upgrade the talent.

In the past few days, Weis has made trips to South Bend, Ind., McPherson and both sides of Kansas City.

While in South Bend, Weis visited, among others, Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist, who was in attendance in Allen Fieldhouse for KU’s victory against Ohio State. Crist, a pro-style quarterback who has one year remaining and is eligible immediately, also visited Delaware and was scheduled to take a two-day trip set to conclude today to visit with the Wisconsin coaches. Rivals reported that Jake Heaps, who started 15 games at Brigham Young, is on Weis’ radar as well.

A national name, Weis will recruit nationally, as he did at Notre Dame. So far, the only assistant coach retained from Liberty University football coach Turner Gill’s staff has been running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Reggie Mitchell, who likely will surrender the latter half of his title to Rob Ianello, former Notre Dame recruiting coordinator who went 2-22 as head coach at Akron.

Wide receivers coach David Beaty, who has strong Dallas recruiting ties, also has a shot at joining the offensive staff. Weis hasn’t named a defensive coordinator yet, but look for him to do so soon, and look for it to be someone other than Jim Leavitt.


rockchalk_dpu 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry if this was stated up above, and I hate (well not really) adding onto the criticism of Keegs, but in the press conference Weis stressed the importance of family and being with his daughter, and that the NFL isn't conducive to a family atmosphere so what makes you think that he would have taken the Chiefs job after saying that? Yet another example of Keegan just getting something out before the deadline without thinking through his arguments. I wish I got paid to just write this drivel every week and put zero effort into it.


gardenjay 2 years, 4 months ago

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 4 months ago

This is the beginning of the most exciting era in KU football history.


Jeff Soisson 2 years, 4 months ago

All of you Jayhawks need to understand why he took this job. Will Muschamp is an #hole and completely crazy, insane does not even describe him. I live in Austin, I saw it under Mack and now Charlie gets out of a terrible situation at Florida and works for an AD that has his back.

Charlie looks at it and says OU down, Texas down, mmmmmm why not. SZ will not push him out. 6 wins and I'm bowling??? He would be a hero.

I don't think he is one and done, I think he wants to coach 5-10 more years in a situation that is good for him. We have top 20 facilities (the only thing Lew did right).

I have no dreams of a national championship, my dream is that when KU comes to Austin, the Longhorns are worried. My dream is that we are competitive to the last possession. My dream is KU fans take Allen Fieldhouse atmosphere to Memorial Stadium and make it a tough venue. As fans we have to accept that we are the worst fans in football in the Big 12-step up students.

As Texas says, 'Come Early, Be Loud, Stay Late!!!!' We need to educate our students that home field advantage does matter!


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Crist's middle name? Lawrence....just saying.


Robert Murphy 2 years, 4 months ago

Mr Keegan: It never pays to compromise when it is not in the best interest of everyone and is not the truth. It never pays to compromise with the devil. This is a reflection on your DC comment.

Who wants to compromise with people who think all the money in the world should go to the richest 1% as it has been doing for the last 30 plus years and the middle class and the poor should now get to sacrifice.

Who wants to compromise with people who favor perpetual war.

Who wants to compromise with people who are racists and cheer at the death penalty and are in favor of letting people die who don't have health insurance.

Who wants to compromise with people who think the elimination of Habeas corpus at the whim of the president is constitutional.

Who wants to compromise with people who think they have a right to control another persons body.

Who wants to compromise with people who are anti science.

As Bill Mahr would say "I kid the people of Kansas."

Oh sorry, back to football. I say spend the money on research and development and let charlie go back to eating 5000 calories a day at his favorite fast food joint. Football is totally stupid as people get physically hurt playing it more often than not.


JayhawkinNE 2 years, 4 months ago

Just saw on Rivals that Heap and Dieter will be visiting!!!


bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

500 character post limit, PLEASE, LJW!!!


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

"KU Football Coaching Dunciad Continues"

(Note: out of deference to those that found my nicknaming the new head football coach Chollie Weis disrespectful, I will now refer to him exclusively as Charles Weis.)

-Turner Gill reputedly hired by Liberty University. Alls well that ends well for Turner, right?

~And let there be no more talk about religion being an influence in hiring and firing. Religion is entirely irrelevant in all hiring and firing of coaches. Right?

~"In the past few days, Weis has made trips to South Bend, Ind., McPherson and both sides of Kansas City."--Tom Keegan

Now this is interesting.

Weis as back channel carrier pidgeon informing Father Jenkins in South Bend about BGL's next step in conference realignment with ND and Big East?

Or is Charles seriously trying to raid Notre Dame players and coaches?

Who can say?

Charles went to McPherson? All the way to McPherson? Oh my gosh and holy cow!

Charles went to both sides of Kansas City, too? I mean Kansas City is huuuuuuge! Did he really get to both sides of Kansas City in the last few days?

A willingness to go to McPherson and to go all the way across Kansas City in a few days pretty much ices that $2.5M/yr for 5 years was a steal!!!! :-)

~Auburn assistant hired by Ark State: The Auburn assistant who perhaps could have been hired by KU, and who grew up in Arkansas, and who has been recruiting big time D1 football players for the last few years, while Charles Weis has been coordinating the Kansas City Chiefs offense ranked 28th out of 32 before he came to KU, was hired by Arkansas State! Gee, I wonder if the Auburn assistant would have come to KU for $2.5M/yr for 5 years and a chance to HC in a BCS conference, or is Ark State just the perfect fit!!!!!?

~Spring football might be interesting. Maybe Charles Weis can bring in Matt Cassel, ranked 24th out of 32 NFL quarterbacks, to tutor KU's quarterbacks.

~It seems with the hiring of Charles that it might be timely to begin a home and home schedule with the Fighting Irish? Ah, sure'n it t'would.

~Totally fantastic rumor: some undisclosed (present or former unknown) Notre Dame head basketball coach is in negotiations to become KU's new head basketball coach, when Self jumps (Just kidding...right?)

And so it goes.


bville_hawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Since TK said the DC is probably not going to be Jim Leavitt can we go ahead and assume the new DC is Jim Leavitt?


jhawkrulz 2 years, 4 months ago

I like the note about Todd Heap from BYU on the radar. This guy I believe would have to sit a year, but in 2010 he was great, in 2011 he wasn't so great. It'll be interesting to see what CW does with that transfer.


jaybate 2 years, 4 months ago

As a general rule, if a deal were smart, it would be self evident.

An obviously good deal would be obvious good.

It would not need puffery to make it appear so.

This story seems PR puffery.

What does this suggest about the deal? :-)


phanatic33 2 years, 4 months ago

Speaking of Brock... what ever happaned to Brock what's his name from CO??? I know he stopped practicing with the team but did he leave all together?


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

In regards to expectations for next season, we need to remember that Weis is taking over one of the worst football teams in the country and possibly the worst defense in the country.

In addition, KU plays in one of the two toughest football conferences in the country, in a single-division format. If WVU does not enter until after 2012, then things will be a bit easier.

He's a first-year coach who has to implement all new systems.

He's also a first-year coach with a short recruiting window.While

I don't think that a bowl game is out of the question, but a 4 or 5 win season would have to be seen as a success....whether the coach is Weis, Nick Saban, Les Miles or Rick Leach.

The other critical sign of improvement is simple: competitiveness. Get rid of the ridiculous blowouts, win 4 or 5, and you've made real progress with this program.


Norm Jennings 2 years, 4 months ago

810am hosts this morning talking about rumors regarding possibility of Al Groh?

Sounds like he would be a great hire if we could convince him to leave GA Tech ??


Kevin Randell 2 years, 4 months ago

This is just a guess, but I think that the reason why we haven't heard about a DC is that he may be looking at the NFL for his DC. And the NFL has strict rules about talking with coaches while their team is in season. may actually BE Leavitt.

Like some of the posts I have read, I agree that we should be excited, but also realistic that next season is going to be a tall hill to climb in ways of victories and possible bowl game. I am just enjoying the excitement and hope that all this has generated, and I feel a lot better about my decision to purchase season tickets this year compared to last year.

Good luck coach Weis and may all the Jayhawk Nation have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season!


kerbyd 2 years, 4 months ago

Vic Koenning is the defensive Coord at Illinois and currently their interim head coach. Any chance we could get him as DC here?


hihawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Charlie said he will let the players that don't fit go, so there goes gill's recruits. Good move.


squawkhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Stupid article.

First. Points 1 - 3 are things that any new coach is going to do. Weis isn't doing anything special here...just the bare minimums to get the program on track. So why is this news worthy let alone special?

Second. The comment about the timing of the deal is laughable. I don't think the Chiefs, any other pro team or any other college team were seriously looking at Weis. So why is this such great timing?

Third. Calling Weis a "high profile" coach is a bit of a misnomer. He is probably not as well know as we all like to think (outside the KC area). Sure, he has some rings from years ago but, that was years ago and he was an OC, not the head coach. He's since proven what he can or can't do at the college level. You decide.

Fourth. The contract is suppose to give recruits assurance that Weis will be there long term? I just don't see this when he has publicly said that he doesn't plan on being at KU longer than 5 years. This may be ok for his first class, but what about the recruits that come after that? They will know that he'll be gone before they graduate. What kind of assurance is that?


blackhawkjayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Weiss said he had 80-90 percent of his staff selected. I can't think that he could say that unless the DC was in the fold.


JayDocMD 2 years, 4 months ago

Getting antsy about the DC situation. If they had a "homerun" hire already locked up I'm pretty sure it would have been announced already so they could use it for recruiting before the dead period.

Weis' hire has had the effect Zenger was looking for - KU Football is reenergized and the center of discussion among fans and even national media. However, Weis clearly requires an autonomous DC, and he better be good to prevent Big12 opponents from hanging 50 pts on us with regularity. The DC choice will make or break the Weis Era at KU.

FYI: Keegan is recycling my recruiting update in his article (915PM post on 12/14/11


iamakufan 2 years, 4 months ago

Expectations for next year seem to be rising rapidly, probably disproportionately to what is realistic. I expect significant improvement each year but not miracles right out of the box.


rockchalker52 2 years, 4 months ago

Dear HCCW:

If it rocks like a ‘hawk & looks like a ‘hawk, it must be a ‘hawk. Blood Red Helmets, no stripe, Yellow Facemask Solid Blue Jerseys & Pants Yellow Shoes, Red Laces Beak ‘em.

Sincerely, A fan


jhawkln 2 years, 4 months ago

WE FINISHED 2 GAMES OUT OF 9TH PLACE!!!! All the criticism needs to go on both sides- Gill needed to go, and as far as KU goes- Weis was a homerun hire! There is no need to overthing or overanalyze the situation. We got a high profile coach for an awful team that was in the cellar below the basement. Be happy and thankful this holiday season Jayhawk fans! Rock Chalk Jayhawk!


Mike Barnhart 2 years, 4 months ago

Weis is a good hire but I'd kinda' like to know what he meant when he admitted the poor chemistry of his staff at ND was a factor in their lack of success. If that's true, why does it seem like he's "putting the band back together" at Kansas?

The DC hire is going to be crucial. I've got my fingers crossed!


Robert Brock 2 years, 4 months ago

KU shouldn't bother recruiting Texas unless we start beating the top programs for big-time jocks. It is probably not going to happen.


IrishDaddy 2 years, 4 months ago

BCS fer sure !!!!!!!!!!!! LMAO !

how about waiting for 1 or 2 Ws before crowing?


Jim Jackson 2 years, 4 months ago

Weis needs to keep Beaty, shouldn't even be an issue. The man can coach and he can certainly recruit Texas. As for Ianello, not sure how I feel about him being recruirt coordinator. Mitchell has recuited some sick NFL players in his time (Rashard Mendenhall, Pierre Thomas) so I hope Reggie and him can share the duty.Go Hawks!


miltnewton 2 years, 4 months ago

Heard Weis was at Rockhurst High making the rounds yesterday. Very wise.


Noweigh 2 years, 4 months ago

Tom...keep up the articles on Weiss and the football program in general. Recruits read about us (and other schools) online all the time. We have basketball articles year round and football should be no different. Football is the real money maker over time and right now we can finally take advantage of a positive spotlight after two and a half years of bad KU football news on and off the field. Keep it going!


Carter Patterson 2 years, 4 months ago

Keegan, this article is like "humble pie" for all the bashing you've done on the Weis hire.


Mike Kendall 2 years, 4 months ago

I, too, believe it was a smart hire. Time will tell if the the 4 & 5 star recruits start coming to Lawrence. And, I like the football stories during the basketball season.


Bangkok_Jayhawk 2 years, 4 months ago

Good article Keegan... I agree. Weis has looked pretty good so far. The team will certainly have more talent on the field next year. They are mostly Gill's guys, but he did recruit pretty well so that is not a bad thing. The interest around the team and the season ticket sales should really get a boost from Weis. For a team not in a bowl game I am pretty excited to read about KU football every day.


Kevin Studer 2 years, 4 months ago

I am starting to think 100 was actullay Turner Gill posting. Haven't seen him in quite a while. Recruit! Believe! Speeeed!


Bob Forer 2 years, 4 months ago

Hey. I am as excited about Weis as the next guy, but geeze, can we have at least a one day hiatus on Charlie Weis stories. Everyone needs a chance to breathe, including the coach.


JamesA 2 years, 4 months ago

Charlie needs to get into some of the living rooms that Snyder has been frequenting. Make a statement to the Staters that none Bill's guys are a "sure thing".

-All for now from the bowels of Anshutz.


Ben Kliewer 2 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, but the flip side of that is that Gill is undeniably a good recruiter. Just not a good head least at a BCS school in a tough BCS league. So, Ianello comes into question. He got good recruits at Notre Dame. Great. Can he do it at Kansas? Maybe, it looks like being able to throw the Weis name around will help. He did worse at Akron than Gill did at Kansas, but nonetheless, Gill is still a good recruiter. He had one of our top ranked recruiting classes of the last decade coming to his 3-9 school...Good recruiter does not a good head coach make...and a bad head coach does not a bad recruiter make...they're different talent arenas. We'll see what he does.


rcjallday 2 years, 4 months ago

My only concern with Weis is that he'll run a pro style offense, and for that to work in college, you have to have tremendous athletes (LSU, Alabama, Georgia). With the team he has inherited, I think it will be an extreme challenge to put points on the board. There aren't enough threats at WR to spread a defense out, and there isn't a QB (Crist would help a ton) to run the scheme well. The RBs are stacked, but the defense will just put 9 guys in the box and dare KU to throw it vertically. We're still in the honeymoon phase, but it'll be interesting to see what happens if we don't look good and lose a good bit, which may very well happen.


Graczyk 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm not impressed with the Rob Ianello hire. He got good recruits at ND, but can he do it at Kansas? He also did worse that TG in his two seasons at Akron. I would like more information on this guy.


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