Saturday, March 3, 2012

Charlie Weis, Tim Grunhard team up for charity event

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis talked to the media on Wednesday about his first recruiting class at KU.

Kansas football coach Charlie Weis talked to the media on Wednesday about his first recruiting class at KU.


— As coincidences go, the connection between Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis and new KU offensive line coach Tim Grunhard runs pretty deep.

Weis, the former Notre Dame coach, and Grunhard, the former Notre Dame player, actually met years ago at a charity golf tournament in South Bend, Ind., for the foundation started by Weis and his wife, Maura, to benefit others with special needs like their daughter Hannah.

“My niece worked there,” Grunhard said of Hannah & Friends, a charity that was founded in 2003 and has reached South Bend, Florida, Boston and now has stretched into Kansas City. “She went to Notre Dame, and I went to a golf tournament at Notre Dame for Hannah & Friends and really kind of fell in love with the whole charity and what it stood for. I’m just really excited about being involved with them.”

Friday night, at The Dubliner Irish Ale House and Pub in Kansas City’s Power and Light District, Weis and Grunhard hosted a soft opening for various members of the KU football program, athletic department and friends. Around 150 people attended and throughout the night were reminded of the reason they were there. Sure, part of it was to give the new restaurant, which is partially owned by Grunhard, a dry run, but the most important element was to benefit Hannah & Friends. All proceeds from the event and the several KU items that were auctioned off went to the charity.

“I know a lot of the enticement was KU,” Weis said. “Rock Chalk Jayhawk and all that. I get it. I’m buying in. But, really, KU is my job. Hannah & Friends is our passion.”

Weis, who was joined at the event by Maura, his son, Charlie Jr., and several members of the KU coaching staff, spoke to the crowd on a couple of different occasions. He talked about the evening, the upcoming season and shared with those in attendance his belief the Jayhawks were going to get good in a hurry. He also went further into the purpose behind the Hannah & Friends foundation — his daughter, who soon will turn 17.

“She was the person who inspired my wife’s vision for us to do work for what we call people with different abilities,” Weis said. “We want to make the quality of life of people with different abilities a little bit better.”

Weis has not been shy about sharing the importance of his foundation with his new community. He took it a step further Friday night.

“One of the most important things we want you to know is wherever we raise the money, that’s where the money goes,” Weis said. “The money we raise tonight will be going to this community.”

For Grunhard, that was the best part about attaching his new business endeavor to the cause.

“Really, because of Hannah & Friends, I sit where I sit now,” said Grunhard, who said the charity was at least in part responsible for him landing the job at Kansas. “This whole thing just worked out really well. We really needed our staff to get a little experience, and with the excitement of the Big 12 tournament coming next week and this wonderful charity, it just worked out perfect. The stars were aligned for a great event.”

Friday’s festivities also were dubbed a kickoff to March Madness, and as the men’s and women’s Big 12 Tournaments invade the area next week, Grunhard had one final message for KU fans.

“Even though it’s an Irish bar, we kind of want to make it a Jayhawk bar, too,” he said.


Bangkok_Jayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of charity...

Is donating floss and toothpaste to Missouri considered a charitable deed? Can I write it off on my taxes?

Gary Wirsig 8 years, 3 months ago

I tried to come up with a witty remark linking your avatar to your comment, but failed.

Steve Reigle 8 years, 3 months ago

Toothpaste I can see. But floss? Doesn't flossing require two teeth side by side?

Mike Hart 8 years, 2 months ago

Oh geez... You guys are so witty... So funny. That's stupid...

Bville Hawk 8 years, 2 months ago

Nope, you're wrong mhart. That was genuinely funny.

Jeremy Eaton 8 years, 3 months ago

Bangkok_Jayhawk, not sure donating dental products will help Misouri much. Won't most of them be mising most of their teeth due to Meth use and inbreeding?

flyingfinn 8 years, 3 months ago

Or playing Alabama and LSU's smash mouth football in the SEC

KGphoto 8 years, 3 months ago

My god, The Dubliner is gonna be a packed house next weekend.

Matt Kenton 8 years, 3 months ago

“I know a lot of the enticement was KU,” Weis said. “Rock Chalk Jayhawk and all that. I get it. I’m buying in. But, really, KU is my job. Hannah & Friends is our passion.”

Still thrilled with the hire and what Coach Weis is putting together so far, but wish he'd be a little more careful choosing his words. How many other coaches could tell a recruit their passion is their football program, then show this quote.

Weis wants to know why the other program in Kansas was 10-2 and we were 2-10? What is Bill Snyder's passion, football or his charity?

Hopefully ol' Charlie just had one too many pints of Guiness and was trying to talk up the charity!

Ryan McAtee 8 years, 3 months ago

Or maybe it is because kids like his daughter will benefit from the charity.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Head football coach or not... Your family is your number 1 passion. Anything less than that shows a character flaw.

burnmu 8 years, 2 months ago

who hasn't had one to many pints of Guinness?

Matt Bowers 8 years, 3 months ago

Please get a new photo of HCCW, this one is nasty. I know HCCW doesn't mince words, but dude it is spring about having some passion and not just settling for buying in.

I know I will be demonized for saying it, but both of these coaches came off as opportunistic in the article and as using KU to benefit themselves/causes. Just sayin.

Rock Chalk

Tricky Gnosis 8 years, 3 months ago

Of course the coaches are being opportunistic. So is KU. This is not a long-term marriage, and anyone and everyone knows that. If colleges and coaches are a relationship, then Charlie Weiss is our summer fling rebound after a bitter divorce (Mangino) and a great first date that turned into a bummer (Turner Gill).

So just relax and enjoy it while it lasts. We'll get a couple of bowl games, a few guys headed to the NFL, and some upset wins no one was expecting. You know how a decade later, you look back on a summer romance and kind of smile with happiness? That's how we're going to remember Jayhawk football in 2022.

Bangkok_Jayhawk 8 years, 2 months ago

5-7 good years makes this a great hire. Guys like Bill Snyder don't come around too often. First class coaches don't stay at second class programs. Until we consistently win and massively upgrade our facilities, we will be a second class program happy to hire guys like Weis for 5-7 years,

Cheers to Dr. Zenger getting this program and stadium turned upside down.

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