Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis usually refers to Notre Dame with vague descriptions.
“The place I used to work,” “my previous job” or “that other school,” all have been used by Weis as substitutes for the university from which he graduated in 1978 and later coached from 2005-09.
While some have chosen to read that as Weis still being upset by his firing following the 2009 season, it’s more likely Weis chose that route out of respect to his current school and his current job.
With the Fighting Irish having locked up a spot in this year’s BCS national championship game, Weis, once again on Monday morning’s Big 12 coaches conference call, was asked for his thoughts about the Irish’s success, a 12-0 run made by many of his former players and recruits.
“The most important thing for me is to make sure that I stay low profile and don’t try to take accolades for their success,” Weis said. “I think it’s real easy for a guy in my position to sit there and say, ‘Yeah, they’re all my kids they’re winning with,’ or be jealous and bitter and all that other stuff.”
He’s not. Really. If anything, Weis, who is known by his current and former players for developing deep, personal connections with the guys who lay it on the line for him, seems genuinely thrilled for the handful of guys he recruited — eight of the 11 Notre Dame starters on offense and a couple of high-impact defensive starters, including potential Heisman Trophy finalist, linebacker Manti Te’o — who are on the brink of playing for a national championship.
“Take Manti, for example,” Weis said. “I love Manti. Manti and I will be close the rest of our lives, as will his family and I. But I think it’s important for me to understand it’s their team, it’s not my team. I have to worry about Kansas. But there (are) a lot of young men that are having a lot of success this year that I’m very, very happy for.”