The decision by the University of Kansas to hire Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis as its head football coach came out of the blue last week to most of the college football world. Heck, it sounds like even Gator head coach Will Muschamp got surprised as well.
Personally, I don’t really care who Kansas hires as their coach, but there was one thing that did cause me to ponder this hire: another coaching family gets tossed under the bus.
According to reports, the Weis-to-Kansas transaction went down quickly:
In an exclusive interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Weis described a whirlwind Thursday that started with a phone call from Kansas officials and Weis accepting the job less than 12 hours later.
“At the end of the day, the job that they laid in front of me was a job that anyone with really common sense in my position would take,” Weis said. “It was a very sound presentation and it was a very, very, very good job offer that our family collectively said was just too good to pass up.”
Weis said Kansas officials called Thursday morning to ask Florida coach Will Muschamp for permission to speak to Weis. By noon, athletic director Sheahon Zenger had flown down to Ocala. KU chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little and other school officials became involved by the afternoon, and Weis accepted the job after five hours of discussion.
Weis would not discuss details of his contract but said it allowed him to have his family in two places. Weis’ wife, Maura, will remain in Ocala with their daughter, Hannah, who has special needs. His son, Charlie Jr., will transfer to Kansas and enroll there in January.
Since he was hired at Florida in January, Weis pointed to his family as the reason why. His son was a student assistant in the football program, and his wife is a horse enthusiast who found an ideal place to live in Ocala.
Compare the previous passage to Weis’ reasons for heading to Florida in the first place:
Weis, who was hired as Florida’s offensive coordinator in January by new Gators coach Will Muschamp, said he didn’t want his family split up across the country while he continued to coach in the NFL.
Weis’ son, Charlie Weis Jr., is enrolling in classes at Florida this year and will be involved in the football program as a student assistant. Weis Jr. will graduate from a high school in Kansas City in May.
Weis’ wife, Maura, will split time between the family’s new horse farm in Ocala, Fla., and their home in South Bend, Ind. Weis’ daughter, Hannah, who is autistic, will attend specialized schools in both Florida and Indiana.
“I really didn’t want to have my family in three sites,” Weis said. “My family is the most important thing to me. It just didn’t make sense.”
Weis has never worked with Muschamp, who previously worked as Texas’ defensive coordinator and had been named Longhorns coach Mack Brown’s eventual successor.
“I didn’t know Will; only through Mack,” Weis said. “We’d never spoke.”
This deal seems really strange. Weis moves to Florida so his family won’t be split-up across the country and then decides in less than 12 hours to split up his family across the country.
The only possibility that makes this seem half way rational is that Weis was miserable at Florida and had prepared the family that he was hitting the exit button at Florida as soon as he could.
Or, perhaps he totally over sold the family angle to explain leaving an NFL coordinator spot for a position in college football – to work for a person whom he had never met.