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Charles: New USF hire Weiner 'a legend in Tampa'



TAMPA -- Orson Charles remembers that Plant's football players would often ask coach Robert Weiner that, as so many of his players went on to college, would he do the same someday as a coach?


"He'd say he didn't have a desire to," said Charles, who starred as a receiver at Plant, then as a tight end at Georgia and now with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. "I really do feel in my heart that he's going to be great as the receivers coach at USF."

USF announced Weiner's hiring Sunday night, bringing a resume with four state championships and a 90-9 record over the last seven seasons. Charles said that Weiner's coaching will translate well to the college level -- he said Plant's schemes weren't ever all that complicated, but the way he coached his players, they knew his system well enough to excel and play to their strengths.

"He understands stuff in and out, what to call, how to coach his players, how to get the best out of them," Charles said. "That's why we ended up winning states my senior year (in 2008) and they won again the next year, why he constantly has people going to college out of Plant."

Charles said he thinks Weiner's hiring will help USF recruit players not only from Plant, but from other strong high schools in Tampa, because Weiner was well-respected by his opponents as well.

"He's definitely going to have an impact," Charles said. "Coach Weiner is a legend in Tampa. You can't go anywhere without people knowing him. Everybody knows him, and everybody knows what kind of guy he is, what kind of coach he is. He's a loving guy. He cares for you. He wants the best out of you. USF, congratulations. You got a great coach. I'm excited to watch them."

(Also, make sure you check out this 15-minute video of Weiner saying goodbye to his Plant players. You can see how much emotion is there for him. This wasn't a farewell sent via text message.)

[Last modified: Sunday, January 6, 2013 9:05pm]


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