Charlie Weis 'doubtful' he'll coach again after Shrine Game
Soon, if for only a week, Charlie Weis will be a football coach again, returning to the sidelines for the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field on Jan. 23.
But after a full season away from coaching football for the first time since 1978, the 59-year-old has found other passions, acknowledging he may not coach again.
"I would list that as doubtful," Weis said of a full-time return to coaching last week. "Fortunately, I have had opportunities. It isn't like I don't have anywhere to go. I had people call, had permission to go, but I think I owe it to my family. For me to take a job, it would be with my wife's blessing at this point. For all those years, your wife has to follow you around everywhere you end up going. It's not really fair to them."
Weis was fired as Kansas' head coach four games into the 2014 season, with a 6-22 overall record and 1-18 mark in conference games. He decided last spring to take a year off from football, and in October he and his wife Maura moved to Florida and a home in the Lake Worth/Wellington area, near West Palm Beach.
"To be honest, it would have been absolutely miserable if my kid wasn't coaching at Alabama," Weis said of his son, Charlie Weis Jr., who is working as an offensive analyst on Nick Saban's staff. "It ended up being OK. In a lot of other cases, it might not have been OK."
Weis has attended all of the Crimson Tide's home games, as well as the SEC championship game, and he'll be in Arizona for tonight's national championship game against Clemson. His son worked on his staff at Florida and Kansas, and Weis has enjoyed following Alabama's successful season.
Watching from the stands was unfamiliar territory -- short of recruiting at high school games, he hadn't sat in the stands at football games in 41 years. "You want to talk about weird," he said. "It was very, very, very strange."
Weis' main focus has been on Hannah & Friends, the charity he and his wife created for people with special needs -- their daughter Hannah, 20, lives in a residential community they built on 40 acres in South Bend, Ind. Some people live there, and others go to day programs, summer camps and other special events.
Their hope is to build a similar place in Florida, and they were close to a location in the Panhandle, east of Tallahassee. Weis has worked with a company based in Clearwater, the Center for Special Needs, and hopes to improve the opportunities for people like his daughter here in Florida.
"It's almost at a crisis state for people to find residential situations that are very positive for people with special needs," Weis said.
Keeping busy is a relative thing for Weis, all the more aware of the heavy demands of coaching now that he's been away from it for a full year.
"When you're used to working 110 hours a week, there's still a void in there," Weis said. "You're so used to things happening where you're never home because you're always working."
Weis was part of three Super Bowl championships on Bill Belichick's Patriots coaching staff and went 35-27 in five years as head coach at Notre Dame. His Shrine Game coaching staff is a nod to both -- former Patriots receiver Troy Brown will be coaching, as will former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, along with a Bucs flavor with former Tampa Bay stars like Mike Alstott and Dave Moore.
Weis attended the Patriots' regular-season finale, again watching from the stands, and still follows his old team closely, watching many familiar faces still around. "I flip around and watch games," he said of his NFL interests beyond that.
Weis and Saban have known each other since the 1980s -- Saban worked for Belichick in Cleveland. another branch on Belichick's coaching tree. "I'd say we're friendly, not friends," Weis said.
He said if he returned to coaching, it would only be in the NFL, as an offensive assistant, rather than any more attempts as a college head coach.
"In the right situation, I could show some interest. But I don't know. I'd have to say doubtful," he said. "It would definitely be on the NFL side. I've gone through the college deal twice. Two totally different places ... I think as this stage in my career, my biggest value would be to help somebody on the offensive side of the ball."