GAINESVILLE — Charlie Weis carries one of his multiple Super Bowl rings in his pocket because it comes in handy when he wants to make a splash with recruits. He's so close with Tom Brady he calls him "Tommy." Long before he arrived, he said he admired the Gators from afar under former coach Urban Meyer. Now he's happy to be at Florida. And, no, there won't be any major clashes with new coach Will Muschamp because, quite frankly Weis isn't interested in Muschamp's job.
Weis, 54, arrived at Florida in late January with a reputation as a surly, brilliant offensive coordinator with little love for the media. But in his first news conference, Weis was engaging, candid and quite humorous as he talked about how concern for his family led to his new job, the pro-style offense he plans to run and why QB John Brantley is a good fit for his offense.
Weis and his wife have a special needs daughter, Hannah, who wasn't adjusting well in Kansas City, where he was offensive coordinator for the Chiefs last season after being fired as Notre Dame coach. His wife had already planned to move back to South Bend, Ind., where he has a foundation and where Hannah will eventually reside, when Muschamp called.
"It was a fairly easy decision, and almost all of it was directly related to family issues," Weis said. " … When Will called and I thought about how I could best take care of my family, I thought about how my son could go to school here. My wife is a horse person and I'm buying a house in the Ocala area, so I got serious brownie points on that end, too. So the fact that I could take care of my wife, daughter and son and kind of mesh everything together, really it's as simple an answer as that one."
Weis said he knew Muschamp only through conversations with Texas coach Mack Brown. But he believes the two will work well together. Muschamp said Monday that he doesn't want a staff of "yes men," and Weis said his experiences as a head coach can be invaluable for a first-year coach. There's no mistaking who's in charge, Weis said.
"I think that we mesh very well together," he said. "He's the boss and wanted a guy to turn the offense over to, so I was a very good complement to what he was looking for. … I think it's a very comfortable situation for me, because I didn't come here to take his job. I just wanted to come run the offense."
DEFENDING THE 2: The men's basketball team received a ton of criticism over its selection as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, but coach Billy Donovan said that's about what he expected.
"I'm not surprised at all," he said. "Did I think we were going to get a 2 seed? I didn't know. I thought we were right in the middle of a 2 or a 3. … If you look at our whole body of work, I think we probably had as many wins against the RPI top 50 as any school in the country. Then I think you look at the fact of where you play on the road and what we did on the road and what we did in our nonconference schedule and who we played. I wasn't surprised if you look at the whole season."
BASKETBALL HONORS: Donovan and senior F Chandler Parsons were named SEC coach and player of the year by the Associated Press on Monday. Parsons was a unanimous selection. Last week, the two earned the same honors from SEC coaches. Florida junior G Erving Walker was a second team All-SEC selection (list, 6C).
Antonya English can be reached at email@example.com.