LAWRENCE, Kan. — Charlie Weis says Kansas offered him an opportunity too good to pass up: The chance to rebuild a long-suffering program and mend his own tarnished reputation.
The former Gators offensive coordinator and ex-Notre Dame head coach was introduced as the Jayhawks' coach Friday. He takes over for Turner Gill, who was fired after going 5-19.
"It was too good of an opportunity," Weis said, "being able to go into a place that was down low and being able to see it through the rise back up top. Anyone who is goal-driven in anything, whether it was a startup, taking a business and doing good — this is what I do."
Terms of Weis' contract have not been finalized, but athletic director Sheahen Zenger said it would be a five-year deal that pays about $2.5 million annually, almost all of which is guaranteed.
Weis, 55, said the move to Florida was made with his family in mind. His son, Charlie Jr., wants to get into coaching and had the opportunity to help on the Gators' staff; he's already transferred to Kansas for the spring semester. The more pressing reason was Weis' daughter, Hannah, who has special needs. She was able to enroll in a school that allowed her to flourish.
"For us to leave that, there had to be a special circumstance for us to be able to do that," said Weis, adding that his wife will remain in Florida with Hannah and he will fly between Ocala and Lawrence regularly.
Florida: The Gainesville Sun reported that coach Will Muschamp has spoken to Carolina Panthers quarterback coach Mike Shula about becoming UF's offensive coordinator. NFL coaches can't accept jobs during the season. Shula's career includes Alabama's head coach from 2003 to 2006 and the Bucs offensive coordinator from 1996-99.
UNC welcomes Fedora: New coach Larry Fedora sounded undeterred taking over a North Carolina program still wounded by an NCAA investigation and facing sanctions. "I've got a saying that adversity, it's going to happen and it brings out the best in all of us," Fedora said. "But when it does, you look it in the eye, you grab it by the throat and you choke it." School trustees approved a seven-year deal worth more than $1.7 million annually for the former offensive coordinator at Florida and Oklahoma State who was 33-19 as head coach at Southern Miss.
Illinois Hires coach: New Illini coach Tim Beckman promised to "work tirelessly in building the football program to compete for Big Ten and national championships." He replaces Ron Zook, who was fired after seven seasons. Beckman comes to Illinois after three seasons at Toledo, where he was 21-16 overall.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes received NCAA approval to exceed the limit of coaches on staff through their bowl game. The waiver specifies that no more than 10 coaches — and no more than seven at any one time — may be involved in recruiting. The existing staff under Luke Fickell will prepare for the Gator Bowl against Florida on Jan. 2. Incoming coach Urban Meyer will handle only recruiting while hiring assistants, which he started by naming Iowa State assistant Tom Herman offensive coordinator.
Oregon State: A medical examiner said 19-year-old defensive tackle Fred Thompson, who collapsed and died during a pickup basketball game Wednesday, had an enlarged heart.