Weis hopes next Irish coach has more success

Associated Press
Charlie Weis: Former Notre Dame coach talked to a group of reporters Saturday for the first time since his firing earlier this week.

Five days after being fired by Notre Dame, Charlie Weis said Saturday he wants to do right by his alma mater.


"I really want to root for them, not against them, and I want the next coach to be more successful than me," Weis told the South Bend Tribune and several other local media outlets that he invited as he spoke for the first time since the firing.

Weis, who had not talked to the media since two days before Thanksgiving, said he knew his job was in jeopardy after a 23-21 loss to Navy on Nov. 7 dropped the team to 6-3.

It was the second time in three years the Irish were beaten by the Midshipmen after beating them an NCAA-record 43 consecutive times.

He said he felt he had time to recover but knew the double overtime loss to Connecticut two weeks later sealed his fate. He met with athletic director Jack Swarbrick the following Monday.

'It was not a bad conversation. Jack and I just sat down and closed the door. I said, 'Look it, we're grown men here, where are we?' We agreed to where it was headed," Weis said.

Weis said he didn't tell his assistants because he thought it would distract them getting ready for the Stanford game. The Irish ended up losing their last four games to finish the season with a 6-6 record.

Swarbrick announced Weis' dismissal Monday. Weis finished with a 35-27 record in five seasons, a record worse than his two predecessors, Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie , who also were fired.

Weis met with the reporters at the Hannah and Friends Farm, a 30-plus acre residential community near South Bend started by Weis and his wife, Maura , in honor of their 14-year-old daughter who has special needs.

Weis said he believes the experiences he learned in his five years as coach of the Irish will help him professionally, saying he is "10 times better off" for having coached at Notre Dame.

Weis also talked about how people kept putting "For Sale" signs up in front of his house in recent years.

"I probably have about 100 of them, and what the problem is now, I probably could use one and I don't have one anymore," he said.

MICHIGAN STATE: Coach Mark Dantonio said players suspended for being present at a campus fight will not make the Spartans' upcoming bowl trip.

Dantonio has kicked two players off the team and suspended eight others as police continue to investigate the Nov. 22 fight at a campus dorm involving players and fraternity members. No charges have been filed.

The players suspended earlier this week include starting defensive back Chris L. Rucker and wide receivers Mark Dell and B.J. Cunningham .

The 6-6 Spartans could go to the Alamo Bowl or the Insight Bowl. The decision is not expected today, after the BCS makes its selection of Big Ten teams.

ILLINOIS: The college career of quarterback Juice Williams , the face of coach Ron Zook 's team since coming to Champaign, came to a wrenching close after three losing seasons in four years as starter.

"It was tough, not even so much that we lost," Williams said after Illinois' 53-52 loss to Fresno State, "but that it was the last time that I will walk off the field as an Illini football player.

The loss closed up the second consecutive losing campaign for Illinois (3-9), which looked like a team on the rise when it went to Pasadena after the 2007 season.

"I feel awful for them," Zook said of his seniors. "I really do."



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