Weis says his ND assistants used Irish as "stepping stone"

Charlie Weis, seen in 2009, went 35-27 as coach of the Fighting Irish. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Charlie Weis is experiencing his first fall away from the sidelines in quite some time. While he’ll forever be known in South Bend, Indiana, for his 35-27 mark over five seasons as Notre Dame’s head coach, Weis brought up a new theory Tuesday about why his Irish tenure ended badly.

“I hired too many people that wanted to use the school as a stepping stone for a head coaching job,” Weis said at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Weis stayed away from talking about Deflategate, giving credit to the Patriots’ regime for kick-starting his head-coaching career. And he said he is now living vicariously through his son, Charlie Jr., who is a football analyst at Alabama under Nick Saban. But the comments about his time with the Irish are obviously what stand out.

First off, what assistant coach doesn’t have aspirations of one day running his own program? Brian Kelly lost three assistants to head jobs in his first five years at Notre Dame -- Charley Molnar, Chuck Martin and Bob Diaco -- and he is hardly unique in that regard. Sure, Mike Haywood, Rob Ianello and Brian Polian may have coached under Weis at Notre Dame before landing head gigs elsewhere, but is that really to blame for the Irish’s struggles in the last three years of the Weis era? Heck, Weis hired Ianello again at Kansas as his receivers coach after Ianello was fired as Akron’s head coach.

In any event, you probably won’t hear Weis blaming his agent anytime soon, as Weis could ultimately collect upwards of $24.5 million from Notre Dame and Kansas while not coaching either program.