GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said family reasons led him to leave his position as the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive coordinator and return to college football.
Weis, who was hired as Florida’s offensive coordinator in January by new Gators coach Will Muschamp, said he didn’t want his family split up across the country while he continued to coach in the NFL.
Weis’ son, Charlie Weis Jr., is enrolling in classes at Florida this year and will be involved in the football program as a student assistant. Weis Jr. will graduate from a high school in Kansas City in May.
Weis’ wife, Maura, will split time between the family’s new horse farm in Ocala, Fla., and their home in South Bend, Ind. Weis’ daughter, Hannah, who is autistic, will attend specialized schools in both Florida and Indiana.
“I really didn’t want to have my family in three sites,” Weis said. “My family is the most important thing to me. It just didn’t make sense.”
Weis has never worked with Muschamp, who previously worked as Texas’ defensive coordinator and had been named Longhorns coach Mack Brown’s eventual successor.
“I didn’t know Will; only through Mack,” Weis said. “We’d never spoke.”
Weis said having a chance to coach alongside his son is the biggest reason he accepted the job.
“Everybody wants to look for a different agenda, but why does there have to be an agenda when everything falls just right for your family at the end of your career?” Weis asked.
Weis was fired as Notre Dame’s coach in December 2009, after compiling a 35-27 record at his alma mater.
“When I went there, my family asked me, ‘What will it take for you to feel good about leaving Notre Dame?’” Weis said. “I told them, ‘When I leave, I want people to look at me and say that guy did it the right way.’ I thought I was doing it the right way. But if you don’t win enough games, all that other stuff doesn’t matter.”
Weis said he holds no grudges against the Fighting Irish.
“My loyalties go to Florida,” Weis said. “That’s who’s writing my check. I don’t root for anyone else. I don’t root against anyone else.”
Weis isn’t sure he’ll ever try to become a head coach again.
“People always say, ‘Never say never,’” Weis said. “I could see myself retiring in Ocala. I could see us happily ending our career at the University of Florida.”