The Kansas Jayhawks have hired Florida Gators offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to be the team’s next head coach, the university announced Thursday.
Weis, who has spent the last year working under Florida head coach Will Muschamp, will be officially introduced in his new role on Friday at a yet to be determined time.
Deciding to leave his job as offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs one year ago, Weis said he chose to join Muschamp’s staff for a number of personal reasons and called the opportunity “almost a dream.” He signed a three-year, $2.6 million contract with Florida, making him the highest paid assistant in school history.
At the time, Weis explained that it was a fantastic opportunity for his family. His son would be a student assistant with the Gators, his wife would be pleased with a 10.5-acre estate in Reddick, FL with plenty of horses, and his special needs daughter could get the assistance she needed with her condition.
“This opportunity is one of those unique situations where I can go to a great institution where my son goes to matriculate and be able to spend the next bunch of years watching my son grow,” he said on Jan. 2. “He wants to coach. It took us very long to try to find a place where he could be involved with the football program in a student assistant capacity. When I finally did talk to Will, we chatted about that and then we talked about me. I had to really reflect on that, spend time with my wife and [my son].
“We talked about a whole bunch of things and at the end of the day, I don’t think anybody could understand how wonderful an opportunity it would be to be able to work at a place and see your kid on a daily basis. It’s a tough business. To go to a program like Florida and be able to be around my kid at the same time … is almost a dream.”
He recently said that he had no designs of leaving UF and would remain at the school as long as Muschamp and the university would have him.
“I’m going to coach for a long time. My wife says I can’t quit,” he said on Nov. 22. “That’s not even – remember I have a kid who is a freshman in college here and remember the reasons why I came here. I’ll be here for a while unless you’re trying to get rid of me.”
Weis went 35-27 as head coach of Notre Dame and led a Florida offense that finished 102nd in total offense (334.17 yards per game) and 72nd in scoring offense (25.58 points per game) in 2011.
Muschamp gave Weis his blessing publicly while discussing his departure at a press conference on Thursday for the 2012 Gator Bowl.
“When you’re a coordinator and you have an opportunity to be a head coach, I support you 100 percent,” he said.
It remains to be seen who Muschamp will tab to replace Weis, but it is expected that he will continue running a pro-style offense. He could look for an accomplished coordinator in the college ranks or go back to the NFL once again.
Muschamp may also have to find a quarterbacks coach (a position Weis held) and replace offensive line coach Frank Verducci, who joined his staff with Weis. The two are friends and worked together previously at Notre Dame.
Florida running backs coach Brian White will be the offensive coordinator and call the plays in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 2, 2012 against the Ohio State Buckeyes.