Coach Weis embraces football challenges at Kansas
College Football Videos
Leave it to first-year Kansas coach Charlie Weis to find a silver lining in his team's 1-10 record.
Weis, the former coach at Notre Dame who recruited several key players on this year's national championship contender, is taking a long-term approach to rebuilding the Jayhawks.
Kansas, which visits West Virginia at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, hasn't had a winning season since 2008. The Jayhawks, losers of 20 consecutive Big 12 games, won five games in their two previous seasons, and they are the only conference member that isn't bowl eligible this year.
Weis, however, remains undaunted and resolute about the task at hand.
“Until you start winning more football games, even the biggest fan is going to have to be a bit skeptical and understandably so,” said Weis, a longtime NFL assistant who has a 36-37 career record as a college coach. “I love when people say, ‘Why did you take this job?' Well, I didn't take the job to go 1-10. I took it because I felt this would be a challenge, taking this team and turning it from a program at the bottom to back to not only respectability but being a perennial winning football team.”
Despite losing 10 straight games following a season-opening win over South Dakota State, there have been bright spots, including the emergence of a running game — second-best in the Big 12 — and near-misses against Oklahoma State (20-14), Texas (20-17) and Texas Tech (41-34 in two OTs).
Weis understands that in any rebuilding process it's important to remain positive.
“Tell me a team in the league that runs the ball better than us. I don't know if there is one,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, I couldn't have said that. Now all of a sudden you have this rushing attack. You've got the same runners back next year. You fix your passing game. You could see from my standpoint, I'm drooling to get to the offseason.”
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen paid homage to Weis — known for his success with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — as well as defensive coordinator Dave Campo, former coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
“We're going to be at a major schematic disadvantage going against their coaches,” Holgorsen said. “They've got coaches with tremendous pedigree that coached everybody in the world for decades.”
Asked about recruiting players to Kansas, Weis waxed philosophical.
“What's not to like about Kansas? What's not to like about the facility? And if you want to play, a team that has a record that is deficient is one that opens your eyes,” he said. “And you want to know something, they're interested.
“What's missing is we're not winning enough games. And there will be plenty of people saying no. And for those people, the No. 1 reason they say no is because there's a stigma that's attached when a team's losing.
“So our job is to remove that stigma.”
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LB Kwiatkoski sentimental about WVU traditions entering final home game
- Williams shines in West Virginia win over Richmond
- West Virginia football team finds late-season mean streak
- West Virginia whips Kansas to become eligible for bowl
- West Virginia blasts Bethune-Cookman at Las Vegas Classic
- NCAA Tournament women’s soccer roundup: Penn State, WVU win 2nd-round games
- Penn State-West Virginia soccer rivalry renews at Elite Eight
- Kansas trip brings up bad memory for WVU
- Williams’ double-double leads West Virginia
- WVU notebook: Holgorsen gives departing Iowa State coach Rhoads respect