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Welcoming the Weis era

Observer Editorial Board | Thursday, February 10, 2005

Millions of people around the world watched Sunday as Charlie Weis and the New England Patriots captured their third Super Bowl in four years. Now, less than a week later, Weis has arrived to begin working full time at his new job as Notre Dame’s head football coach.

With the dust mostly settled from Notre Dame’s controversial decision to fire Tyrone Willingham, the University has the opportunity to put that situation in the past and welcome a new coaching staff. It is a chance for Notre Dame football fans to look toward the future, no matter what their opinion might be about the decisions of the past.

Irish fans can surely be excited about the arrival of Weis, who brings his nasty, no-nonsense coaching style to a football team with the talent to perform well next season. He also brings a strong coaching record in the NFL that includes plenty of wins and – maybe most importantly – a few championships. He is known for turning little-known athletes into stars. But the Notre Dame faithful must also be patient through next year while players adjust to the new coaching staff. Though a much-improved season is certainly possible, it isn’t guaranteed solely because of a new coach.

But while Irish fans can’t necessarily expect perfection on Saturdays in Weis’s first year, they should hope he continues to facilitate the exceptional performance of Notre Dame football players on Sunday through Friday. One of Willingham’s biggest strengths was the guidance he provided for his players. This trend must be maintained during Weis’ time as coach, on top of improving the team’s performance on game days.

With Weis now residing in South Bend, students, alumni and fans have the chance to welcome him as the new football coach, just as they did three years ago for Willingham. It is also a chance for Weis to become more involved with the students around campus. Bringing Weis to the dorms would be a great way for students to get to know him better.

After a tough bowl appearance, a difficult recruiting season and waiting for Weis to finish his position with the Patriots, the Irish and their fans can finally relax and look forward to a new era in Notre Dame football. Coach Weis has arrived.