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Weis scheduled to visit dorms

Pat Leonard | Monday, February 21, 2005

Charlie Weis spoke at 6 a.m. last Monday to 207 students, beginning his first full day on the job in the Joyce Center. Now, due to student initiative and compliance in the Notre Dame Athletic Office, the new Irish head football coach will make himself more visible on campus by visiting dormitories.As part of an organized effort to have the new Irish head football coach acquaint himself with the Notre Dame community, Weis will visit campus dormitories from 10:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. each Monday through Thursday until he speaks to all of the brother and sister hall groups.”This has been kind of a traditional thing around here,” John Heisler, senior associate athletic director, said. “We certainly had a lot of requests when Coach Willingham was hired.”Heisler said Willingham made appearances in various dormitories in the spring of 2002. Weis’ visiting process, however, will be more organized.This week, Weis already is scheduled to visit his first group of brother and sister dorms, including Stanford, Breen Phillips, Siegfried, Pasquerilla West, Keough, Welsh Family and tentatively Zahm and Cavanaugh.Siegfried senator James Leito and Cavanaugh senator Jordan Bongiovanni, who unsuccessfully ran for Student Body President and Vice-President this year, originally proposed the coach’s visits as part of their campaign platform.Heisler responded to an e-mail Tuesday to verify Weis’ availability, Leito said.”[Leito] had come to us and indicated a big picture interest in doing this,” Heisler said. “So we’ve been communicating with him for the last week or ten days in terms of how to get this coordinated as best we could.”The first part of Leito and Bongiovanni’s plan proposed Weis meet with students in dorms and not at a larger venue such as the Joyce Center.”We thought this would be the best because it would be the most personal way for him to meet all the dorms,” Leito said.The second part of the plan guaranteed visits with an outlined schedule.”Dorms usually take it upon themselves to invite the coach, have him come and talk like a regular academic speaker,” Leito said. “But we knew that everybody was going to want [Weis] to come to their dorm, so we figured if we organized it from one central location, it would be a lot easier for the dorms and for the athletic department.”While Weis’ campus talks begin Monday, Leito said he and his running mate originally planned to schedule the coach’s visits closer to spring practice to gain support for the Blue/Gold game.But athletic officials demanded a sooner date, as spring practice and other matters eventually will decrease the coach’s availability.”The good thing for [Weis] right now is that without his family being here on a regular basis, he’s got a lot of time,” Heisler said.Leito and Bongiovanni will attend Tuesday’s Hall President Council meeting to propose Weis’ remaining schedule after this week’s visits occur, Leito said.