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Associated Press
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick announces the firing of coach Charlie Weis at a news conference in South Bend on Monday.

Irish back in coaching market

ND fires Weis; winless month seals his fate

Weis

– Notre Dame wasted little time in deciding Charlie Weis? fate.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced Weis? firing Monday, two days after the season finale.

Swarbrick said the decision to let Weis go after five seasons wasn?t as easy as people might think, but he also said it was necessary.

?As you look at the entire course of the season, it led you to the conclusion that you couldn?t have enough confidence that a jump up was imminent, that you could know with sufficient certainty that next year?s results would be significantly different,? Swarbrick said at a news conference.

Notre Dame entered November 6-2, eyeing a possible BCS bowl berth.

But the Irish went 0-4 in November to finish the regular season 6-6 for the second straight year.

Swarbrick said he made his recommendation to the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame?s president, to fire Weis on Sunday and that Weis knew about his recommendation Saturday.

Assistant head coach Rob Ianello, who coaches receivers and coordinates recruiting, will run the program while the Irish look for a new coach.

Swarbrick said the coaching search will move as quickly as possible and there will not be a search committee.

Instead, Swarbrick will bring his recommendation to Jenkins.

Swarbrick called reports that the university had already reached out to coaches like Oklahoma?s Bob Stoops innaccurate.

?We haven?t contacted anybody up until this moment,? Swarbrick said.

Weis leaves Notre Dame with a 35-27 record and six years remaining on a 10-year deal he signed seven games into his first season.

Weis began his career strong with the Irish, guiding the team to back-to-back BCS bowl games and a 19-6 record.

But Notre Dame has gone 16-21 in the last three seasons, the worst three-year stretch in program history. The Irish struggled the most at the end of the season, going 3-10 in November since 2007.

Weis leaves with a worse winning percentage (.565) than the Irish?s two previous coaches, Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie (both .583).

?This is Notre Dame, a place where people expect us to win,? safety Kyle McCarthy said. ?And when we don?t win somebody needs take the hit. Unfortunately, Coach Weis was let go, and as a player you feel badly about that.?

Along with the decision of who will replace Weis, Notre Dame will need to decide whether it will play in a bowl game.

Swarbrick said he met with the coaching staff, the team?s leadership council and the players Monday.

But because Notre Dame doesn?t know which bowl it might be invited to, Swarbrick said that decision will be made later.

?I would love to go a bowl game and send the seniors off with a win,? receiver Golden Tate said. ?For the second year straight, in the last regular-season game, I?ve seen the seniors go out not the way it is supposed to be.?

Another decision many will wait to hear is whether quarterback Jimmy Clausen and Tate will return for their senior seasons. Tate said he and his family will meet with Weis on Friday to discuss the receiver?s NFL draft prospects. Tate said Clausen will also meet with Weis on Friday to discuss the quarterback?s future.

?At this point, what Jimmy does is very important on my decision,? said Tate, who also plays baseball at Notre Dame. ?The coaching change is very important on my decision. So I don?t know.?

tkrausz@jg.net

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