Swarbrick’s PC today is available in video and a transcript here.
The transcript has a few interesting tidbits, but nothing all that significant.
I think it’s worth sharing Jack’s words about Charlie. Charlie worked his butt off for us, and he deserves a respectful departure, and should be remembered for all the good he’s done. A lot of people went after Weis because he was socially awkward, he put his foot in his mouth regularly, he wasn’t smooth and he has an ego. Some went after him with personal attacks because he wasn’t a great coach. I think all that’s BS (yes, Kermit, I think it’s BS) because I think he’s a good man. Weis didn’t deserve another year, but he didn’t deserve a lot of the flack he got over the past few years either when he was killing himself trying to win.
Jack honored that, and I think that’s the classy and right way to handle it. Jack on CW (bold is mine):
For many of you who may have thought that was a foregone conclusion, I would say to you that the decision was harder than you might have thought, principally because of the man it involved. Those of us who had the opportunity to work closely with Coach Weis or play for him couldn’t help but develop a great affinity for him.
I’ve said often in recent days that I’ve never met anyone for whom there was a bigger gulf between perception and reality, and I think that is true of our departing coach. I hope we can find somebody who loves this University as much as he did, does, and who cared as much about his student athletes as he does.
He made many contributions to the University, important things which serve us in good stead going forward. He demonstrated that he can bring the very best student athletes to this campus and attract them to come here to play football for Notre Dame, and he demonstrated that once they’re here, they can have the full success we expect from student athletes.
You know, Charlie did win a National Championship; he won a National Championship when his football program finished first in graduation success rate this year, and that is an important contribution and one which we value very highly.
It’s probably a measure of our relationship and how he’s approaching this; I had a call from him this morning; he wanted to know how I was doing.
That’s right. Charlie Weis got fired by a guy yesterday. He called that guy to check on how THAT GUY was doing today. Speaks for itself.
On why it’s important to get this hire right:
The University is better when we [win], college football is better when we [win], and the student athletes who call this place home are better when we [win].
Jack makes it SOUND like he’s really just getting things started now. I don’t really believe this is the case (and I REALLY hope it’s not the case), but it’s what he implies here (interestingly, though, he doesn’t give the exact timing on when all of these things actually started…):
The search for a new coach has effectively begun. I have been reaching out to a number of people to get their counsel, their advice, talking to people familiar with this University about the characteristics they think I should focus on in a new coach, and also reaching out to people in the industry, the collegiate football industry and the professional football industry, to get their assessment of coaches who are working today.
Just a few key quotes from the Q&A:
I think I will say that it is important to us to look first and foremost at people who have demonstrated an ability to build and sustain a Division I college football program.
This most certainly implies no Pro Coaches or Assts, and no College Coordinators…hooray.
Well, I don’t think you can infer from a period of 16 years that there’s some continuing deficiency that you have to overcome. I think all of the great institutions in sports go through these periods. I think we’re all focused on the Yankees’ recent success and their 27 world championships. There were droughts in there, and there were droughts for the Celtics and the Cowboys and all of the other prominent teams in sport and the prominent college programs. This is a drought, and I have every confidence that we will end the drought and succeed spectacularly.
I think it’s absolutely realistic. I don’t think there are any endemic reasons why we can’t. Is it harder for us? Yes, because of the standards we choose to apply to the program ourselves. That doesn’t mean we can’t get there.
These 2 quotes are absolutely 100% dead-on. It’s not impossible for ND to be there in the MNC hunt and the BCS hunt, EVERY YEAR. Is it easy? Heck no. That 16 years was because we had a DC that never should’ve been a head coach, then a lazy head coach that put us in a serious hole, then a Pro OC who worked his butt off to get us out of that hole but couldn’t really put it all together. ND isn’t far from being a top-notch program. Weis proved you can recruit with the best of them if you work at it. Yes, we get a different type of STUDENT-Athlete, but we can get damn good ones. Now we just have to get a coach that can put it all together, and win.
And finally, on recruits…
Well, there’s always some risk, without question, but I like our position better than I think most universities are in this time, for the reason I just alluded to. The young men that picked this place have picked this place. They were attracted to the coaches they met and no doubt were attracted to Coach Weis and have an affinity for him. But as we’ve talked to them today and will continue to talk to them, we’re hearing the message we would expect to hear, which is I’m very sorry to hear that, but you still offer the things that attracted me to the University, and so I’m still coming.
If this is true, Weis is a freaking genius recruiter. Because this means the kids loved the school and program as much as him as an individual. And that is VERY hard to do.
Again, no big news such as who the next guy is, but like I said earlier I wouldn’t expect that announcement for at least a week. Even if the deal is done and in the bag, ND will want to keep up the appearances of JUST starting a search. And I don’t think it’s all some elaborate ruse. I think things started behind the scenes in the past few weeks, and it will be wrapped in the next 2 or so, and the announcement will come sometime after that. My guess, which is literally nothing more than a guess, is the w/o December 14th…long enough to maintain (at least an image of) a deliberate and thorough search that kicked off today, but soon enough to keep continuity in the program.