Former Notre Dame head coach and NFL assistant Charlie Weis has been hired as the University of Kansas’ new head football coach, KU officials announced late Thursday.

In addition to his five-year stint with the Fighting Irish, Weis is best known for his work in the NFL, where he won four Super Bowl rings as an assistant coach, including three as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. 

Weis takes over a Jayhawks program that won the Orange Bowl for the first time in school history under former coach Mark Mangino, but has fallen on hard times since Mangino was fired and replaced by Turner Gill. In Gill’s two years on the sideline, the Jayhawks went just 5-19. They lost 10 in a row to end this season, with six of those losses coming by 30 or more points.

Kansas officials are hoping that Weis’ big name and Super Bowl pedigree will help him lure recruits to Lawrence. There is already talk about the possibility of seeing former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist under center for the Jayhawks. Crist, a senior with one more year of eligibility, was originally recruited to the Fighting Irish by Weis. But he announced earlier this week that he was leaving Notre Dame and would look to transfer.

Weis took over the Fighting Irish football program in 2005 and led Notre Dame to 9-3 and 10-3 seasons and back-to-back BCS bowl games in his first two years, leading many Irish faithful to believe that he was the right guy to return Notre Dame to national prominence. But after those first two years, the bottom fell out with a 3-9 record in 2007. Those were followed by 7-6 and 6-6 marks that led to Weis being fired after the 2009 season.

Weis spent 2010 as the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs before returning to the college ranks this year as the offensive coordinator at the University of Florida under first-year head coach Will Muschamp.

[Lawrence Journal-World]

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