Rumors swirl about possible successor for Weis

Coaching Irish still a plum job, but it’s not what it used to be

What Jack Swarbrick will learn as he searches for Charlie Weis’ successor is something the Notre Dame athletic director and the program’s legion of fans don’t want to hear.
This isn’t as good a job as many assume it is.

Urban Meyer isn’t coming. The Florida coach might have called Notre Dame his ”dream job” but he’s got it too good in Gainesville, where his Gators are again in the national-championship picture. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops sent the following text message to a Tulsa World columnist: ”On the record, I am not [interviewing]. First I’ve heard of this [rumor)].”

While we’re at it, let’s take a few moments and shoot down the Tony Dungy rumors as well. Forget about Jon Gruden. Swarbrick isn’t going to persuade Bill Belichick to pick up where Charlie Weis, his former offensive coordinator, left off, either. The clone of Vince Lombardi was intrigued momentarily, but has since decided to pursue the expected Redskins’ vacancy.

Big names. Crazy rumors. That’s how every Notre Dame coaching search begins. They are fueled by loyal legions of Irish backers who truly believe, like Swarbrick believes, that this is the best job in the country, and that anyone who has ever blown a whistle desperately wants to coach Notre Dame.

It isn’t true, and it hasn’t been true for some time. This is a good job. A very good job, even. But it’s not the best job in the nation the way it once was. If it were, big-time coaches such as Meyer and Stoops wouldn’t be removing their names from consideration before hearing Swarbrick’s pitch.

Chicago Sun-Times
11/30/9