SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick plans to make a decision on the future of coach Charlie Weis within days of the season’s end.
Swarbrick said Thursday that how he made his decision last fall, when he met with Weis three days after the season ended and told him he would be back, would be “fairly representative of the timing” of what he does this year.
The Fighting Irish play at home against Connecticut (4-5) on Saturday then play at No. 14 Stanford (7-3) in the regular-season finale on Nov. 28. Notre Dame (6-4) is hoping for a good bowl bid.
Swarbrick said the student-athletes are his primary concern because he knows the scrutiny of Weis is difficult for the team.
“I understand with everything that’s swirling around it’s tough on them. My interest is being responsive to their needs,” he said.
The evaluation of Weis is an ongoing process, he said.
“But it gets more intense toward the last quarter of the season, the last third of the season. It’s always happening, but you get a little more organized about it as you approach the end of the season,” he said.
Swarbrick said he will take into account more than Weis’ 35-25 record, which is the same winning percentage as his two predecessors.
He pointed out that NCAA graduation numbers released Wednesday show Weis is doing a good job. He said Weis is doing well in other areas, saying the football team does well in the classroom, doesn’t have disciplinary issues and Weis does a good job of bringing in the types of student-athletes Notre Dame likes.
“Many, many of those other things that are important to our analysis are quite positive,” Swarbrick said.
Swarbrick added, though, that the won-loss record is a “very important” part of the equation.
“Sports are about winning and losing and none of us shy away from that,” he said.