TEMPE, Ariz. (FWAA) Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis
has been named the winner of the 2005 FWAA/Eddie Robinson Coach of
the Year Award, which is sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
The 49-year-old Weis, in his first season in South Bend, turned
around Notre Dame in astonishing fashion in 2005 after leaving the
coaching staff of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. Weiss
took basically the talent of a year ago (6-6), installed his offensive
system, and fashioned a 9-2 record that landed the Fighting Irish in
the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. One of the Fighting Irish
losses was a last-second defeat to defending national champion USC.
There was a little doubt from the beginning of the 2005 season
things would be different under Weis. With victories at Pittsburgh and
Michigan to open the season, Weis became the first Irish head coach to
win his first two career games on opponents' home fields since Knute
Rockne in 1918.
Weis, a 1978 Notre Dame graduate, made the Fighting Irish the most
prolific scoring team in modern school history (38.1 ppg) and
qualified the Irish as the most improved offensive team in the country
with 489 yards a game -- 143.6 more than the 2004 season.
The FWAA has honored a major-college coach with its Coach of the
Year Award since 1957. And Weis is the third Notre Dame coach to win
the FWAA Award, but the first since Lou Holtz in 1988. Ara Parseghian
also won the FWAA award in 1964.
The FWAA Coaching Award is named after Robinson, a coaching legend
at Grambling State University for 55 years. He has more Division I
victories (408) than any other coach. The winner of the FWAA/Eddie
Robinson Coach of the Year Award also will be honored at his campus
before next season.
Charlie Weis restored the pride and magic at Notre Dame in a
single season, said FWAA executive director Steve Richardson. If
ever there was a deserving candidate for this award it is Weis. He
basically took the same players who were there the year before and won
more games. That's coaching.
For more information about the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award,
go to www.footballwriters.com.
Eddie Robinson Coach of the
Year Award official site (eddierobinsonsward.com)
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