QB coach, assistant resigns after triple bypass

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – David Cutcliffe resigned as Notre Dame's
assistant football coach, saying Wednesday that he hasn't fully
recovered from triple bypass heart surgery.
"I'm not going to be ready to jump back into it with the
ability to do the kind of job I expect from myself," Cutcliffe
said. "I'm just to a point now where I'm just really getting into
the rehab good, getting some endurance."
Cutcliffe, fired as Mississippi's coach in December, didn't take
part in spring practice at Notre Dame after his surgery March 9.
The 50-year-old was expected to be the top offensive
assistant during coach Charlie Weis' first season and use his
experience coaching Peyton and Eli Manning to help develop Irish
quarterback Brady Quinn.
Cutcliffe, however, said he suffered several setbacks since the
surgery. He has lost about 30 pounds and estimates he is about halfway through his rehabilitation program.
"I just want that energy level back," he said. "I want to
feel what I felt through most of my life. I'm looking forward to
that opportunity. I know the most important thing right now is to
try to get fully recovered."
Cutcliffe said he doesn't expect to be back at full strength
until the fall.
Weis, who had health problems on his own, said Cutcliffe made
the decision to quit on his own. He said he told Cutcliffe he could
have as much time as he needed.
"This was his decision. It was not a forced decision on him,"
Weis said. "He has a 4-year-old daughter, and I don't think he
feels it's in his best interest to do this at this time."
Weis said he already has a replacement for Cutcliffe, but
declined to identify the person until a contract was signed.
Weis said Cutcliffe told him last week that he didn't think he
would be able to coach this year. Weis asked Cutcliffe to think
about the decision over the weekend, and Cutcliffe then called Weis
back Tuesday to resign.
"I wanted to make sure that he wasn't making a rash decision,"
Weis said. "It was important to me to let him know I was going to
give him all the opportunity I could to make that decision."
Cutcliffe was 44-29 in six seasons at Ole Miss, where he coached
Eli Manning. He was fired after his first losing season with the
Rebels. Before that he was an assistant at Tennessee for 17 years,
including six years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks
coach, where he coached Manning's older brother, Peyton.
Weis received permission from the NCAA to use former Irish
quarterback Ron Powlus, the school's director of personnel
development, as a coach to fill in for Cutcliffe during spring
practice. Weis focused on working with Quinn, while Powlus, a
four-year starter for the Irish in the 1990s, worked with the other
Cutcliffe said he hopes to return to coaching.
"We'll just kind of see what the future holds," he said.