BRISTOL, Conn. – Kansas Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis is a little lighter in his fingers and at his waistline.
Weis, a former Notre Dame coach and NFL offensive coordinator, said he is about halfway through his weight-loss journey, which started in February with the help of a doctor in Overland Park, Kansas.
“Every time you see me this year, I’ll be smaller,” Weis said. “It’s not going to be a debate.”
Weis told the Chicago Tribune earlier this summer that he wanted to lose 100 pounds, and he looks much lighter than he has in the past. Weis said his weight problems go back to a failed gastric bypass surgery in 2002. He also suffered knee and hip injuries when a player was blocked into him on the sideline during a Notre Dame-Michigan game in 2008, in which he tore the ACL in his left knee.
Weis had hip replacement surgery shortly after he was hired as Kansas’ coach in December 2011.
“The pain was just completely unbearable,” Weis said. “Getting my hip done was the greatest day of my life. I woke up pain-free for the first time since that hit.”
Weis, who has a 4-20 record in two seasons as head coach of the Jayhawks, said he hopes to coach for five more years. He said part of his desire to lose weight is so he can enjoy retirement.
“I’d like to enjoy my wife and my daughter and my son,” Weis said. “I don’t want to have worked for 120 hours a week for 30 years and then not enjoy them.”
There’s also something noticeably missing from Weis’ hands – three Super Bowl rings he won as the New England Patriots’ offensive coordinator.
Weis wore them to impress recruits as Notre Dame’s coach, and some media members criticized him as being arrogant. Now, Weis said he only wears his wedding ring during recruiting visits.
“When I was at Notre Dame, I’d wear one and got hammered for it,” Weis said. “Now they ask me if I have a ring, and I tell them I’m wearing the only one that matters – and that’s true.”
But Weis still points out to recruits that he helped the Patriots win multiple Super Bowl titles. In fact, Weis and Kansas defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Dave Campo combined to win six Super Bowl rings as NFL assistants.
When a recruit has reservations of playing at Kansas because of its recent record, Weis said he offers them this recruiting speech (he refuses to call it a pitch):
“What is your dream? It should be to graduate from college with a degree. About 98.4 percent of college players don’t play in the NFL; only 1.6 percent do.
“You want to play early, right? Where do you think you fit on their depth charts?
“When you get to that point, in four or five years, and if you’re lucky to have the God-given talent and progress to that point to play in the NFL, you’re questioning whether I can get you there?”
But what recruits won’t be able to see on Weis’ hand is a Super Bowl ring. He said they’re sitting in a box at his home.
“They belong to my son, to be honest,” Weis said. “He doesn’t know it, so be careful how you write it.”