Understanding more than most parents the ramifications of such a decision, Weis Jr.’s mother and father didn’t exactly embrace the decision.
“They said, ‘No! No! No!’ from the second I decide to do it,” Weis Jr. recalls. “They never wanted me to be a coach because they know the ups and downs.”
To many, the 25-year-old Weis Jr. is still at an early age. About to enter his first season as FAU’s offensive coordinator, he’s also already risen to a level that most in the profession will never reach.
“Coaching, I felt, was my calling- to help people,” Weis Jr. said. “Not just the schematics and the fun of all that stuff but helping young players develop and become better people.”
Weis Jr. received a head start on his coaching career by hanging around the Notre Dame, Kansas and Florida football programs, places where his father either served as the head coach or offensive coordinator. He learned not to allow his emotions to get too high or too low because change could always be a season away.
In college, Weis Jr. spent more time studying film than physics.
“I don’t try to hide from the fact that I didn’t play or any of those types of things,” Weis Jr. said. “Growing up early on and getting involved in coaching, it did help give me a start and so that has helped me tremendously in terms of knowing the game.”
In January Lane Kiffin hired Weis Jr. for the second time in a little more than a year. The first time Kiffin, the former Alabama offensive coordinator, brought Weis Jr., who worked under him under him as an analyst, to coach the Owls’ tight ends.
After a brief first stint as an Owl coach – he stayed long enough to learn Kendal Briles’ offense – Weis Jr. left to join the Atlanta Falcons staff.
A few months later Kiffin hired Weis Jr. to be the Owls’ offensive coordinator in spite of the fact that Weis Jr. had never served as a position coach.
And while Weis Jr. can still walk around campus unrecognized, he draws attention on the practice field and in meeting rooms.
“He commands the players respect and even more, probably something that’s a lot harder, the coaches’ respect – which is even harder because they are all older than him,” Kiffin said.
The start of FAU’s season, a Sept. 1 noon kickoff at Oklahoma, is less than a couple weeks away, yet Weis Jr.’s responsibilities are still developing. Neither he nor Kiffin have publicly stated who will handle play calling duties. Last year Briles made those calls.
Weis Jr. said on Sunday that Kiffin will be the one who picks the winner of FAU’s three-headed quarterback battle.
In many ways the duo’s relationship isn’t much different than what it was when Kiffin was the offensive coordinator at Alabama and Weis Jr. was one of his offensive analysts.
“He’s an offensive mind and he’s brilliant,” Weis Jr. said of Kiffin. “He’s is the guy with the offense and all that. Anything I can do to make his job easier as head coach – it has been a very similar role to something that we had there.”
Weis Jr. spoke publicly on Sunday about his return to FAU at the Owls’ annual football media day.
Being the youngest offensive coordinator in college football is every bit as much fun as Charlie Weis thought it would be.
“I just love being here,” Weis Jr. said. “It’s a blast.”