Charlie Weis has taken a lot of heat during his five-year stint as the head coach of the University of Notre Dame. A pressure filled position in its very nature, the burden is especially heavy when the coach doesn't win — just ask Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham.
While Weis has led the Irish to two BCS games in his first two seasons, a 3-9 record in '07 and a 6-6 record (after a 4-1 start) in '08 have put Weis in a crucial position to either win immediately or cease to exist in South Bend. At this point it is unclear whether Charlie is satisfying that requirement, having lost to a highly inferior Wolverines squad and yet having showed strong improvement in the subsequent victories since. Weis' ultimate fate will likely not be decided until the final game is played in this 2009 season which undoubtedly better be a BCS Bowl Game if he wants to continue in his current position.
But this week is an off week for the team and therefore the Charlie Weis job watch will also take a break. Instead, we'll look back at better times for Fighting Irish football, examining the five greatest coaches in Notre Dame history. The list is one of prestige but my choices (or at least the order) will surely raise some debate. But that is the point, as this is not a scientific poll by any means. These are simply my choices, and my rankings, so I hope you enjoy this little slice of retrospect into the storied history of Notre Dame football.
Number 5: Chelcie Ross... I mean Dan Devine
Now more famous for being vilified in Rudy than anything he did as a head coach, Devine was a highly under-appreciated and yet very successful coach in his six-year run in South Bend, compiling a 53-16-1 mark (.764) and attaining a national championship in 1977 with junior quarterback Joe Montana leading the squad. He took his teams to four bowl games in those six years and Devine had many other memorable moments under the watchful eyes of the Touchdown Jesus.