OMAHA, Neb. – To be sure, no one casts a bigger shadow in Lawrence, Kansas than Jayhawk men's basketball coach Bill Self. However, Self has warmly welcomed a boisterous personality over the past few months to share the spotlight alongside him.
Charlie Weis was hired to lead the Kansas football program in early December and immediately sent a message to the Jayhawk players – which impressed Self - that they will be successful and it won't be easy getting there.
“The first we are going to have to do is put these players through a grueling off-season to change their mentality,” Weis said upon accepting the position. “It is not going to be pleasant around here in the spring time. There are not many things I can promise, but I can promise you that.”
Self loved it.
“I like him,” Self said and then repeated himself for emphasis.
Self said that Weis' bravado will actually be a positive for the university.
“I feel like for the University of Kansas,” Self explained, “we needed somebody that would draw enough interest that people are going to wake up every day and look in the paper and see what he says.”
Weis had a mix of success and failure in his first try at being a head college coach at Notre Dame, which has been well documented. But Self believes that even in failure, Weis is intelligent enough to use the experience in South Bend as a learning one and the Jayhawk program will benefit from it.
“His resume is pretty incredible when you study it,” Self said. “He's done a lot of things and had a lot of experiences, some good (and) some not so good. He's open about it, talks about it, and will be better because of it in both areas, good and not so good.”
The amount of publicity that Kansas football has received nationally has already increased and Self said that will only continue under Weis' leadership.
“He brings credibility immediately,” Self said. “Ticket sales are going to spike and there are going to be a lot of positives that come from (hiring Weis). It was good for us at this time without question.”