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Charlie Weis to be the next Notre Dame Coach

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ESPN.com news services

Charlie Weis is to become the new Notre Dame football coach, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports.

Sources close to the university have confirmed Saturday that the New England Patriots offensive coordinator has agreed to a six-year contract that will pay him approximately $2 million per year.

Weis will fly to South Bend after Sunday's home game against the Cincinnati Bengals and meet with the Fighting Irish football team that night.

A press conference to introduce Weis will be held on Monday.

Weis could not be reached by The Associated Press at his Massachusetts home Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish have been searching for nearly two weeks for a replacement for Tyrone Willingham, who was fired Nov. 30 after posting a 21-15 record in three years.

Notre Dame, which interviewed Weis this week, also interviewed Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Tom Clements on Thursday night. Notre Dame officials called Clements, a former Fighting Irish quarterback, on Saturday morning and told him he was no longer in the running for the job and negotiations with Weis began.

The report is "nothing that we would comment on," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said.

Weis will be the first Notre Dame alum to coach the Irish since Hugh Devore was interim coach in 1963. Devore replaced Joe Kuharich, who was from South Bend and a Notre Dame grad. Ara Parseghian, who became coach in 1964, was the first Irish coach in 45 years who had not played for Notre Dame.

Weis didn't play for the Irish either, but he did graduate from the school in 1978 with a degree in communications and education.

He taught and coached high school in New Jersey from 1979-84 before taking an assistant's job at South Carolina for four seasons. He returned to coaching at the high school level for one year before joining the New York Giants' pro personnel department in 1989.

Weis was hired by the Giants as defensive assistant and assistant special teams coach in 1990, earning his first Super Bowl ring. When Ray Handley was named coach of the Giants in 1991, he named Weis running backs coach.

Weis worked for the Patriots from 1993-96, coaching tight ends, running backs and wide receivers. In 1997, Weis was hired by New York Jets coach Bill Parcells, who asked former Giants offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt to groom Weis as the Jets' offensive coordinator. In 1998, he was named Jets offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach.

He has been the Patriots' offensive coordinator the past five seasons, earning two more Super Bowl rings.

He is credited with helping to develop quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Ben Coates, running back Curtis Martin, wide receiver Terry Glenn and former Notre Dame receiver David Givens.

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