The guy who once boasted he "could get hoodlums and thugs and win tomorrow" strolled into Jeannette High School in the spring of 2007 to recruit superstar quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Jeannette coach Ray Reitz knew a bit about Charlie Weis and his reputation. Still, he was stunned by what he describes as a level of conceit he never had seen from the dozens of college coaches he had visited with over the years.
Weis certainly made a lasting impression. "Arrogant as hell," Reitz said. When Reitz told Weis that Pryor might attend a USC quarterbacks camp, he remembers Weis replying: "Why send him there? If he's with me for one day he'll be good, two days he'll be great and three days he'll be incredible." Later, unprompted, Weis asked the Jeannette coaches if they wanted to take a picture of his Super Bowl ring. "I did it, just to be polite, and then gave [the picture] to one of the kids," Reitz recalled.
Everyone who comes into contact with Weis, it seems, has a story -- and they're rarely complimentary. Many former players and alums are down on him for what they perceive as his arrogance, but they're reluctant to speak for the record. Why? As one prominent alum explained it, "A lot of things at Notre Dame hinge on your being a friend of the university." Alumni are fearful that if they speak out against Weis, they might lose their football tickets or their parking spots, or hinder their kids' chances for admission to the school. Yet they paint a picture consistent with a coach who referred to himself as "an obnoxious, sarcastic guy from New Jersey" in a "60 Minutes" profile that aired in 2006.