HONOLULU - Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis will call the offensive plays against Hawaii in Wednesday’s Hawaii Bowl instead of offensive coordinator Mike Haywood.
“I’ll be calling the game,” Weis said during his first media availability Monday. “He’s here. Don’t worry. Coach Haywood and I are on the same page on this one.”
Weis called plays during the team’s final three regular-season games and downplayed the move.
“That’s the other thing you read when you do that: All of the sudden you’re trying to run someone out or there’s a rift between you, but we couldn’t be any closer than we are right now,” Weis said.
The Fighting Irish (6-6) are seeking to snap their NCAA-record nine-game bowl losing streak against the Warriors (7-6).
Haywood took over play calling for the Irish this season, but Weis led the offense against Navy because Haywood missed a practice attending a cousin’s funeral. Weis also called plays the following weeks against Syracuse and Southern California.
Haywood had indicated he has no problem with Weis calling the plays, saying, “Whatever I’m asked to do, I do.”
Weis wouldn’t elaborate on the decision, which leaves open questions surrounding Haywood, who has been interviewing for head coaching jobs the past two seasons, including at Washington.
“That’s just the way it is. That’s why,” he said. “There’s no further explanation. That’s just the way we’re doing it for this game. After this game, we’ll worry about next year.”
Weis said at the beginning of the year that Haywood would be calling plays all season and dismissed those who said he would take over before the season was over.
Receiver David Grimes, one of the three team captains, said there wasn’t a difference for the players as far as which coach calls the plays.
“At the end of the day, it’s still the same plays called,” he said. “We still have our packages and what we run on third down, first and second downs, and red zone.”
Grimes spoke highly of Haywood, who is in his fourth season at Notre Dame.
“He’s been here ever since I’ve been here. I learned a lot under him,” Grimes said. “He’s had a tremendous impact on my career here. he’s helped me on and off the field. He’s had a big impact on me.”
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