Notre Dame AD denies contacting potential coaches

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he has not contacted any coaches about a potential vacancy if Charlie Weis is fired after the season.

“We haven’t talked to anybody,” Swarbrick said before the Fighting Irish played their regular season finale at Stanford on Saturday night.

He was asked about a report that Notre Dame would be meeting with candidates as soon as Sunday.

“We haven’t authorized anybody to talk to anybody. It’s simply not true. Any version of it.”

Weis’ job status is on shaky ground near the end of a third straight disappointing season for Notre Dame (6-5). Instead of remaining on the West Coast to recruit after the game as originally planned, Weis will fly back with the team to Indiana.

Weis said earlier in the week that he would have a hard time arguing if Swarbrick decided to fire him. The two will meet sometime after the team returns to campus.

“We’ll engage in the evaluation in earnest following this game and we’ll go from there,” Swarbrick said.

Among the people considered possible candidates are Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, TCU coach Gary Patterson and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

Weis, who has six years left on a 10-year contract signed midway through his first season, took a 35-26 record into the game against Stanford in five years as Irish head coach. His .573 winning percentage is worse than the .583 marks that got his two predecessors, Tyrone Willingham and Bob Davie, fired.

After making it to Bowl Championship Series games his first two seasons, Weis has a losing record over his final three years. He is 16-20 heading into game against the Cardinal since the start of the 2007 season – the most losses ever by the Irish in a three-year span.

His only victory against a team that finished a season ranked in the Top 25 was a 41-17 win over Penn State squad, which finished the 2006 season ranked No. 24.