By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND -- Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis confirms he talked with his family about whether they thought he should quit after last season, though he said he never wanted to leave.
"Like anyone who has a situation that is uncertain, as any husband and father would do, you address it with your wife and you address it with your kids. And you talk about the what if," Weis said Wednesday after practice. "But does that mean that at any time that I thought that I wasn't going to be here? I mean you just have to deal with ... When you're around a long time in this business, what you learn is you have to deal with the negatives. You just have to have a plan just in case they end up happening."
The comments Wednesday were in response to a story in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday. The newspaper reported Weis thought about leaving Notre Dame and returning to the NFL as an offensive coordinator. Weis said he never thought he wouldn't return.
"Did I expect that I was leaving? No. But did I have a conversation with my family about whether or not there's a possibility? Well, yeah. But you think about it. If you're a husband and you're a dad, if you don't do that then I think you're being negligent in your responsibilities. That's about as far as it goes. Did I think I was going to quit and walk out the door? That's not what I came here for."
Following a 38-3 loss to USC in the regular-season finale, athletic director Jack Swarbrick took several days before announcing that Weis would return as coach. Swarbrick said he decided to allow Weis to return for a fifth season because they agreed on what steps need to be taken to restore Notre Dame to prominence.
Weis, who has a 29-21 record in four years at Notre Dame after the Irish posted a 7-6 record last season, said Wednesday he wants the job now for the same reason he took it when he was hired following the 2004 season.
"We came here to get Notre Dame back to the top of the heap. That's what we intend on doing," he said.