Sept. 30, 2013
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STORRS, Conn. - University of Connecticut Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced on Monday that T.J. Weist will serve as interim head football coach for the remainder of the 2013 season. Weist is in his first year as a member of the Husky coaching staff as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
"I am very pleased to elevate T.J. to our interim head coaching position," said Manuel. "T.J. will bring energy and enthusiasm to our football team as we embark on our American Athletic Conference schedule. T.J. will provide stability to our football student-athletes during this time of transition and will also effectively oversee all elements of our football program including game preparation, classroom success and recruiting."
Weist is a 25-year veteran of the coaching profession who most recently served as the wide receivers coach at Cincinnati before coming to UConn. Weist, who has mentored over 16 NFL receivers, was also the Bearcats recruiting coordinator in 2011. During his time with the Bearcats, Cincinnati won a total of two BIG EAST Championships.
Weist (pronounced WEEST) helped lead the Bearcats to a 10-3 record in 2012 and a 48-34 victory over Duke in the Belk Bowl. Weist served as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator in the Belk Bowl as the Bearcats gained 554 yards of total offense on 53 plays and did not have a turnover. Cincinnati was 17 of 25 in passing for 332 yards.
Cincinnati was ranked second in the BIG EAST in total offense at 440.23 yards per game and was first in the BIG EAST in scoring offense at 32.31 points per game.
In 2011, Cincinnati averaged 385 yards of total offense per game and scored an average of 33.3 points per game on the way to a BIG EAST Conference Championship and a win in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl over Vanderbilt.
In 2010, Weist coached a pair of all-BIG EAST Conference selections in Armon Binns (first team) and D.J. Woods (second team) as the duo were the No. 1 and 2 ranked receivers in the BIG EAST in 2010. The Bearcats were the only NCAA FBS school to have two wide receivers with 15 or more 20-yard receptions in 2010. In 2010, the Bearcats led the BIG EAST in scoring offense (27.1 ppg), total offense (417.3 ypg) and passing offense (260.7 ypg).
Weist joined the Bearcats after eight years at Western Kentucky mentoring the receivers. He also served as the team's assistant head coach (2007-09) and offensive coordinator (2003-06). As offensive coordinator in 2006, WKU ranked 23rd in the country in total offense, also finishing 17th in pass efficiency rating while posting more than 4,000 total yards for the fifth consecutive season. Weist helped direct an offense that averaged 405.73 yards per game in 2005, while scoring more than 30 points a game. The Hilltoppers ranked in the top 30 nationally in four different categories.
Weist came to WKU from Indiana, where he served as wide receivers coach from 1997-01. While at IU, he also carried special teams responsibilities with the return units and also served as the Hoosiers' recruiting coordinator his first two years.
Weist was also on the staffs at Tulsa (1996), Southern Illinois (1994-95), Michigan (1990-93) and Alabama (1988-89).
The Wolverines reached four postseason bowl games during his tenure, including two Rose Bowl appearances, while the Crimson Tide appeared in a pair of postseason contests while he was on the coaching staff including the 1990 Sugar Bowl.
A native of Bay City, Mich., Weist was a wide receiver at Alabama from 1985-87, taking part in three postseason bowl games, and earned a letter as a senior. He earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education in 1988, and then added an exercise physiology master's degree one year later.
Weist and his wife Karen have a son, James (5).