Navy football coach Charlie Weatherbie said yesterday that he has rejected an offer to replace Dan Henning at Boston College and is working on extending his five-year contract at the Naval Academy that expires in 1999.
"I talked to the people at Boston College on Monday and told them I wasn't interested," said Weatherbie, who has guided the Midshipmen to a 13-8 record in two seasons going into Saturday's finale with Army in Philadelphia.
"I like it where I am, and I especially enjoy working with these players. It's not like a civilian school, where kids think of becoming pros. Here, they play football for fun, but still leave it all on the field."
Navy athletic director Jack Lengyel had given Weatherbie permission to talk to Boston College and believes he could also be getting a call from Baylor, which also is looking for a new coach. But Lengyel is convinced Weatherbie will remain in Annapolis for at least a few more years.
"We've been working the last four weeks on his contract extension," Lengyel said. "We hope to get it worked out shortly after the Army game, and, hopefully, before we go to a bowl game."
Under Weatherbie, the Midshipmen have enjoyed their first winning season since 1982. They also have an opportunity to win the Commander in Chief's Trophy, symbolic of supremacy among the three service academies, and assure a trip to the Dec. 31 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Weatherbie said he has not received any coaching offers except for the Boston College job.
"The fact that I had that offer is a compliment to our football program and our players," he said. "It shows that people are turning their eyes to the academy."
Weatherbie has already lost one of his prize assistants, offensive coordinator Paul Johnson, who will be head coach at Georgia Southern next season.
"I've asked Paul to help us coach the team in the bowl game if we win Saturday," Weatherbie said. "We wouldn't expect him at all the practices, but he's been a big part of our success."
Lengyel said there is still a remote chance that the Army-Navy loser could be invited to the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu on Dec. 25 -- if Colorado becomes a Bowl Alliance team and plays in the Fiesta Bowl. But for now, the Independence Bowl appears to be the only real postseason chance for the Mids or Cadets.
Teams: Army (9-1) vs. Navy (8-2)
Site: Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia
Time: Saturday, noon
TV/Radio: Ch. 13/WITH (1230 AM), WNAV (1430 AM)
At stake: Independence Bowl berth vs. Auburn
Last meeting: Army won, 14-13
Pub Date: 12/05/96