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Weatherbie and Navy thinking long-term deal Aloha Bowl notebook


HONOLULU -- Navy coach Charlie Weatherbie will meet with Naval Academy officials soon to work out a long-term contract.

On the eve of Navy's Aloha Bowl game against California, Weatherbie said yesterday that he wants to settle in Annapolis.

Weatherbie, who is completing his second year at Navy, made a postseason trip to Baylor but withdrew his name from consideration for the coaching vacancy and also was mentioned for the post at Boston College.

"I'm looking at a long-term relationship at the Naval Academy," Weatherbie said. "With the prestige and honor of the Academy, there is not a better place to be."

Athletic director Jack Lengyel said the contract has been agreed to and is just waiting for a signature. The deal reportedly will be for longer than five years if Weatherbie agrees.

Weatherbie has three years remaining on his current five-year contract, but Lengyel said he is tearing up the old contract and replacing it with a new one. Neither Weatherbie nor Lengyel would discuss the length or financial aspects of the agreement.

An escape goat

Getting Navy's goat proved a simple matter this time. The Hawaii quarantine station ordered the Midshipmen's official mascot, Bill XXVII, to stay in Annapolis.

So, for the second time this season, there will be a substitute goat on the sidelines when Navy plays California in the Aloha Bowl Christmas Day.

"Someone on the island has promised us one for the game," Lengyel said. "We just hope it's better-looking than the last one we borrowed."

Lengyel was referring to the stand-in goat for the Nov. 2 game against Notre Dame in Dublin, Ireland. "They had promised us an Angora goat, but this one needed a good meal," he said.

Heading west

Weatherbie took a good-natured jab into Cal's celebrated "West Coast offense," a short passing game that originated with Bill Walsh's San Francisco 49ers.

"I don't think anyone runs more of a 'West Coast offense' than we do," he said. "Our spread offense came all the way from Hawaii when we hired Paul Johnson to be our offensive coordinator. And he brought two other members of his staff -- Brian Norwood and Ken Niumatalolo -- with him. So, I guess, that makes us the true West Coast offense."

Itchy feet

Both Weatherbie and Cal coach Steve Mariucci were outstanding college quarterbacks who were drafted by the Canadian Football League. Weatherbie stayed two years, Mariucci a few weeks.

"I was with the Hamilton Tiger- Cats," he said. "They put me in an exhibition game. On my first pass play, this little linebacker buried me. Same thing happened on the next play. I got up and said, 'I'm outta here!' "

Parting shot

Niumatalolo, who will replace Johnson as Navy's offensive coordinator next season, needled his former quarterback mentor the University of Hawaii.

Said Niumatalolo: "I'll go to my grave saying he should have started me my senior year. We would have gone 12-0, and Coach Johnson would be getting the head coaching job at Georgia instead of Georgia Southern."

Pub Date: 12/25/96

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