Charlie Weatherbie begins his seventh season at the helm of the ULM football program.
Weatherbie led the Warhawks to one of their most memorable seasons in the program’s history in 2007. The 2007 season marked the first year that ULM was bowl eligible since it made the jump to Division I-A in 1994. The Warhawks won five of their last six games on the season including one of the biggest upsets in all of college football, knocking off Alabama 21-14 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 17.
Weatherbie guided 10 players to All-Sun Belt Conference honors that year and oversaw ULM running back Calvin Dawson’s climb to greatness as he set the ULM career rushing record. Dawson and the rest of the Warhawk offense posted the highest per game scoring average in the ULM Division I-A era.
Last year the Warhawks defeated Troy 31-30 marking the second straight season that ULM was the lone Sun Belt Conference team to defeat the eventual conference champion. The Weatherbie led Warhawks also came within one point of defeating Arkansas (28-27) in Little Rock, Ark.
The Warhawks came within five points of finishing 7-5 on the season and becoming bowl eligible -- two one-point losses and a three-point loss.
Seven players earned All-Sun Belt Conference honors in 2008 including Cardia Jackson and Zeek Zacharie, who were tabbed to the first team.
Under his direction, the Warhawk football program has made significant strides improving from winning one game in 2003 to winning the 2005 Sun Belt Conference Championship in just three seasons.
Weatherbie, ULM’s 13th head coach, took over the program a little less than three months before kicking off the 2003 season.
The 2006 Warhawks finished the season by winning three of their last four games, including a win over Louisiana-Lafayette for the fourth time in five years, and coming close to upsetting bowl-bound Kentucky. Quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster and Dawson created a high-powered offense for ULM with a league-leading 350.7 yards per game. It was the first time a Warhawk had rushed for over 1,000 yards in the Weatherbie era. Dawson and safety Kevin Payne joined the growing list of all-Sun Belt first team members during Weatherbie’s tenure.
The 2005 squad made its mark by winning ULM’s first conference title since 1992. The Warhawks finished the season with a 5-2 Sun Belt record and had 10 players receive all-Sun Belt honors, including Sun Belt Player of the Year Steven Jyles. Jyles re-wrote the ULM passing and total offense record books and has gone on to play for the Edmonton Eskimos and Saskatchewan Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League.
The 2004 squad won five of their last seven games, including four wins in Sun Belt play. ULM’s 4-3 Sun Belt record put Weatherbie’s squad in a tie for third place. The season also saw ULM beat intrastate rival Louisiana-Lafayette for the third season in a row.
In 2003, his first season at the helm, ULM lost seven games by seven points or less and highlighted the season with a win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Weatherbie continues to be excited about the challenge of winning Sun Belt Conference championships at ULM and representing the league in a bowl game.
When asked at his first ULM press conference on May 7, 2003 whether he was an “offensive-minded” or “defensive-minded” coach, Weatherbie responded, “I’m a win-minded coach”.
The enthusiasm that Weatherbie brings to a community has been continually shown at each of his stops. Since Weatherbie arrived on the ULM campus, attendance at Warhawk games has seen a significant increase of over 10,000 fans per game.
Weatherbie has twice proven that he can take over sub .500 football programs and transform them into winning teams. At Utah State University, he inherited a program that had not had a winning season in 12 years and took the Aggies to their first Big West Conference championship in 15 years, their first bowl game in 32 years and their first bowl victory ever, after beating Ball State 42-33 in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl. He was 12-11 in his first two seasons, 1992-93, leaving after the third season to take the same position at the United States Naval Academy. The Aggies’ 1993 win over Brigham Young still stands as Utah State’s only win in the last 18 meetings with their in-state rival.
At Navy, Weatherbie had similar success. He took the Midshipmen, who had suffered through 12 consecutive losing seasons prior to his arrival, to a 9-3 record and the championship of the 1996 Aloha Bowl in his second season. The nine wins were the most by a Navy team in 18 years. At the time, he was just the third coach in academy history to win a bowl game.
In 1997, Weatherbie led Navy to a 7-4 mark, the first time since the 1981-82 seasons that the Midshipmen had compiled back-to-back winning seasons. The 16 wins over two years tied for the third most in academy history. He was named ECAC Coach of the Year and was the head defensive coach at the Kelly Tire Blue/Gray Classic.
Weatherbie’s first team at Annapolis went 5-6 in 1995, after Navy had won just nine games the previous four seasons combined.
Weatherbie entered the coaching ranks in 1977 as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Oklahoma State.
After three years playing professionally, Weatherbie was hired as an assistant coach at Wyoming. Serving as the quarterbacks coach, Wyoming led the nation in fewest interceptions in 1981.
He left Wyoming after the 1983 season to be an assistant coach at the United States Air Force Academy. During his six seasons on legendary head coach Fisher DeBerry’s staff, Air Force was an overall 48-25-1 and participated in four bowl games. The Falcons had five winning seasons during his tenure, finishing 8-4 and winning the Independence Bowl in 1984. The next season the Falcons went 12-1, finished the year ranked No. 5 nationally and were Bluebonnet Bowl champions.
The University of Arkansas would be the next stop on Weatherbie’s coaching journey. He spent two seasons on the Razorback staff before being named the head coach at Utah State in 1992.
During Weatherbie’s years as a head coach, he has had numerous current NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and NFL coaches work under his tutelage, including Gary Patterson (TCU), Brent Guy (Utah State), Paul Johnson (Naval Academy), and Jim Zorn (Seattle Seahawks).
Weatherbie graduated from Fort Scott High School in Kansas in 1973. He was a quarterback during his scholastic playing days, earning all-state and honorable mention All-America honors in football. He also participated in basketball and track, serving as team captain in all three sports.
The native of Sedan, Kan., continued his playing career at Oklahoma State, where he was a three-year starter and a team captain from 1974-76. He earned a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation from OSU in 1977. He was a member of the Dean’s Honor Roll.
Weatherbie signed with the Houston Oilers in 1978 and the San Diego Chargers in 1979 before spending his final two playing seasons in the Canadian Football League. He played for the Hamilton Tiger Cats and Ottawa Rough Riders in 1979 and 1980.
Weatherbie, 54, is married to the former Leann Jonas of Stillwater, Okla. They have two sons, Lance and Jonas, a daughter-in-law, Brittany, a granddaughter, Hannah, and two grandsons, Braxton and Jonas, Jr.
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