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January 8, 2013

Weiner changes mind about coaching at USF

TAMPA -- Tuesday morning, Robert Weiner is back at his office in South Tampa.

Not at his office in the USF Athletics Department.

. Weiner decided after two days on the job in the college world that he's a high school guy. He returned as Plant's head coach as of Tuesday.

"Well, it was just a very emotional decision for me to make," Weiner said. "The main thing is you look at your own life and find a niche that you're good at."

"It's something that brings you great joy, and great happiness," Weiner said. "Some people are willing to risk that for the opportunity to be a college coach, an offensive coordinator, and then a head coach. That's just not my dream."

"My only regret is that I wish I knew that three days ago."

Weiner has been on an emotional roller coaster since leaving Nashville, TN from the American Football Coaches Association meetings to accept the offer from USF coach Willie Taggart to join his staff.

He met with his Plant players and told them privately, but by then the news was out.

Tuesday morning, he met with Taggart and told him the news.

Taggart had nothing but praise for his one-time (albeit very brief) assistant.

"Coach Weiner is a great coach and a man who will continue to do great things at Plant,: Taggart said. "We knew pulling him away from the young men in the Plant program would be very difficult for him, and we wish him continued tremendous success moving forward."

Weiner was equally complimentary of Taggart and his vision for USF.

"Willie Taggart and USF has been nothing but amazing to me," Weiner said. "He will be one of the great college coaches that there is. He's the only reason I was even interested in the job."

Weiner, who has won four state titles since 2006 at Plant and played for a fifth, said it all boils down to what he knows he loves.

"I tremendously say I'm sorry for the timing. I didn't really know 100 percent what was in my heart until I got in there for a couple of days," Weiner said. "My heart was empty and I knew I was a high school guy."

Weiner said if Plant never wins another championship - he'll still be very happy.

"I've got to follow my heart and do what makes me happy. I love to teach, I love to coach. I'm a high school football coach," Weiner added. "Right now I'm the town idiot. I'm a happy idiot, but I'm the town idiot."

"This is me making a decision on my life. I changed my mind with something I wanted to do with my life. I think I'm entitled to that," Weiner added. "What I didn't want to do is to go into a job that I didn't have my whole heart into it. That wouldn't have been fair to USF or coach Taggart."



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