FORMER NOTRE DAME coach Charlie Weis has been hired at Kansas, where he'll try to rebuild a program that won the Orange Bowl just a few years ago but floundered under Turner Gill.

Weis will be introduced during a news conference today on campus.

Weis is wrapping up his first season as offensive coordinator at Florida after spending one season directing the Kansas City Chiefs' offense. But his most extensive college experience came with the Fighting Irish, where he went 35-27 in five seasons before he was let go.

The 55-year-old Weis helped the New England Patriots win three Super Bowls on the staff of Bill Belichick, and has also spent time with the New York Jets and New York Giants.

Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger is hopeful that his high profile will energize a fan base that had grown apathetic under Gill, who was fired after going 5-19 in two seasons.

School officials would not disclose the terms of Weis' contract.

Gill signed a 5-year deal that guaranteed him $10 million, which means the school is on the hook for roughly $6 million after firing him. Weis was making about $800,000 per year with the Gators.

It was little secret that Weis wasn't fond of Kansas City during his time with the Chiefs, and he moved on to the Gators in part so that he could be near his son, who is also on the football staff. He bought a horse farm in nearby Ocala, and has several health issues that include possibly needing hip surgery after the season that could make it difficult to jump right into recruiting.

Still, the opportunity to rebuild the Jayhawks appears to be too much to pass up.

"There aren't many opportunities you get to be a head coach," Florida coach Will Muschamp said. "I know Charlie, the last one didn't end the way he wanted it to. He's an outstanding football coach.

"I asked him, I said, 'Is this something you're really interested in doing?' He said, 'Yeah, I want to talk to 'em. If I wasn't interested, I would not talk.' So I said, 'I support you 100 percent if that's what you want to do. I think that's great.' Now, when guys make parallel moves, I don't necessarily agree with that. When guys can further their career, I think it's great."

Noteworthy * 

Oregon State defensive tackle Fred Thompson died Wednesday night after he collapsed while playing basketball at a campus recreation center.

Thompson, just 4 days shy of his 20th birthday, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, where he was pronounced dead.

Thompson, 6-4 and 317 pounds, was a true freshman from Richmond, Calif., who played at Oakland Tech High School.

* Memphis hired TCU co-offensive coordinator Justin Fuente to take over the Tigers' struggling program.

The 35-year-old Fuente has spent the past three seasons leading the Horned Frogs' offense.

Memphis was 3-21 in Larry Porter's two seasons as coach, leading to his firing.

* Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck won the Walter Camp Foundation's award as college football's player of the year.

Luck threw for 3,170 yards and a school-record 35 touchdowns as a senior, leading No. 4 Stanford to an 11-1 record and a bid to play No. 3 Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.