Paying Temple Forward


Letter from Bruce Arians I found two days ago.

Letter from Bruce Arians I found two days ago.

When you make two or three moves like I have, you have a tendency to throw a lot of things into a box and leave them there.

The thought occurred to me that the house I have is slightly too large I and might like to downsize, like my friend, Steve Conjar, whose birthday is today, did so the first step in this long process is to clear out some of the boxes, which necessitated saying goodbye to a lot of good things that I had been holding onto a bit too long.

Temple Owls Bruce Arians

Bruce wearing best TU cap ever.

One thing where I won’t comprise is my Temple football stuff. A good doctor from South Carolina, Jim, once send me a lot of great Temple football memorabilia and I put that away in a drawer with a plan to take photos of it and put it on here eventually and leave it in cyberspace long after I am gone (which hopefully will not be soon).

A couple of days ago, though, I came across a bit of Temple football memorabilia I thought I might have tossed and it was like seeing an old friend again after all these years. It was a letter I received from Bruce Arians, who was then the Temple head coach.

Found the above photo accompanying this post in my basement. At the time, I  working on a story about Central Bucks West players going to college late in the recruiting process and asked  then head coach Mike Pettine Sr. where Dick Beck was going to school. “Either West Chester or Towson,” Mike said. My response was a loud: “WHATTTTT???” and then told Mike, “that ain’t happening.” Put Bruce on Beck and the rest was history for the sole captain of the 1990 (7-4) Owls.


Beck was without a doubt the best pulling guard I have ever seen playing high school ball, but just a little undersized for most D-1A schools. Sent a letter to Bruce, who asked for Dick’s film, and Bruce was sold on Dick’s film and offered him a scholarship.

Bruce became a two-time (probably should have won it three times) NFL Coach of the Year and Dick Beck became a state champion head coach at North Penn after being the only captain of the 1990 (7-4) Owls, who should have gone to a bowl game.

Beck paid Temple forward with kicker Brandon McManus, and I have no doubt Brandon one day will pay Temple forward somehow, someway.

It is sometimes amazing the ancillary benefits that spring cleaning can bring.

Tuesday: The Turner Field Solution

6 thoughts on “Paying Temple Forward

  1. I’ve mentioned this before but I graduated from Central Bucks (CB) before there was an East and way before there was a South. North Penn was CBs arch rival, Thanksgiving Day game back then, in the old BuxMont League (which also included Wissahickon, Hatboro-Horsham, Pennridge, Souderton, Quakertown, Upper Perkiomen, Springfield and Upper Moreland).
    I have to ask, how many CB players played for Temple – I know Doug Shobert did and of course Beck. Under Pettine CB had a true dynasty going in PA. Many USAToday national rankings, some top 5 and 10 and first eastern PA team to win the state title in 40 years. After Pettine CB slid down to mediocrity again.

    • Off the top of my head, CB products Tom Duff (Fullback) and Jeff Stempel (tight end) also played with Temple; Frank Case (Penn State) and Barry Compton and Mike Carey (Pitt) played against Temple. Your point about Pettine is well-taken, though, and it’s what I’ve been writing on this blog for years. Good coaching is the most important factor in winning or losing in football than any other sport. You can talk about recruiting and stars all you want, but if the guy on the other side of the field is constantly out-smarting you, you are going to lose. Mike Pettine was the best high school coach I ever saw. Wayne Hardin was the best college one. I tried to get Mike interested in Temple and his response was, “Mike, I think Gerry Faust ruined it for us high school coaches.” Case-in-point was 2014 Northwestern was 1-2 when it beat Penn State 29-6. We finished 6-6 that year, but were hammmered by Penn State. Go back and watch the films of both games. We rushed three guys most of the time, gave Hackenberg time, and lost, 30-14. Northwestern rushed eight guys, gave Hackenberg no time, and won, 29-6. Can’t tell me a losing Northwestern had more talent than us, but it did have a better game plan. Next year, we had a better game plan.

  2. While he didn’t attend CB, Russo is from Doylestown.

  3. Not sure what Pettine meant about Faust ruining it for [all] HS coaches. Faust ruined it for Faust. You never know, but Pettine probably would have done wonders for Temple. Maybe he just enjoyed the success and noteriety at CB at the time too much to move on.

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