Going North To Go South


If doing this a lot does not cause burnout, nothing does.

Sometime in the first year of Al Golden’s tenure at Temple University, I stopped at the SAC to purchase some Temple gear and, much to my surprise, I saw the coach jog by me in the general direction of leaving the green zone, near 12th and Montgomery.

It occurred to me then that if there was ever a time for a coach to “burn out” that was it. Golden had to deal with a 20-game losing streak, a nationally low APR, and had to weed out so many of Bobby Wallace’s mistakes that it was a wonder he would field a team.


This may have been the greatest day in Temple football history.

He didn’t, and somehow found as much strength to rebuild Temple that he showed courage in jogging toward 12th Street and who knows how far East. The 20-game losing streak would end the next week, and a bowl game came not all that much longer after that.

Now, we have learned from this story that Golden was “burned out” from the combination of coaching at Temple and dealing with unrealistic expectations at Miami. If Golden went 33-25 at Temple, like he did at Miami, there would be a statue of him in front of the E-0. Instead, for being a winning coach, he got fired. Now he is the tight ends’ coach with the Detroit Lions.

Golden went North to go South, which means that he will end up at a better place as a head coach and should be able to recharge his batteries. It’s ironic that both Golden and Steve Addazio saw fit to leave Temple and ran into tougher times elsewhere. Temple caught a huge break when Daz left on his own, because Temple does not fire coaches. Sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Acres of Diamonds means something here.

No one knows when or if Matt Rhule will get burned out at Temple, but he does have the advantage of not having to deal with those same APR troubles as Golden did. He seems to like Philadelphia, and has enough perspective to know that coaching his kid’s baseball team will somehow keep those batteries on constant recharge for Temple.

Knowing what happened to the two coaches who left before him might keep him grounded for awhile. At least it has got to be part of any thought process, as Golden used to say, going forward.

11 thoughts on “Going North To Go South

  1. Al had to take out years worth of garbage that was amassed by Bobby Wallace and did an outstanding job. While not a great game day coach, nor someone who surrounded himself with the best assistants he created an excellent foundation for the program.

    Daz was a snake oil salesman who failed to win a single conference game last year at BC. I’m guessing he lives until the end of his contract which should give solace to BCs opponents on a weekly basis. I completely agree his leaving is one of the high water marks for our program as he would have led us to mediocrity. He would have won enough games to keep his job but not enough to make us relevant with a style at would have made us very uninteresting.

    I don’t thing MR stays around long enough to get bored. Any seasons we retain him past this one should be considered gravy. He’s a very good judge of talent, recruiter and game day coach. He’s also a great representative for the university. We’ll miss him when he’s gone.

    • Two ways to look at that last paragraph. One, his ego will tell him that he can leave Temple and come away with the success Al and Daz did not. Two, he will take it as some kind of sign from above that he should stay and make his own Acres of Diamonds at Temple. As the Editor of Pravda says to every tough question, “We’ll see how it plays out.” The answer really is only in Matt’s head.

      • He’s made it clear he does not intend to stay forever, though I believe he has a kid (daughter?) still at Temple. What really counts is what his end goals are. I think that will determine a lot how long he stays. Either way I’m enjoying the ride.

        I said this when Al and Daz left, and I’ll say it when Matt goes too, “there is nothing wrong with high quality turnover, so long as what’s coming in is better than what is leaving”.

  2. Rhule should leave only if he’s going to make life changing money and that program is already successful. Taking on a rebuilding job at P-5 program is daunting to say the least as Al Golden found out and almost every coach who thought they could turn the Kansas’s and Indianas of the world around. I believe he likes TU and Philly and so does his family so unless a very good job comes along, he’ll stay here with reasonable pay raises. Let’s face it. He’ll never be fired here as long as the team is bowl eligible and under the diluted standards now existing that means being just .500. The only fly in the ointment is those Blue and White idiots. I think that’s one job he’d take in a heartbeat because everyone likes to go “home.” It will be open if Franklin loses to both Pitt and TU this season.

    • Hoping like heck Penn State beats Pitt on 9/10 and Temple kicks the crap out of PSU on 9/17. With the 127th-ranked sked, not much chance for Temple to impress. However, if that scenario happens and Pitt and PSU go on to have good seasons otherwise, it would be great for the Owls. (Also the win over Pitt will take a little of the heat off of Franklin.)

      • That is completely my thinking relating to the pitt and temple games. I think the longer Franklin hangs around the longer rhule is likely to hang I also think rule is a much better coach than either does or golden. I think he is better rounded and a better recruiter and judge of talent. I’m sure the power five conference is have also come to the same conclusion.

  3. Well, we can wring our hands all we want about whether MR is going to stay or leave, sooner or later, but the fact is that Temple just doesn’t have the money to keep a good coach from the big money schools. At least Temple is competitive enough to grab really good coaches from other conferences that don’t pay as well – like the MAC. Temple is trying tho and is a level up but still stepping stone territory. I think this year will really show just how good MR is. Don’t forget those first 2 seasons that were underwhelming, especially the first one with losses that were downright embarrassing. He’s kind of a slow learner. Even last year could have been better – other coaches would not have gone on vacation in the bowl game. I mean, what was he thinking? For Temple he’s doing wonders at this point, but the days of coaches staying at a school for 10 or more years or entire careers has been over for quite some time and if he can double his salary he probably will. John’s thoughts were right on. I’m just taking things a season at a time and hoping it lasts, no matter who the coach is.

  4. He’s waiting for Saban to retire.

    • Everybody who knows him a lot better than I do says he would probably take a NFL head coaching job or the PSU job, but would prefer to stay at Temple if neither of the other two work out. My fear is that he is going to listen to every Tom, Dick or Harry P5 pitch because he’s a nice guy who doesn’t like saying no, then he says no. Tom, Dick and Harry–especially in the week before the AAC title game–can help you lose the AAC title, or at least cause you to cut corners and ditch the hurry-up offense drill that week.

  5. Ah the golden boy. You temple owl boys will always hang your little hats on the golden boy who led temple out of the mess Bobby Wallace made. Of course it probably had something to do with the FACT that the golden boy wasn’t playing a murderer’s row like Wallace did. The Big East was a beast in Wallace’s day. goldie made a name against the dumpy mac conference. I warned Miami people about the golden boy and most didn’t listen. Boy were they pissed when they found out the golden boy’s resume was built on sludge, not stone.

  6. Absolutely correct about the depth of the team’s on-the-field success. Couldn’t get past Solich and the Bobcats to advance to the MAC title game. But Miami hired him more for getting players to go to class and pass tests to get degrees and keep the players’ names in the sports section, not the police blotter.

    What the school opted to do after he arrived (self- imposed sanctions) cut his legs off in so far as being able to continue recruiting high level talent to build on that first year’s success (division title) using players already there.

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