FIU-Temple: A Test of The Hiring Method

butch

There is no written hiring test when evaluating future Temple football head coaches, post-Geoff Collins Era, only an outline of “types” in this current convoluted system, a copy of which should be emailed to every Group of 5 athletic director.

Even the person who sees things through Cherry and White glasses know Collins could not be long for Temple, hopefully for the right reasons, but at least a measure of stability could be achieved with a different hiring model going forward.

For the time being, as long as only the Power 5 can have the coaches they want, the G5 schools that include Temple will be left to pick among these three types:

THE HOT COORDINATOR–Collins himself falls into this category. This is the high-risk, high-reward method. Since the “hot coordinator” usually has never been a head coach, no one knows how he will react once he has a clipboard in his hands. Temple has tried this route with its last three head coaches and that has turned the coaching door at the E-O into a revolving one. Maybe it needs to re-evaluate that thinking in the future.

houston

THE PROVEN FBS HEAD COACH–FIU’s Butch Davis falls into that category.  Coming off 5-7 and 4-8 seasons, Davis’ first year as FIU coach is an impressive one. He turned 5-7 and 4-8 talent into eight-win talent. Compare that to Collins turning a solid core from a 10-win team into a six-win team, and you have evidence that this could be the way to go for Temple in the future. Davis did not have to learn how to be a head coach on the job; he already was a championship coach at Miami and knows how to push the right buttons. He has already seen what life is like chasing the big bucks in the NFL and college football and is more likely to stay and build something than the first type.

cignetti

THE FCS CHICKEN SALAD MAKER–This is a guy who does more with FCS talent than the current Temple coach does with Temple talent. There are a few of those guys out there who can turn “chicken shit into chicken salad.” For brevity purposes, we will mention two here: JMU’s Mike Houston and Elon’s Curt Cignetti. Last year, Houston led JMU to a 14-1 record and the national championship. At the Citadel, he led that team to a Southern Conference championship and, before that, led Lenoir-Rhyne to three first-place finishes. This guy has winner stamped on his farhead. This year, Houston has JMU ranked No. 1 in the nation and his team beat ECU and Villanova worse than Temple did. At Elon, Cignetti–a former Temple assistant–also had a more comfortable win over Villanova than Temple did. In his first year as head coach there, he turned what had been a 2-9 team in 2016 into an 8-4 team this year.

So one of the questions to be answered in a little over a week is if Temple hired the right type. Winning or losing that one game should give Pat Kraft a very large insight into if he made the right choice or not.

Wednesday: A Closer Look at FIU

13 thoughts on “FIU-Temple: A Test of The Hiring Method

  1. There is no sure fire answer. We tried FBS with Bobby Wallice who was very successful at South Alabama, but that was a disaster. It just depends who you get, and sometimes you have to get lucky, as with Wayne Harden. There are not too many like him. Actually, I like the idea of an older (and wiser) guy who has seen enough of life to not be constantly on the hunt for the bigger and better staus and job. Rabbi Dick White

    • actually, there is a big difference between Wallace (a Division II coach) and a successful FCS coach like Houston and Cignetti. At least one of those guys proved he could coach FCS talent and beat FBS talent. Wallace never proved he could beat the teams on Temple’s schedule before coming here.

      • Huge difference between North Alabama and North Philly. Wallace is a great coach, and Temple was foolish to think that it was a good fit.

      • Don’t agree that Wallace was a great coach while here, that’s for sure. Do agree that a lot of it was due to the fit and his desire to spend three months a year in Gulph Shores, Ala. Al Golden put in five years of 60-hour work weeks and only took two vacation weeks every year. That’s the kind of energy that turned this thing around.

  2. If (as we all hope) CC has tremendous success at TU but gets a P5 HC job, my guess it will be a proven FBS HC. And I would give the return of AG or MR a reasonable probability (say 35%) to TU. With MR being the more likely to return. This scenario needs about 3 years to play out. It assumes Baylor becomes dissatisfied with MR no matters how well he handles that mess but comes up short of getting Baylor to a conference championship. But if CC moves on at the same time Rhule is available, I think it probably happens.

  3. Mike, Temple tried the chicken shit-to-salad scenario with Bobby Wallace who had a great record and national championship with North AL and he turned into arguably the worst coach in Temple football history. And while we all agree this season should have been better, at least as a newbie head coach, CC has Temple in a bowl game – much better than Rhule. So, in some ways we can count our blessings for that. But without a bowl win, I agree, this season will be a bust for the most part. With a win? It’s a decent start for him and a hope for improvement.

  4. PS: Yeah, Wallace was just Div 11, but he was highly successful there, giving hope he could do well here. Real problem was he had no roots for recruiting up north and his coaching just didn’t work here. Also, Rabbi White, Wayne Hardin hire was not being lucky unless you mean it was luck to be able to get him. But it certainly wasn’t luck in terms of taking a chance on him (which is the point here) because his credentials were very good at Navy.

    • There is no sure fire answer. We tried FBS with Bobby Wallice who was very successful at South Alabama, but that was a disaster. It just depends who you get, and sometimes you have to get lucky, as with Wayne Harden. There are not too many like him. Actually, I like the idea of an older (and wiser) guy who has seen enough of life to not be constantly on the hunt for the bigger and better staus and job. Rabbi Dick White

  5. Yes, we were very lucky to have had Coach Hardin come to Temple. He was a proven success at Navy, a very bold and innovative coach. Still, recruiting and coaching and discipline at a service academy is different than doing it at other FBS schools. Fortunately, Hardin was just great for us. To me, he was a HOF coach. By the way, I know something about life at the military academies, having lived and served as a chaplain and taught at the school at West Point for the last two years of my career in the Army. Temple came there for a gymnastics meet. I put on my Temple gear and went to the gym and rooted vociferously for the Owls. Rabbi Dick White Temple 61 TUFF since 1947

  6. I like the Butch Davis model: a sage with college and pro experience, like Hardin. Jumping off the coaching carousel and settling down for 10-years and retiring to Cape May, Oreland, or Mount Pocono is a dream job.

    • I have a feeling Davis is going to coach rings around Collins. Whether or not he has the talent to overcome what Vegas sees a seven-point advantage over the Owls is a big question. Too much learning on the job this year by this Temple coaching staff and the kids were the ones who were the guinea pigs.

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