When Matt Rhule was putting the final piece to the puzzle that was his Temple coaching staff, he said to me over the phone two days after he was hired that “I have a older guy with a lot of experience in mind and with a young coaching staff, I think that’s the kind of guy we need.”
I later learned that was Phil Snow.
After a rocky start at Temple, Snow put his defense in place and, by the second AAC championship game he coached in, there were few better in the country. I wasn’t a big fan of Phil at first, but he won me over four years later when it took him that long to put in his defense.
Geoff Collins might be wise to consider the same approach now that Taver Johnson is headed to Ohio State to essentially fill the 10th coaching spot Adam DiMichele filled at Temple.
With all due respect to Andrew Thacker, he simply doesn’t have the experience at an important position that a school as large as Temple should demand.
Nick Rapone, who was the defensive backs coach with the Arizona Cardinals (Temple West, located in Tempe) for Bruce Arians, does and he has the ability to put any type of defense in at a faster rate than even the Sainted Phil Snow did for the Sainted Matt Rhule. You want real Mayhem? Hire Nick Rapone.
Rapone’s daughter graduated from Temple and Rapone himself has some deep ties to Philadelphia and the Owls, having served two stints as an assistant here already.
As DC at Delaware, Rapone was a part of two NCAA national runner-up teams, including in 2010 when he helped the Blue Hens to a 12-3 record and a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title. Rapone was named the 2010 FootballScoop NCAA Division I FCS Coordinator of the Year as his defense led the nation in scoring (12.1 ppg), ranked fifth in total defense (280.7 ypg) and was 12th in rushing defense (105.3 ypg). The secondary included four All-CAA performers, including All-American selections Anthony Walters and Anthony Bratton at safety. The Hens also ranked ninth in the nation in passing efficiency (102.7), and the team’s 21 INTs were the third-highest total in the nation at the FCS level.
He was the Owls’ defensive coordinator under Arians and the Owls more than held their own as a defense against two top 10 schedules under him.
Most importantly, he’s available and he does have extensive DC experience at the highest levels of football, not at developmental programs like Kennesaw State.
That’s what Thacker does not have nor did Johnson. Neither of those guys have any history of stopping offenses. Rapone has a long and storied one.
Like Rhule said back then about Snow, I think that’s just the kind of guy Temple needs.
Collins should at least pick up the phone and give him a call.
Valentine’s Day: Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes
Friday: A Closer Look at the AAC Schedule
Monday: Developmental Program?
2/21: Philly Special
2/23: New Transfer Rule