There has been a lot of talk on social media, if not the real one, about this supposed succession plan Temple has with basketball coach Fran Dunphy.
It comes down to these choices:
One, Dunphy returns to complete the remaining three years on his contract;
Two, Dunphy is told he has one more year and Aaron McKie will be named coach in waiting;
Three, Dunphy is told he has one more year to get to the NCAAs or he’s out.
Following Temple athletics as closely as I have for the last 40 years, I’ll opt for No. 1 and bet a good $20 on that happening. Temple has the same kind of aversion to eating contracts as Jon Stewart has to eating at Arby’s.
What does this have to do with football?
The Owls, at least in football, have to have a succession plan for reasons probably not to their liking. This may not be the topic to talk about during spring practice, but this is the kind of thing Dr. Pat Kraft should be at least thinking about and it’s never too early.
Since Al Golden left in at the end of the 2010 season, Steve Addazio and Matt Rhule have left and, the way I read Geoff Collins, he would probably be gone after eight or nine wins this year. It has nothing to do with Collins himself, just that it’s a nomadic profession that lends to stops at places like Albright, Western Carolina, Georgia Tech, UCF, Mississippi State, FIU, Florida and Temple. He’s probably used to moving and not adverse to it. Think about it: Is something so special about 10th and Diamond that would make Collins want to plant roots in the concrete and build something here like Joe Paterno did at Penn State?
I didn’t think so.
Kraft, who probably isn’t going anywhere, has to have a few names on the piece of paper in his pocket should he get that 3 a.m. call from Collins in December.
If he does, it probably means the Owls have done something special, like win another AAC championship and that would probably be an acceptable trade-off.
To me, the next head coach at Temple is a no-brainer. My five-point criteria is specific: 1) Proven winner; 2) ability to win as a FBS head coach; 3) ability to recruit; 4) ability to CEO and hire a solid staff; 5) ability to win at Temple.
Since someone is out there who has proven all of those qualities (Al Golden) and is probably not going to get a better offer than head coach at Temple over the next couple of years, it would be wise for Kraft to keep that name and phone number on a scrap of paper in his pocket.
Otherwise, work on a guy who has at least four of those qualities.
Churning the coordinator pile is like walking through a mine field. If you get through three or four mines, there is always that fifth one up ahead. That’s the one that could blow up this program.
With a $17 million practice facility and a (possible, not probable), $130 million stadium to gamble, you do not want to roll the dice on another unproven coordinator.
Friday: Spring Practice Position Flexibility
Sunday: Done Deal II