Moving parts and the Temple football coaching search


The worst thing Pat Kraft could do for Temple is to bring in another team’s coordinator

More than any other recent hire, Temple athletic director Pat Kraft has a lot of moving parts to deal with in his search for a Temple football coach.

At times this week, he’s got to feel like one of those contestants in that Lincoln Financial Field shell game–find the Owl under the football helmet as the helmets jump all over the place.


The most important sentence is underlined

The moving parts existing now were not necessarily there the last time.

This team coming back is POTENTIALLY a great team, losing 19 seniors but only a handful of those seniors played key roles and, the ones who did, have backups that can easily replace them. (Just one example is losing receivers like Ventell Byrant and Brodrick Yancy but having upside guys like Branden Mack and Sean Ryan coming back.)

Nothing will continue this train moving forward than two things: 1) a guy who has been a head coach before and doesn’t have to learn to be a head coach on the job or 2) a guy who is familiar with the talent at hand and how to use it.

Is there a guy out there who possesses BOTH important qualities?

The time for bringing
in a coordinator who
has to learn how to
be another team’s
head coach on Temple’s
dime at the expense
of the Temple kids
should be over

Winning now should be the most important thing and, Kraft has to be thinking if he hires the Texas A&M coordinator, the Alabama coordinator or the Miami coordinator winning now becomes more difficult. At least that’s what I hope he is thinking.

So, the moving part, in that case, is that you don’t want to hire a guy who is new to the team and takes a year to figure out the relative merits of both the personnel and the ideal offensive and defensive schemes that fit, you risk taking a team with 10-12-win potential down to a six-win (or worse) season.

Basically, that’s what happened in Geoff Collins’ first year. His learning curve was too steep and Temple gave up a free year so a coach could learn both on our dime and our time how to be Georgia Tech’s head coach. The bottom line is Temple got one good year out of a two-year, $4 million investment.

Finding a guy who has been a head coach before and who at least as a rudimentary concept of the current Temple talent probably is the best way to go. Buffalo’s Lance Leipold, who studied Owl film the week before he was able to devise a way to beat them, seems to have all of the moving parts. You can’t go wrong hiring a guy like that.

Failing that, Ed Foley–who was a head coach before (albeit a losing one) and understands the Temple talent and how to use it–probably would be a safe choice. Fran Brown would be less safe, but more welcome in the clubhouse than some big-time team’s coordinator.  The time for bringing in a coordinator who has to learn how to be another team’s head coach on Temple’s dime at the expense of the Temple kids should be over.

This time, finding the guy who maximizes the talent currently on the team should be the way to go.

Otherwise, Temple football will be someone else’s Guinea pig and finding a pig under the helmet instead of an Owl won’t get you that Jumbotron Prize pack.

Thursday: How Manny Diaz Wins The Press Conference

Friday: Fizzy’s Thoughts on Temple’s Overall Situation


47 thoughts on “Moving parts and the Temple football coaching search

  1. What about this, focus on getting a coach that will last about 2 or 3 more years but in the meantime focus on making Adam DiMichele the coach of the future. A guy like Adam that comes internally will more likely want to stay and focus on making Temple a perennial top 25 team. Getting all of these mercenaries will result in the same thing every couple of years. I am even fine with Foley, the only thing is can he recruit?!?

  2. OK Time for temple to play Hardball with contracts, right ?
    Looks like Temple may well be a desired growth route for several quality candidates. That is wonderful, lets use it for once.

    Time to add an exit fee cost to coaches leaving early.

    Time to add an early contract reduction for Temple if the coaching doesn’t perform to a stated goal.

    We recognize it s a stepping stone but time to protect this house.
    There’s no more love in big time college Football.

  3. I couldn’t believe there hasn’t been buyout clauses in these coach’s contracts. Next coach should have one. Something like $1M for each unfulfilled year of the contract. It would’ve cost GC (or Ga Tech) $3M this time. Could also be a good filter in the selection process to see which coaching candidate seems more committed to staying at TU. Perhaps a 3 year deal doesn’t have a buyout but a 5 year deal does. Whatever. But it shouldn’t be so damn one-sided in these contract commitments. .

    • A “buyout clause” is paying a coach to go away. If a coach is under contract, the poaching university needs to pay the remaining terms of the contract to get their new coach. Isn’t that how it generally works.

  4. Mr HC Candidate: You want to use the position here as a stepping stone? OK, buyout is half of your year one salary (averaged over the term of your new contract) and half of any signing bonus, camps, appearances, and shoe deals paid in the first two years.

    Might as well let the next guy motivate the coach to be as good as possible.

  5. Good points Easyowl. Another bad decision by the admin. is the coach contracts not including the things you mention. And Mike, the guy from Buffalo sure looks like a sound choice. If Foley can pull it all together and win the bowl game (last time was a coaching nightmare, not all his fault) he would show he can coach to win games (presumedly). Seems like properly using the talent you have should be a no-brainer but a question to ask in the interview process.

  6. I just hope they get it right. I’m so tired of watching the Owls lose games because of glaring coaching errors. I do not have much hope because other than Golden, who could not really fail given that the program was at rock bottom at the time, the last three lost about 15 winnable games among them. I am not confident because I think the administration screwed up the coaching situation in basketball. There should have been a national search for a new coach. McKie has not been a force in recruiting. They are getting beat because of a lack of talent, not coaching miscues. That clearly was the case against Nova. In any event, hope the coach is hired by Friday so the owls don’t lose the early commits.

    • Disagree with you John on the basketball team this team is getting beat because of coaching only this guy should’ve been gone years ago and why they left him coach his final year is beyond me

  7. the bias against coordinators is unwarranted.., and nothing more than a preference. the evidence does not support the bias,

    plus Temple’s track record with hiring coordinators is fairly strong when you look at winning percentage, division and conference championships, bowl games, NFL players, etc.

    • John’s point is exactly why a bias against coordinators is not only warranted but history Temple is all too familiar with. Golden could be given a pass because he had to kick half the guys off the team and he had no talent coming in. It took Golden 5 years of building up the talent to where Daz could win a bowl game (and even Daz lost to Bowing Green that year and should have had 11 wins). Rhule was 2-10 his first year. Collins was 3-6 out the gate with a 9-win team. I as a Temple fan am tired of these g-damn coordinators learning how to be Miami, BC, Baylor and GT coaches on our dime and ruining our time watching Temple football the first year they are on the job. Hire a competent head coach who is able to hit the ground running. If you can’t find a competent head coach, go with Foley. No more to these coordinators robbing us with a ski mask and moving on in 2 years.

    • I don’t know if it’s a bias against coordinators. My feeling is the program and the $2M salary should get you a highly credentialed coach. Including a winning record at the FBS level. Ten years ago that wasn’t realistic. Ideally that guy has connections to this area and conceivably will call Philadelphia home. But no more OJT (on the job training) carpetbaggers please. Guys that “try things” while they’re learning to be a HC and with it we suffer through the coaches’ losses John mentions above.

    • Don’t think it’s a bias against coordinators. My feeling is the program and the $2M salary should get your a highly credentialed coach. Including a winning record as a HC at the FBS level. Ten years ago that wasn’t realistic. Ideally that guy has connections to this area and conceivably will call Philadelphia home. But no more OJT (on the job training) carpetbaggers please. Guys that “try things” while they’re learning to be a HC and with it we suffer through the coaches’ losses John mentions above.

  8. Any word on Golden?? Also, maybe I missed it but, are we sure there was not a buyout clause on GC’s contract???

  9. Temple needs to hire the best coach who can do the following:1.)recruit the diamonds in the rough; 2.) coach up the 3 stars and make them better which previous Temple coaches in the past decade have done successfully; 3.) Run a clean program; 4.) hire experienced and competent coordinators on both sides of the ball; 5.) market and continue to build the brand. These are the boxes that need to be checked off. Do not limit hiring by making trade offs of these 5 attributes because we are trying to find someone who is willing to stay put for an extended period. This goes for all candidates, both internal and external. This is a desirable job and there are lots of good candidates out there.

  10. Isn’t it a great feeling (if true) temple Football has become a DESTINATION spot for up and coming coaches. A very good feeling and hope all you have the same little ‘tingle of hope’ for good things continuing.
    ( I trust that tingle ain’t us bein peeeeedon again ). Please excuse rude comment from nbr 2 son.

  11. The coach from Buffalo blew a 20 point lead in the 4th quarter of the MAC championship, Greg Schiano would be looking to jump ship to the 1st big time program that comes calling and that Miami DC doesn’t know the area or the high school coaches which takes a hit on the recruiting trail. I still say Al Golden because he is a local guy, has relationships with local high school coaches and he basically raised Temple football from the dead. I also think Golden will be here for the Long term which would bring stability to the program.

    • Kevin, I agree lets get Al Golden. IF he is an option.

    • As I outlined last Friday, golden is the only guy who checks off all of the boxes; sadly it doesn’t seem like he’s been interviewed. Manny Diaz checks off so few boxes. Why do I fear that guy will be named head coach? It would be a disaster

  12. I don’t understand everyone’s insistence with Golden and Foley (esp Foley). Mike’s general premise is to not hire an assistant coach from another team…but that is EXACTLY was has resulted in the most successful decade plus of Temple football in the history of the program. Hire the best candidate…period. No matter where they are from. Why does everyone have tunnell vision locked on Golden? He has a sub .500 overall record at Temple (yes, I understand the challenges he faced when he started). He never beat a MAC team with a winning record and has a 0-3 career bowl record. If that was Lance Leipold’s resume, no one would be interested. The AAC is much better than the MAC. He couldn’t beat the best MAC teams, so why would you expect him to be able to beat UCF, USF, Houston, Memphis, Cincinatti, etc. I get the sentimentality revolving around Golden, I like him myself, but that can’t be what dictates this decision. He had his time here and ended up leaving us too. Time to let the past be the past.

    As for Foley, he would be as big of a “Guinea pig” as an external candidate. He failed as a head coach at Fordham, going 7-15. He hasn’t been a coordinator since 2007 with Hofstra. He also lost the bowl game he was the HC for us in 2016. Again, I like Foley as a person and his loyalty to Temple, but he is as unproven as any other candidate, if not more. He would be the disaster “safe” hire IMO. If he was’t an internal candidate, he wouldn’t even come close to being considered for this position.

    Give me Fran Brown or Manny Diaz any day or those two.

    • Manny Diaz has no Philadelphia roots, has know relationship with local high school coaches which could hurt recruiting and he will be the type of coach that will be looking for the 1st power 5 offer that comes his way. Al Golden brings stability because he learned his lesson going to Miami that the grass isn’t always greener. He already has head coaching experience and he is a local guy. I don’t care what his MAC record was…. This program was on the brink of being shut down and not even having a football team when he took over… If I recall, they were literally the worst FBS team in the nation. What he did in the 5 years or so he was here is nothing short of amazing.. Had he stayed I’m sure he would have had the same success Matt Rhule had!

  13. What is the Temple strategy? What are the facts? What have we witnessed?

    It is readily apparent Temple is betting on an expansion of the P5. The strategy has been and is stay relevant until expansion becomes a reality.

    Ways: hire an up and coming HC who will compete for division and conference championships, and get to a bowl game every year. It really doesn’t matter if the HC leaves after 2 years.

    It would be nice if the next HC stayed 4 years or longer, but the reality is success beats longevity each and every time.

    Go Pat Kraft, Go

  14. Mind Candy: Hardin was a great hire, but what was the back story? Why did he leave Navy? He was a proven HC, but did he have baggage? HC of a top ten team who left to coach the Philadelphia Bulldogs.

    • He had a back story. It had nothing to do with football. Just a disagreement with the Admirality, let’s put it that way. He wanted to go somewhere where football decisions were paramount and ended up in Philadelphia. We were all better for it.

  15. We should get the Buffalo guy.
    He beat us with lesser talent.
    Doesn’t matter why or how.
    He’s the best get on the market right now
    He understands playing tough in a tough town
    A century ago temple stole Stanford’s coach
    Let’s steal buffalo’s coach now

    • Mike Elko would be a huge mistake. Brian Kelly fired him as DC and Notre Dame took off after that. If guys like Diaz and Elko are all Kraft can come up with, go with Foley with a Daz mandatory 8-win clause and huge bonuses for each additional win. He’d take the job for $1 million (GC was making $2 million) with $250K per additional win in said year of contract. All it takes is for one of these coordinators to turn out to be Bob Diaco and the program is done. Temple has been lucky so far but we’re kidding ourselves if we don’t accept the odds that one of these coordinators is going to backfire. If you can’t give Owl fans a sure thing like Leipold, go with Foley. Hopefully, Kraft thinks before he pulls the trigger. Those are his brains he could blowing out. .. and ours.

      • Mike Elko wasn’t fired by Brian Kelly. Brian Van Gorder was. Elko was brought in by BK to fix the issues and did a superb job.

        He then got paid big time by Jimbo to take over the DC duties at A&M. He is a defensive genius, had local ties, is used to turning diamonds out of coal (you think Wake was getting top level talent? No, and there defense was salty as hell). He should be the top choice if we can convince him the money is legit.

      • Kraft is an ambitious guy and he has bigger plans for himself, he interviewed at Maryland for their open AD spot. I think he will bring in a coordinator at a big school. He is not concerned with how long the new coach might stay, his plan is to be gone within 2 years. And if the new coach has success, it will improve his credentials, I’m thinking Manny Diaz is the guy.

  16. the rumor mill blogs are churning it out. Just read the Michigan DC is in the mix. His defense is great, but didn’t Ohio State just clobber them Michinagers like 6n to 3n .

  17. Mike , It’s great how you get dem little birdies to chirp in your ear. I figured just maybe you know a thing or 2 before we do.

  18. I’d like it to be Foley but Dom Brown is the best of the outside candidates because of his HC experience and I think that’s where pat Kraft will go

    • Mike, looked up Don Brown’s career after you 1:23PM post and have to agree with you. The guy had winning HC records at both Northeastern and UMASS with 3 playoff runs. Plus, winning record and playoffs at the DIII level. Seems like he has familiarity with the northeast and at 63 maybe if successful here he sticks around.

      • Sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that they are going to hire Diaz…no HC experience, no eastern contacts, dad was mayor of Miami. Everything screams he is taking this so he can go back to the U as HC next year. If so, Kraft has been had …and so has temple. Brown or Foley please

  19. says A and M guy spurned TU. He left before he even got here. It also says Diaz is now the guy. What a horrible mistake they’re making unless he can bring one or two four star recruits with him. Pat Kraft is only interested in making a sexy pick instead of going for competence. I’m giving up. And as far as Foley is concerned, offer him a 2 year deal and renegotiate if he succeeds. Fire him if he doesn’t. After all, two of the three prior coaches only stayed 2 years.

  20. Manny Diaz baby bring on the Cuban Sandwiches, he can recruit especially in FL and has the number 2 D in College football this past season at Miami. I live in GA and follow his career. He was Dawgs DC As an Alumni love the hire, I like it better than Elko

  21. Miami is not going to Hire Diaz if they fire Richt or he retires, number one candidate is Mario Cristobal from Oregon.

  22. Bad hire… He will be here 2 years and then head off to a power 5 program then we will be back to square 1.. How does Pat Kraft not see this? The main questions that should be asked at interviews are 1) Do you WANT to be at Temple? 2) Why do you want to coach at Temple? 3) Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How does Pat Kraft as an AD at a division 1 school not see that these guys are just USING Temple as a stepping stone to move on to power 5 schools? Hire a coach that WANTS to be at Temple, that’s going to bring stability. A coach that wants to make the Philly area his permanent home!

    • Two years? One year. I thought Pat Kraft was smarter than this. He was played. Got to protect the ‘][‘ at all costs and he left the ‘][‘ wide open to another search next year. If someone said to me five minutes after GC left, “Mike, who would be the worst hire?” I would have said someone from another town with no connection to Philadelphia with no recruiting ties to the Northeast and no network here and someone who might cause Foley to leave for GT and someone who has never been a head coach anywhere, even on the Pee-Wee level. That’s this guy. Not Dom Brown. Not Ed Foley. This guy. This hire sucks.

      • If i recall lots of folks said Rhule and Collins were bad hires when they were announced. All they did together in 4 years was win 35 games and lose 18. Not too shabby. I don’t know if Diaz is a good or bad hire what I do know is that he is young, energetic and can coach defense. Check out the Miami sports boards they are mourning the loss of this guy. Also if I recall, the La Rams hires a 30 year old assistant with no head coaching experience and all he has done is win 22 games and only lost 8 in less than two years on the job. Young successful people will always yearn for more, I hope Diaz does leave in 2 years, it will tell me Temple had two more winning seasons.

      • Not me. Thought Rhule was a good hire and Collins was OK. All the praise coming from him from Miami were the same exact words people from Notre Dame were saying about DC of the year Bob Diaco. That did not turn out well. Temple is overdue for one of these coordinators to blow up in their face and I fear this guy is it. This is 10-win talent next year. If he gives me nine or less, he’s an abysmal failure.

      • I’d feel a lot better about a guy who was 108-6 at Wisconsin Whitewater with six national championships followed up by 10-3 and kicking the great Geoff Collins’ ass. No doubt in my mind Temple could have had him. He was making $325K at UB. Would be making $2 mil at Temple.

  23. I don’t know much about this guy, but let’s give him a chance. Maybe he guy brings some really good Florida recruits with him, or brings a much better OC than Patenaude. To me, he was a better hire than Foley or Brown, although I’d have still taken Golden back in a heartbeat.

  24. stop already.., Diaz is the guy.

    why? Temple has enjoyed unprecedented success hiring coordinators, stick with a proven formula..,

    What is the new guy’s philosophy on offense? The current OC must go…,

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