In the great tradition of one-liners at Temple football coach hiring press conference, Manny Diaz offered this gem about the university we all know and love:
“It was better than the brochure.”
Geez. I hope that was a good brochure but, truth be told, the press conference was better than I expected even though I did not get all the answers I wanted.
The brochure remark joined these great ones in the introductory presser Hall of Fame:
“We’re going to build a house of brick, not straw,” _ Al Golden, 2005. (Golden kept that promise, stayed five years and built a house solid enough to win a bowl game the year after he left.)
“My message is to make it a destination to be at Temple. Don’t be passing through. I’m now honestly living my dream.” _ Steve Addazio, 2010 (Addazio passed through after two years and then told BC he was living his dream. He must’ve had a lot of dreams.)
“I asked Bill to sign a 15-year contract and he wouldn’t let me,” _ Matt Rhule, talking about athletic director Bill Bradshaw, who gave Rhule a five-year contract that the uni ripped up and extended to 2021 after the 2015 season. Rhule didn’t even serve the five years Golden did.
“We will compete for championships, we will provide a world-class student-athlete experience and education, and we will represent the community with pride.” _ Geoff Collins, 2016. (Depends on what your definition of “compete for championships” is but Memphis, which played UCF in the last two title games, fit that description better than Temple in the two Collins’ years.)
So we’ve gone from coaches who have promised to build brick houses to ones who didn’t want to pass through to one who wanted to sign a 15-year contract and another who wanted to compete for championships to a guy who said Temple was better than the brochure.
No promises, no demands, this time. Love is a battlefield.
Fortunately, the brochure guy got to work on the love part Friday night by bringing in Baylor assistant coach Fran Brown and that says more about his commitment to competing than any promises could. The billboard welcoming Diaz to Philadelphia (I95 Northbound between Chester and the airport) was impressive but the deeds already are paying fruition. Who knows? Having Brown learn how to be defensive coordinator under one of the best DCs in the country could be a succession plan of sorts. Brown is a great recruiter and one of the most popular coaches with the players in practice facility history, so that’s a good start. Brown is a keeper around the E-O, as is OL coach Chris Wisenhan, QB coach Adam DiMichele and the best special teams’ coach in the nation, Ed Foley. That would be a nice nucleus. Collins can have the rest of the coaches.
Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, who tried to make a read-option quarterback out of a pro set one, probably should be packing his bags right now. Hopefully, Diaz has enough football savvy to know that making a read-option QB out of NFL prospect Anthony Russo makes as much sense as Bill Belichick suddenly making a read-option QB out of Tom Brady. Patenaude has spent two years here trying to force square pegs into round holes and good coaches know that square pegs go into square holes.
Diaz didn’t promise to stay forever, but actions are always more important than words and his first hire was a helluva great action.
Monday: Out of Town Reaction
Wednesday: A Cautionary Tale
Friday: 5 Things We Won’t Miss About Mr. Mayhem
Monday (12/24): Hitting The Ground Running
Wednesday (12/26): T-Minus 1 To Game Day