Temple HC Pick: A Cautionary Tale


Sometimes coordinators (left) work out, sometimes (right) they don’t.

From reading the reaction all across the country about Temple’s recent hire of Manny Diaz as head coach, one might think that the deal is a slam dunk for Temple.

As New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa said on his WFAN show Monday about the New York Jets next hire, no coordinator slipping into a head coaching job is ever a slam dunk.


Wayne Hardin was the only slam dunk hire in Temple history but top 10 head coaches don’t go to G5 schools these days.

“I don’t want any more coordinators,” Francesa said. “A coordinator is never a sure thing. Really, there’s no sure thing but at least with a head coach you have a track record of what they’ve done as a head coach.”

Francesa is not always right, but his logic on coordinators taking over head coaching jobs is irrefutable and provides a cautionary tale for Temple right now.

At most … most … Temple’s hiring of Diaz can be considered a layup and layups have been missed in the past.

Really, the only “slam dunk” Temple had was Wayne Hardin and that could not have been surprising. When Hardin came to Temple, he had just come off a professional football championship with the Continental League–a league competing with the fledgling AFL–for the Philadelphia Bulldogs. Prior to that, he had Navy ranked No. 2 in the country and coached two Heisman Trophy winners.

He was the real deal.

There are no slam dunks at Temple anymore and none, really, nearby.

A head coach and a coordinator are two separate jobs. Just because someone is a great produce manager at the local supermarket does not mean he’s cut out to run the whole store.

There are plenty of examples of it not working out on the college football level, either.

In fact, you don’t have to go very far from the center of Temple’s campus to point to three missed layups. You could put a protractor in the middle of Broad Street and Montgomery Avenue and draw a 200-mile circle around it and come up with these recent examples.


“Chris did a great job for us at Wisconsin and has been successful at every stop he’s made as an assistant. I was always impressed with his preparation and the way he motivated his players. He’s ready to be a head coach. I think Chris is a great fit for Rutgers.”

Ash’s record at Rutgers: 7-29


“He will bring a winning attitude to the team and we will bring in winning people to the team and just all around winning mentality to the  He will do whatever it takes to that. I think he will do a great job as head coach there.”

Diaco’s head coaching record at UConn: 11-26.


“D.J. is one of the bright young minds in the coaching profession. He is a great teacher, recruiter and has a deep passion for the game and helping young men develop both on and off the field. He did a wonderful job while here at the University of Florida. Everyone here loved working with D.J. He is a winner.”

Not so fast. Durkin exited Maryland with an 11-15 record and a bad scandal involving the death of a player.

It’s a little easier to predict success for a guy who has done it all of his life with the clipboard in his hands. Handing the reins of a program over to guys who have had terrific success with the headsets on is not a slam dunk as Rutgers, UConn and Maryland have learned.

While Temple has been lucky in hiring coordinators under two different athletic directors, expecting Temple to be successful using this same kind of formula forever is tempting fate. All Temple has to do is look at some of its neighbors. The one program that hired a successful head coach, Penn State, is thriving. The others not so much.

Right now, Diaz is ahead of the pack and looks like a layup but finishing the play will determine if he scores and the scoreboard always tells the true tale.

Ask the guys coaching schools not all that far away.

Friday: The Latest


13 thoughts on “Temple HC Pick: A Cautionary Tale

  1. the future has always been the best judge of history, so let’s hope for the best w/MZ.

    before the start of the 2018 season many on this blog, including yours truly, advocated strongly for Isiah Wright to return both kicks and punts.., bingo

    now we have our 6th first team all-American in TUFB history.

    let the beat drum loudly once again.., make this young man the first team RB in 2019. get the ball to your best play-maker often and early.

    he is not the fastest, quickest, or strongest but he does have the make-you-miss. hello?

  2. Happy Holidays and Happy Holi_Diaz,
    Dear TFFE group ,lets be optimistic on our new guy. Let’s see if he has a few good ass’t coach hires and a few good recruits. SantaDiaz comes from a nice coaching background, some good schools, so he may be OK after his first few ( possible poor ) games as he learns.
    Ho Ho Ho ( and bottle of Rum ???) wrong song again.

    • We were expected to sign 22 of our 25 commits today and now it’s down to 12 and a couple of those guys were taken by Collins at GT. Not feeling this transition unless Diaz can poach a couple of Miami recruits for Temple by the Feb. signing. This class was in the 50s before Collins left and now it’s slipping fast. Diaz’s charge will be to bring some P5 guys in by Feb. and move it to the 40s. That’s supposed to be one of his strengths.

      • It’s funny (odd, not humorous) that coaches who leave the Power 5 for G5 jobs coach in the bowl games and that those who leave G5 jobs for P5 jobs skip the bowl games and G5 coaches eat their own (poach Temple recruits, for example) and P5 coaches never seem to bring the P5 recruits to the G5 schools who hire them. Pretty much a rule of thumb and a commentary on the unfair system we have currently that keeps a team like UCF out the championship picture and fosters a whole lot of inequities and questions on the entire system. Rant over.

  3. CC and Daz will never be well liked in Temple Town. Heard Collins will not retain any of the GT current coaches.

    Hopefully in addition to Foley and Feeley, Diaz retains Wiesehan, Hixon, Knight, Lucas, and DiMichele.

  4. Collins and Daz are two sides of the same coin the faces of which are Blather and Bullshit. How and why it works is beyond me. One would think that after Daz went 4-8 and Collins lost to Nova and Buffalo they would have been fired instead of getting better, higher paying jobs.

    second, those that are offended by the current caste system in college football simply have not been paying attention. The current caste system has been in place for five years and it was agreed to by the G-5 schools. Can’t complain or be surprised when your school is treated exactly in the manner they signed up for.

  5. OK now I have a reduced guarded optimistic view.
    Temple only got a dozen to sign today ?
    Holy bat-ship, this isn’t good .
    And Diaz is mostly still doing good deeds for Miami ?
    Even as he is a Head Coach here now ?
    Exactly what does he really care about , for who for what ?
    A weak start to his reign I think

    • They signed some very good kids. They will be fine and it leaves the door open for transfers-fifth year guys and others dissatisfied with their current situation. Diaz already did better than Collins did his first year.

    • They got 17 of the 24 which in my mind is a win. What the other seven may find out is that other schools may not have room because of their early signings.

      • Youngblood, who got an offer from Kansas state today, was a big loss; realistically, not pessimisticly

      • Collins red-shirted his entire first recruiting class. Don’t think that will be the case with this class. plus, Diaz and FB have an entire month to find a few gems.

        One thing Collins did do for us was he played a lot of freshmen this past season.

  6. Dteady Eddie is a wise sage who mentors coordinators into HCs. I have high hopes for ManDi with EdFo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s