Comical If Not So Sad


Lance Leipold is probably the best available head coach out there, but does Kraft know that?

Mulligans are usually associated with the game of golf, but Temple athletic director  Pat Kraft now has a chance to have that kind of do-over in football coaching searches.

He missed this most recent two-foot putt by a mile but this is a chance to correct his mistake.


This is what we wrote 20 days ago and Kraft did exactly the worst thing–bring in another team’s coordinator.

The $6.5 million question now is whether he admits his hiring model was a flawed one or does he take this as an opportunity to create a new model?

Manny Diaz lasted all of 17 days as Temple football’s head coach and, frankly, I’m glad he’s gone. He was never a fit for Temple. The guy never coached North of Jacksonville, had no recruiting ties to the area and probably doesn’t even own an overcoat. Temple was going to train him to be Mark Richt’s successor for one year and he would move on to his “dream” job, Miami. He would make all the mistakes first-year head coaches make–all the ones that Matt Rhule made in a 2-10 season and Collins did in a 7-6 one–and the Temple fans and players would be the ones paying for it.


A busy day ahead for the Interstate sign company

Now Kraft will have to juggle several balls in the air with the $6.5 million buyout money ($2.5 million for Geoff Collins and $4 million for Diaz) and hope he can catch them all:

    • No more carpetbaggers. Kraft, in his message to the players last night, finally used the word “stability.”  That word has never appeared in his vocabulary before and it is a concession to the fact that this revolving door is getting comical if it wasn’t so sad. Is there someone out there who has not lost to Duke and Wake Forest by a combined score of 101-53 who feels that TEMPLE is his dream job? Surely that man exists.
    • Keep contractual obligations. Another ball that is difficult to catch. Temple has the names of Fran Brown and Gabe Infante (and probably Ed Foley) signed on the dotted line and the university has a moral duty to keep them onboard and find a next guy who can work with both. Moral duty may mean nothing to Diaz, but it should mean something to Temple.
    • Forget coordinators.  Both Foley, who lost to Wake and Duke by the above-mentioned 101-53, and Fran Brown are good men who may consider Temple their “dream job” but neither has won a single game as an FBS head coach and probably are not ready for prime time. Nonetheless, we don’t want to learn the hard way.

It is time for Temple to finally bring in an established head coach and not another coordinator to have to learn on the job, someone who will bring some stability to the program and has loyalty to Temple.


Al Golden said on national TV Temple TUFF is spelled T-U-F-F (and it is)


That would probably rule out a terrific head coach like FIU’s Butch Davis, who will probably spend his entire year here looking out the window. Buffalo’s Lance Leipold parlayed a 108-6 record at Wisconsin-Whitewater and six national championships (real ones, not fake ones like they have in FBS) into a 10-4 record with the Bulls and is ridiculously underpaid at $325K. Can he be talked into keeping Foley, Brown and Infante, guys who he never met? Waving a couple of million at a guy like that can be convincing. Nothing would scare the shit out of Geoff Collins more than facing the guy who kicked his ass last September at Lincoln Financial Field this September at LFF. He’s a perfect geographical fit for Temple in that Buffalo is a major Northeastern city like Philadelphia. He probably owns several overcoats.


… and this is what we wrote 18 days ago

Al Golden is a guy who knows Temple and loves Temple and HAS PROVEN HE CAN WIN AS A HEAD COACH AT TEMPLE and would get along with Foley, Brown, and Infante and deserves a hard pursuit by Kraft. He gave Temple five terrific years, is still young and probably knows more than anyone else that the grass is not greener on the other side of the 10th and Diamond fence.

Todd Bowles would be a good co-defensive coordinator for Fran Brown to learn from but I’m told his lack of a Temple (or any other) college degree ruled him out of the coaching search in 2010.

The worst thing, though, would be for Kraft to go back and churn the coordinator pile of guys like Mike Elko and Don Brown and come up with a guy whose dream job is elsewhere.

Other people’s dreams are Temple’s nightmares.

New Year’s Day: The Cleanup Begins

Friday: The Pace


46 thoughts on “Comical If Not So Sad

  1. Manny, we hardly knew you.

    The program dodged a bullet for sure. His defense was “motivated” in the Pin Stripe, wasn’t it? Back up QB yet! Glad he didn’t get the chance to show that skill here.

  2. Hire Bowles, the timing of the end of the Diaz Era and Bowles release from the Jets couldn’t have timed up better.

    Have him go back to school WITH his students and get his degree. You couldn’t script a better story in this world of “Scholar-Athletes”.

    • Todd Bowles lacks a college degree and cannot be hired.

      • With all due respect to you John as a senior Owls supporter and contributor. Its a a shame that is one thing that disqualifies him.

        Its probably the only thing he “lacks” at this point as a coaching hire for Temple. Lets stop lying about the guise of college athletics, especially where Temple just made $6.5M in coaches doing what they want.

        Unless there is an actual NCAA by-law that requires this then we should be giving Bowles all the looks.

        Also as I mentioned before. How far short of a degree is he? Wouldn’t it make one hell of a story on the national NCAA level, and speak to so many layers of the potential of what the NCAA could be as an altruistic association (chuckle)? Local Jersey guy, NFL player, Super Bowl champ, after ascending the pro ranks comes back as the coach of his alma mater. One condition of the job requires him to complete the degree he never finished, and is arm-in-arm with his own athletes on the importance of graduating.

        If this is a mere technicality, I think this is one that can be overlooked for the purpose of a true long term hire, and can be an inspirational story for many for years to come.

        PS – this is coming from someone who played under Ron “Its Possible” Dickerson. I’d gladly trade in what ever he got his degree in for a guy like Todd Bowles (or Todd McNair, but thats another story.)

  3. This is a Great Marketing proposal ( I put this in the last Post and then Mike whipped this out on the double ) in the era of total bullshit and doublespeak like what is ‘is’.

    Sports News Blast :
    ‘ And Again ANOTHER TEMPLE FOOTBALL Coach gets hired by a leading P5 School !!! ‘ Temple U continues to Produce !!!!
    Temple U Football, great for the career of the future Greats.

  4. What has TU done to deserve such disrespect? Kill kittens and puppies? Diaz’s only plus was that he hadn’t lost numerous winnable games like TU’s last four coaches did. On the negative side he has never won one. I guess not winning or losing a game at TU is enough in the mad world of college football to get a better coaching job. The next guy will be looking for a new gig before he gets the TU job and he might just get one. Now merely applying for the TU job may be enough to get a better job. Hell, maybe even merely thinking about coaching at TU will be enough to get you that “big” job. By the way, did those in charge at Miami watch their bowl game? His defense with all those four and five star guys was horrendous. Can’t imagine how worse the score would have been had he not coached. Hope the rumors about the buyout are true. That’s one way to meet a budget. Finally, I have followed St. Joe’s Prep for years and they are as good a coached team as any team. Give Infante the job and name Foley assistant head coach. Hiring Brown would be a mistake. the same thing that stopped TU from hiring him-a lack of experience- has not changed. By the way, while those on this site feels used can’t imagine what he’s feeling. He left Baylor in good faith and got screwed. When he does get that head coaching job, I hope he takes into account how he now is likely feeling before he leaves his players in the lurch.

  5. While Buffalo was 10-4 this year Leipold does have a losing record overall in his 4 years a Buffalo. Granted seems to be on the up tick the last 2 seasons and should have better talent to work with at Temple. Of the coordinators you listed I would only consider Brown if he is interested, has been a successful head coach, familiar with the northeast and at 63 maybe sticks around for more than 2 years. At this point I would settle for Golden as long as D’Onofrio doesn’t return. To be honest so far I haven’t been enamoured with Kraft’s head coach selection process. Collins was marginally better than Addazio record wise and I don’t was as good of a recruiter ans we see what kind of choice the snake Diaz was. Maybe Kraft should call Major Applewhite, just kidding but I do find it funny that 15-10 over 2 years gets Collins a P5 payday and gets Applewhite fired.

  6. Totally agree the preference should be to stay away from the coordinator churn pile and bring in someone with experience.

    Serious question, why has Temple not been able to do that? I’ve often guessed there’s a reason why guys like Al and Matt leave and we cannot hire the Al’s and Matt’s that are already out there ( winning HC’s with experience). Is it our facilities, AD, BOT, Temple’s fluttering overall commitment to the program? This program has advanced so much it is a little mind boggling we cannot land someone with a winning record to want to take Temple even higher.

    Either Kraft isn’t looking for them, or none of them want to coach here, and if the latter I’d like to know why.

  7. Golden or Bowles (the hell with no degree; let him promise to finish classes at Temple) have to be strong candidates. Both check off all the boxes for head coaching experience, loyalty or love for Temple, likelihood for longevity. People need to stop this “have to hire Fran Brown now” nonsense!

    • Not sure why the love for Bowles except that he played at Temple. He was overmatched as the Hetsvhead coach. Some guys are good coordinators that will never be head coaches.

      • Some guys are winners who need no excuses. Can’t say Bowles has done anything but lose. I want someone in here who has an aura of winning everywhere he’s been. For $6.5 million, Temple can find that guy and have him bring an all-star staff.

  8. Some random thoughts:

    Now everyone knows why the players decide to sit out of bowl games. This is a business first and a sport second. Kids sign a letter of intent and they are locked in, coaches lie and move on with no restrictions. The day of reckoning is coming for the NCAA, this move by Diaz shines a light on the whole dirty process. The Miami AD and their fans have not gotten the message that Miami is a mediocre P-5 school and that ain’t changing with the hiring of Diaz.Temple is not a p-5 school and successful coaches will continue to move on to bigger jobs, that also isn’t changing. As for replacements, Not a fan of Golden, he revived the program but was not a good game day coach and he hastily left town and if I recall, they had to padlock his office. He is in the revive the career mode and will move on if he is successful. Not sure who is still out there worth hiring but the lore of dollars and bigger jobs will entice any successful Temple coaches to move on. Finally, I think another big problem is the AD, Kraft who appears to be looking for his next gig. He is not looking for a long term answer. He wants two successful years from a coach and then he moves on too. I think the biggest mistake Temple made was canning Bradshaw. He provided stability to the athletic dept. and was locked in at Temple. The only good news in this misadventure is Diaz reportedly had a $4M buyout.

    • Badley, it you’ve been following Mike’s blog you know I’ve been siding with the players who decide to sit out bowl games. Those that criticize them are stuck in the old days and haven’t gotten the message that all that counts is looking out for number one. Loyalty and all that “nonsense” is so 1990’s. This is the age of getting a better job before you commence your previous one. ESPN has run a couple of stories supporting the view that people should not criticize the players for looking out for themselves.

      Hiring Fran Brown would compound the error made in hiring the last three guys. Nothing has changed since he was rejected. He hasn’t gained any more experience and what there is is limited to being a position coach.

      I’m ready to give TU football up because it’s just too depressing. Time to adopt Nova, Penn, or Delaware. LOL.

      • John, this to will pass. Key for Temple now is finding a good hire. Not sure who the candidates will be but maybe we will be surprised in a good way.

  9. Is hiring a guy who lasts all of 17 days represent a good reason for firing Kraft??

    The questions on Diaz’s character are pretty irrelevant now, how can Kraft escape this without losing his job??

  10. Kraft is forgiven IF it’s true TU gets multi mill buy out $$$$.
    Then go for a prev head coach, I like G Schianno here. He did wonders for Rutgers of NJ.
    Now I lament again – Boy I still miss the old days of the Big East where travel to Rutger’s older stadium was good fun.
    Schianno got them on the football map and they put at least 35 +mill into their stadium.
    Interesting who Miami chews up and spits out coaches, Manny Diaz may be without a job in 2 yrs

    • Miami is trying to recreate the old days. Won’t happen because they’re success was based on cheating. Miami is a very good academic institution that bent, if not broke, the rules to win. They can’t do that anymore and that’s why they won’t consistently win like they once did. There are only so many academically inclined D-1 athletes and they go to ND, Duke, Stanford, and Northwestern, not Miami.

  11. It’s not going to be Bowles. There’s too much anti-football sentiment in the academic circles at TU to hire a coach without a degree. And frankly, I agree it’s the wrong message to the players to have a highly successful authority figure who did it without a degree. So I’d like it to be AG. But as I noted in a comment in a prior article, his suit against (ironically) Miami might make him too toxic to Kraft. (And Kraft is one P5 offer from packing it up.) Anyway, AG can win and recruit this area better than anyone. But please. No more co-ordinators.

  12. Just because a guy like Leipold can greatly increase his salary, doesn;t mean he’d be here for the long haul either. I agree with Badley that ANY success by anyone would entice them to move on. Why wouldn’t guys like that jump at a P5 offer after success at temple? It just makes sense. So, Temple is probably stuck with their coaching carousel. The only test would be a contractual stipulation that requires a successful coach to have to stay for at least 6-10 years. Then you’ll find out who is satisfied with 2 mil a year, Temple’s situation, and living in Philly OR a huge buyout.

  13. Why are so many people so high on Bowles. Have any of them followed his career with the Jets? They got worse as his tenure went on and too many of his players, including Robbie Anderson, were arrested for serious crimes. Can he recruit and does he have any contacts among high school coaches? Bet he doesn’t. Most high school kids today only know him as a failed NFL coach. Not much cache there. Moreover, NCAA rules require a degree so it’s a no go.

  14. Any ideas about who was right behind Diaz on the first search list?

  15. No Temple Pity Party, we must bounce back in January 2019.

    What concerns me most is the loss of two recruiting classes in a three year time period. Collins redshirted his entire first year class. The new coach will most likely do the same.

    Both Brown and Elko said no, and Temple said no to Brown. So those three guys are likely out.

    An agent for someone who was not on the radar is probably calling Kraft to get things in motion.

    Collins and Diaz were not on screen before being named. Expect a new name to suddenly appear and bingo Temple Bounces Back!

  16. Just saw on ESPN that they are starting a stand-alone ACC network. Think it’s a good thing for the Owls because of the size of the Philly TV market and the loss of Maryland. There’s no team between Boston College and Virginia and TU would fill that niche nicely. TU should start a D-1 Men’s lacrosse team which would make them a more attractive member especially because they don’t have baseball.

    • getting rid of baseball was a short sighted decision not informed by strategic vision..,

      Is Tom Orlando now the #1 candidate? Again, my concern is offense. Orlando would bring in a spread OC. Hope he goes to Houston

  17. All I can say is it’s a lousy way to start a New Year as an Owl football fan. I can imagine that fraud Lurie scheming to raise the rent because of the buyout money TU got. That would really put a cap on this if that actually happens.

  18. So I wanted to see what Temple fans were thinking and all ill say your guys take on Don brown is disappointing. if you take Don Brown you will not be disappointed. He is too old be looking around he wants one more shot for 4-5 years then retire. His D has shown to be able to dominate lesser talented teams Held MSU to 98 yards in the game this year and Penn State to 70 yards in first 3 quarters and its only flaw is playing vs Extremely good QB’s throwing to high 4-5 star WR’s which the American East doesn’t see many R1 draft pick QB’s.. His D is better suited for like it was at BC where he even held ND to 3 points in a 3-0 loss… at Temple he could implement his D and win the America East and retire after giving you a few conference titles.

    • I like him better than Elko because he’s been a winning head coach before. Temple should pass on all guys who haven’t proven they can win as a CEO.

    • Have the same take on Brown among the coordinators. Before Diaz the snake was hired I like Brown the best among him, Brown and Elko. For me age, success as a head coach and being from the northeast were the pluses.

  19. Wiesehan is gone.., so the staff is essentially depleted…, remember it took MR two years to build a good staff, top to bottom. I think it would take Fran Brown the same amount of time if not longer.

    • Not gonna be Fran Brown. The word “national” in the Kraft paragraph pretty much ruled him out. Kraft has Brown in the same “friend zone” he has Foley. Not the hot chicks Kraft wants to hang with but now that he has been cheated on with the hottest (to him) of the chicks, will go onto the next level of chickdom. Don’t think he’s ready to dip into the friend zone yet.

      • MIke that’s also assuming that Brown and Infante aren’t already packing their bags for Miami. Sorry but the ‘national search” that landed Diaz just has the look of one big cluster, f**k right now. I’m looking at basically no staff in place, a small 2019 recruiting class right now and that second signing period fast approaching.

      • Brown’s the interim head coach. He’s not going anywhere.

      • Certainly the biggest hit Temple has taken in terms of recruiting since Bobby Wallace had to recruit JUCOs. We will pay for it 3-4 years down the road.

    • Same as John Belli feels about Bowles, don’t get the love for Fram Brown. Yes he’s a good recruiter on the defensive side of the ball but how about recruiting a while team. How much was he involved with game planning, etc as assistant HC at Baylor. I really feel hiring him as HC right now would be maybe better than Diaz but not much. I don’t want to sit through another 2 years like Rhule’s with the OJT and building a staff before heading off to the P5 greener pastures. Plus I really hope the Kraft is doing a “nationwide search” as his form letter said yesterday, don’t really think there was too much “due diligence” done with the last national search.

      • Kraft is not stupid and has plenty of professionally hired consulting help with the search..,

        the diamond in your own backyard is Fran Brown..,

        remember many did not want MR the first and second time around.., this time we really need a Temple guy, bingo FB..,

        yes, it is a huge gamble but I trust Paul Palmer instincts. He is in the Hall of Fame, we are not.

        He was an early advocate of MR when others were not.

  20. I don’t get the Fran Brown love either. Remember, Foley had this same “insider” love after Rhule left from the players. The only reason Brown hasn’t lost to Duke, 57-26, is because the bowl game came Thursday and not today. You and Paul Palmer might think Brown can do the job, but the proven head coaches who have won at Buffalo and Troy are in the know category. Troy … freaking Troy … has done something Temple has never done–win 10 games three-straight seasons and won at both LSU and Nebraska. Get that guy.

  21. The reality of our situation is anyone who Temple hires from the outside will use the job as a stepping stone if successful, this is a fact, look at the Golden through Collins era (Manny didn’t stay long enough to be included). The choice is do we want to continue the trend of a two years and done coach or someone like a Fran Brown or a Dom Brown (due to his age) who will commit to a longer stay. There’s no guarantee Fran Brown would stay either but he does seem committed to the area. Perhaps Temple should go Dom Brown, he has previous head coach experience, this will probably be his last sop with Fran Brown waiting in the wings gaining some seasoning from a veteran. It might be a good combo, Brown and Infante learning the in game nuances from Dom Brown and doing the leg work with strong local recruiting. Through Foley in for consistency sake and It might work. Thoughts?

    • If Kraft stays with the coordinator route I like Dom Brown for the same reasons you lay out. Give Fran Brown more responsibility than he had at Baylor, groom him to take over at some point, Infante could be out in a position to move up to DC perhaps going forward

  22. Mike, agree of the 3 coordinators that were mentioned, Elko, Brown and Diaz I was like you thinking Diaz was the worst fit of the bunch with regards to have no familiarity with the northeast, but he did seem to be the “flashiest” which apparently Kraft likes

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