Pat O’Connor (left) to Pat Kraft on Monday morning
My only living relative who cares so little about football she watched Star Trek reruns during the last Super Bowl, listened to my Manny Diaz U-Turn story and said:
“What a fine mess that guy who hired him got Temple into. …”
“That pretty much sums it up,” I said. “It’s a nuclear-type cleanup now.”
Diaz was the Chernobyl of college football coaching hires. If my relative thinks it’s a mess, I’m pretty sure Temple Board Chairman Pat O’Connor and President Dick Englert and a lot of the other trustees think it’s a mess, too.
That’s not to mention our players and fans. In addition, anybody who recruits against Temple now has fruit so low-hanging to pick from it has fallen on the ground.
Now the cleanup begins.
You are going to see a lot of Pat Kraft defenders on the internet who say: “He could not have seen this coming” and “he can’t be blamed for this” but if I saw it coming the guy who gets paid the big bucks to do the hiring should have, too. This is what we wrote in a caption the day after Diaz was hired:
The point is that this hire was Temple’s way of telling Miami “we’re going to train your next coach and, don’t worry, he will make all of the mistakes on our watch at our expense and, by the time we hand him off give him to you, he’ll be a polished guy.”
Diaz was the Chernobyl
of college football
Everything about this guy, from an entire career in warm-weather climates to the fact that his dad was the freaking Mayor of Miami screamed he was going back to Miami. One year, two years, seventeen days, what’s the difference? That should have all been factored into the Temple hire. If Temple is going to get a rental, get a ready-made one–a guy who can give this current very talented team a path to next year’s AAC title.
This is no time for a trainee.
This is the answer Geoff Collins gave in his Temple presser two years ago when asked if he was here to stay: “Every kid in there is going to know that I’m going to love them and there’s too much to do now in every moment to think about anything than what happens in the current moment.”
This is the answer Diaz gave at his presser: “All you can do is give them everything you have at the moment. You’ve got to work to improve every day, then go on to the next one.”
Anything sound familiar in those two comments?
Nothing about staying at Temple and building a winning legacy. Those days might be over, but to achieve a championship now, the days of training rentals for other programs should be over. They should have been over three weeks ago.
Temple should go out and get a polished head coach who can give these fantastic returning players a championship in 2019. There’s a guy named Brown who can do it and it’s not Fran. It’s Neal. All he has done for Troy is do something Temple has never done–win 10 games three-straight years and beaten teams like LSU and Nebraska. Troy is paying him 1/3d of what Temple could and he would be worth every penny.
A 2019 AAC championship and an NY6 bowl would clean up a pretty big mess.
Thursday: Fizzy’s Corner
Saturday: The Slower Pace