TU Coaching Search: Wait and Hurry Up


If the prior coaching search at Temple, the one that took place less than a month ago, was all about hurrying up to meet the early December signing period, this one was about waiting.

Then hurrying up.

Since there was only one other high-profile FBS job available, Temple athletic director Dr. Pat Kraft had to wait for what the Power 5 school (West Virginia) did and then move on after that. Kraft didn’t only have egg on his face after the Manny Diaz Fiasco, he had a whole Denny’s Grand Slam Breakfast. No use hiring a guy on Thursday, only to have him move on to West Virginia on Friday.

We are exaggerating for effect. We think. 



Seven hours between these two tweets

First, the waiting part.

Since West Virginia hired Troy’s Neal Brown–arguably the most accomplished proven FBS head coach out there–yesterday, Temple has a smorgasbord of pretty decent candidates to choose from and about $8.5 million to spend on a head coach  ($6.5 million in buyouts and Geoff Collins‘ regular $2 million salary) to spread over the next five years.

This time none of the candidates have a place to jump to after 17 days. One or two years maybe, but not 17 days.


Temple’s depression-era offer of $12,500K per year lured Pop Warner away from Stanford. The second splash hire, Wayne Hardin, arguably turned out to be a better one.

The Owls can pay Dana Holgorsen money for a superstar like current Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold or national coach of the year Jeff Monken (Army) or they can dig back deep into the coordinator churn pile for someone like Texas DC Todd Orlando. Leipold is probably out because he has shown no interest in the Temple job (not everyone is), although the concept of hiring a guy who kicked Geoff Collins’ ass with Buffalo talent is more than intriguing. Temple produces NFL players so Monken and his triple-option is probably out and hiring another team’s coordinator after Diaz probably would probably not be received well by the Temple fan base demanding a splash with the newfound money. Eastern Michigan’s Chris Creighton pulled a minor miracle in an impossible place to win this year, but he hasn’t shown he can sustain it like Leipold and Monken.

Now Temple has money for a “splash” hire and one opportunity to spend it.

Really, a solid argument can now be made with Neal Brown gone that Leipold is the only “splash” candidate out there. Seven National championships plus an FBS division championship sets him apart from the rest. The only two times Temple went for a “splash” candidate, Wayne Hardin and Pop Warner, it turned out pretty well.

The only two times
Temple went for a
“splash” candidate,
Wayne Hardin and
Pop Warner, it turned
out pretty well

Popular hirings among a certain segment of Temple fans would be Al Golden and Todd Bowles. Golden gave Temple five great years–a lot longer than 17 days–and still has a tremendous relationship with many long-time Temple fans. He probably saved the program and turned a 0-11 season before he got here into a nine- and an eight-win season before he left. He still has terrific recruiting contacts up and the East Coast and good relationships with Ed Foley and Adam DiMichele. He probably has the competitive instincts to prove was better for Temple than Rhule or Collins. Kraft could not go wrong in bringing him back but we don’t know if he’s even interested. Bowles would be popular with players of the Bruce Arians’ Era but he would be a much harder sell in that he hasn’t really won anywhere.


Don Brown in an interview with the Detroit Free Press. Note the words “not on anybody else’s terms.” Kraft could be demanding Brown keep Fran Brown, Ed Foley, Gabe Infante and Adam DiMichele, none of whom Brown knows. This problem would be solved by hiring another guy working in Michigan, Al Golden.

Now the hurrying up part.

When Diaz left, Kraft issued a statement that emphasized two words: Excellence and stability.

Fran Brown, the current interim coach, represents “stability” and is well-liked by the players. Still, since he was seen not as a guy who could take over the Temple head coaching job 23 days ago, it’s hard to sell excellence and Fran Brown. Mike Elko, Don Brown and Manny Diaz were by reports the final three in the first search. Elko pulled out of the first search and used it as leverage to sign a new deal at Texas A&M.

That leads us to Don Brown. Of those mentioned so far, he brings both stability and excellence. He has all the big-time coordinator experience (BC, UConn, Maryland, Michigan) of the other coordinator churn pile guys but a 95-45 record as a head coach at three schools. That’s excellence. At 63, Temple would be his last rodeo and he can say with a straight face at the press conference that he’s not going anywhere. Another plus is that this will enable Fran Brown to learn how to be DC (not co-DC) under Don Brown’s watch and make him a more attractive candidate for the Temple job when Don decides to retire.

The narrow criteria of “excellence” and “stability” could make this hurry up phase of the second search go pretty fast and that’s what one Brown can do for Kraft that the other one cannot.

Monday: The special circumstance now


28 thoughts on “TU Coaching Search: Wait and Hurry Up

  1. the J-E-T-S, NY Jets will interview MR.., wouldn’t that be something? The NFL was always his dream job..,

    Fran Brown is not listed on the Owls coaching roster, why?

    will FB follow MR to NY, and then come back in a few years just like MR?

    This off season has been off the charts.., if Temple wants stability then put some action behind it. Build an on campus stadium.

  2. Mike,

    SB Nation has a a similisr check box criteria to yours for choosing a solid head coach. https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2019/1/4/18165289/neal-brown-west-virginia-coach-hire Most notably, prior successful FBS head coaching experience.

    If, AAC is truly the top tier of the Group of Five https://collegefootballnews.com/2018/04/ranking-the-group-of-five-college-football-conferences/amp and has any shot of becoming a power 6 conference, Temple must do its part and make this hire a great one!

    The clock is ticking.

  3. Mike…excellent insight into the Temple HC recruiting carousel. Dr. Kraft in the past has looked for splash rather than a well thought out plan to benefit the athletes and the school’s wonderful reputation for the long term. There are HC’s who believe in their school and their mission like NU’s Pat Fitzgerald. There is a TU HC candidate out there that was born and raised in the Philly Area and can lead Temple for the long term. Dr. Kraft’s mission is to stop looking for his next P5 gig and put his personal ambitions aside and find the right candidate for TU HC for the future.

    • I don’t think any coordinators are splash hires. Go get these very talented kids a proven winning head coach who will not have to learn how to be a HC while on the job, whether he’s from Philly or not

  4. and now football scoop is reporting we’ve lost strength coach David Feeley to Diaz and Miami. Pretty soon everyone is going to bail. We need to wrap this up and get Leipold on Don Brown in here ASAP.

    • Wow was I wrong about Manny! He is the scum of the earth. Quits on the fans and the kids then starts taking coaches. Next will be recruits. Hope he fails miserably! The U has no relevance anymore anyway.

  5. The whole thing is coming apart now and Temple has had time to do something. Maybe we’ll pick up the old GA Tech asst coaches or WVU staff ?
    Darn it Kraft get moving here.

  6. What an embarrassing poop show. There are many coaches I think would take the job if offered including the UMass coach who twice out-coached our guys and almost pulled off upsets with inferior talent. Also the Buffalo guy. With the buyout money TU has, they can afford to pay a buyout as well. He’s older and likely will not bail in a couple of years. The fact that they haven’t simply settled on Fran Brown is a good sign because I think it shows a different approach. in past years he would have already been named as the coach.

  7. HOUSTON is paying 20 mill for their big time coach, UCF just went 25-1 in two seasons, and whats TEMPLE doing? Scraping the bottom of the barrel for a new HC?? Ask a donor to donate enough money to match the 6.5 and become the 2nd most attractive job in the G5. Offer the wake Forrest HC or the Purdue, pay them more money and obligate them to stay for their contract. Then hire Fran Brown to stay. WE ARE CLOSE TO IRRELEVANCY. ACT FAST AND MAKE A SPLASH

  8. Just saw the store about Feeley. Right now what is the TUFB staff, Fran Brown, Foley, DiMichle and Infante??? How many of these guys are under contract, as if that means anything these days. I’m expecting any day now to read about Diaz filling any remaining scholarships he has for 2019 with TU recruits.
    We have a team that is in the upper tier of the AAC, ok not a P5 but still not bad, 4 straight years going to a bowl game and should have the talent to keep that going for the foreseeable future yet there are no coaches who want this job!!!! This is becoming a total s**t show. So in hi tenure so far Kraft ha hired a flashy slightly above average at best HC who was more sizzle than steak and followed that up with the “Manny Mess”. I know a lot of folks don’t like Schiano and don’t know if a return of AG is right for this program I would take either one of them right now, at least either one of those guys would keep us at an 8 or more win program.

    • Mike, thanks for keeping it real. Anybody who thinks losing Feeley is “OK” or “calm down there will be a new head coach” is underestimating the gravity and total bungle that was the Diaz hire. You called it BEFORE the hire, not in hindsight. It’s one thing that he left after 17 days. It’s quite another than he hired a Temple strength coach who he did not even meet until his press conference. That’s bush league stuff. Fan boys might love it, but objective people don’t.

      • thanks, Apollo. Badley or “Array” or whatever name he tries to use will never post again on this site. Apologies to John and KJ because,, in deleting his last post to kick him out of here, I also deleted their replies (including mine informing the fanboy I was kicking him off). The replies were much appreciated.

      • I also saw a comment someone posted over on FB that Feely was named assistant AD?? If that was true it’s not like his position was in jeopardy. When all is said and done I would love to know who the committee was for this “national search”

      • Pretty sure they let Kraft make the decision and the “committee” rubber-stamp it. When Lew Katz was here, he ran the committee.

  9. Yeah, I thought as much

  10. the new HC must be ready, willing, and able to heal some very deeps wounds. First the with players, student body and faculty, alumni, and local media.., the current Temple environment is woeful.., in addition to the X’s and O’s, the new HC must have a dynamic and engaging personality.., I thought MR did a great job getting the local media behind the team..,

    Collins wasn’t sincere enough to be taken seriously..,

    TUFB is stunned and sitting in darkness

    • KJ, can’t disagree with much of what you say. Whoever Kraft hires is going to have his hands full cleaning up after this mess especially with regards to recruiting. Think there is enough talent on the rooster that a good coach should still be able to get a couple of 8+ win seasons. Beyond that both Collins recruiting, at least as it looks so far, and the 2019 situation at this a lipoint could leave the cupboard while not bare certainly a little light

  11. THEY NEED a Big time name to come in as HC in order to retain any talent who is on the fence, coach and player.
    Go for Schianno If possible. His NCAA and PRO history may well impress those remaining for TUFB.

    A no-name is not needed for this environment. Piromises Schmomises, we need a known name brand just to stabilize today.
    They can leave in a few, but today we need emergency measures.

    • Schianno would have difficulty filling a good staff, difficult to work with and few desire to work for him…, and his presence with and in front of the media is way below what this program needs

  12. I almost think the current situation could be a blessing in disguise as it gives Pat Kraft the kick in the pants he needed. We were on road that sooner or lesser would have led to a major disaster. With the right hire we can make a quick recovery.
    That said word is Rod Carey HC of Northern Illinois was reached out to by Temple. Mike your thoughts on him?

    • Like him very much. Checks all of the boxes. This is a “win-now” team and he would help us “win now” over all of the other coordinators. I would rate only Lance Leipold above him, even though Lance lost to him in the MAC title game (simply because Lance beat Collins and also Temple has to travel to Buffalo this year). Kraft stopped playing offensive line at Indiana in 1999. Rod took over at center in 2000. They obviously know one another. Hopefully, Kraft can fill him in on switching Isaiah Wright to tailback. 🙂

  13. Curious about how Robert came by the “word” in so far as contacting Coach Carey. Don’t name names, but do you know someone who knows someone? Or does Kraft tell someone to tell someone as a straw poll? Always fascinated by the communication chain of this type info with coaching searches.

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