|This is the only (somewhat) Red Flag I care about.|
It would not be a Temple coaching search, post-Al Golden at least, to find a red flag or two on the field.
We found several in the short-lived hiring of Manny Diaz that had to do with him never being a head coach before, lack of knowledge and recruiting ties in the Northeast, never having coached north of Jacksonville and having a father who was Mayor of Miami. All those flags pointed in the direction of a U-Turn back South, although we thought it might be a year, not 17 days.
Rod Carey isn’t perfect,
nor without red flags,
but he has won before
in a difficult league
and his green flags
seem to outnumber
his red ones
Steve Addazio, the Florida assistant, was perhaps the most-hated man in Gainesville when he took the Temple job.
Matt Rhule was a guy who the players lobbied for twice before he was awarded the Temple job. Dick Vermeil said about fans lobbying for the backup quarterback when Ron Jaworski was struggling: “If you listen to the fans, soon you’ll be sitting next to them.” That pretty much applies to athletic directors listening to players.
Geoff Collins’ Mayhem defense was torched against Tennessee, Alabama and Florida State in the weeks before he was hired at Temple.
The reality is that Hardin was as close to perfection as you can get and any Temple fans who remember him have been spoiled. Golden had a pass in that he was given an impossible job–end a 20-game losing streak and rid the program of malcontents, all while bringing up the APR.
Now Rod Carey comes aboard and his only red flag was that a significant portion of the Northern Illinois’ fanbase was happy to see him go. I haven’t been able to find a single columnist or beat writer who covered NIU criticize him, but a lot of fans did not hold him in high esteem.
JERRY BERNDT _ For some reason, Temple President Peter J. Liacouras was enamored with Berndt, who never had a real record as a winning head coach before. RED FLAG: He was 0-11 with the Owls (Rice Owls) the year before he was hired by the Temple Owls. He also got to go 1-10 with the Temple Owls, making him the only head coach in history to go a combined 1-21 for two teams named the Owls. Berndt could not recruit his way out of a paper bag.
RON DICKERSON _ Joe Paterno, no big lover of Temple football (thank God in retrospect), urged Dickerson not to take the Temple job. When Dickerson was adamant about taking it, Joe supported Dickerson, saying that “Ron is the best defensive coordinator in the country.” RED FLAG: The “best defensive coordinator in the country” allowed 55 points in his last regular-season game, after moving from Penn State to Clemson. Dickerson was in over his head as a CEO. He could recruit, but he couldn’t coach his way out of the same paper bag Berndt recruited from.
BOBBY WALLACE _ The man won three Division II titles, but those were Division II titles, taking the scraps of players not wanted by the big Southern schools like Auburn and Alabama. Because he was hooked into the Southern recruiting system, he found some good players for that level. Those kind of players would never work for Temple and Wallace found out that the hard way. RED FLAG: He didn’t have the level of drive or commitment needed to succeed at football’s highest level, no desire to live in the Northeast and Temple wasted eight years of their fans’ lives as a result.
With Carey, the red flag (note singular) does not seem to be as egregious as the ones with the above coaches and it seems to be something at least he has owned.
His first words upon hearing Pat Kraft’s glowing introduction:
“That was more nice things said about me than I’ve heard in the last six years,” Carey said.
Maybe those NIU fans were spoiled. Maybe Carey has learned from any perceived flaws.
It’s hard to imagine a Temple fanbase happy to see a coach leave who has won four division and two league titles in six years. Rod Carey isn’t perfect, nor without red flags, but he has won before in a difficult league and his green flags seem to outnumber his red ones.
Wednesday: 5 Things We Won’t Miss About Mr. Mayhem
Friday: Comparing First Years
Monday: Minimal Expectations
Wednesday: This Year’s Lab Experiment
Friday: A Primer