Temple football: Let’s try stability



Pat Kraft promised the kids stability and he delivered

Just the other day, St. Joseph’s University gave up a whole lot of stability for a future of uncertainty.

Unfortunately, we won’t know if the firing of Phil Martelli as that school’s head basketball coach is a good thing or a bad thing until a couple of years down the line because we don’t know who the new guy is.

When former athletic director Bill Bradshaw turned Temple football from a perennial loser into a perennial winner by hiring Al Golden he said famously: “Let’s try winning.”

Now his successor, Dr. Pat Kraft, seems to be saying, “let’s try adding stability to the winning.”


Fran Brown procuring players and Rod Carey coaching them should be an unbeatable combo for Temple football. Photo credit: Zamani Feelings

The stability Kraft purchased with $10 million of monopoly money is a whole lot recognizable. Kraft made the buyout of new head coach Rod Carey $10 million partly because that’s exactly the amount that UCF made Josh Heupel’s buyout. UCF went unbeaten during the regular season and, if anyone was the hot young head coach out of the AAC, it was that guy.

None of the Power 5 teams in need of a head coach approached him, partly because the buyout was $6 million higher than the going rate for such things. Even the Board of Trustees for big-time schools have limits.

“I told Pat to make it (the buyout) whatever he wanted,” Carey told the press on the day he was hired. “I wanted to be here.”

The difference between St. Joe basketball and Temple football is this: Temple got a guy who already was a successful head coach on the level Temple football is trying to play and gave that new guy more talent than he had in his last place of employment. Unless St. Joe is able to hire someone like Buffalo coach Nate Oates there is no certainty that it traded stability for excellence. St. Joe is more likely to grab the Swarthmore coach than Oates and that is no slam dunk. Temple fans found out that a guy who was a legend in Division II doesn’t automatically become a legend in Division One.

Temple now has both stability and excellence and the fact that Temple foes can no longer recruit against the Owls using the argument that the coach is likely to leave is going to reap rewards in that area. That, plus the fact that assistant head coach Fran Brown is one of the best recruiters in the business.

Kraft promised a team weary of the revolving door of coaches going through the revolving door E-O stability and he delivered. It should pay dividends, maybe immediately, but certainly over the long haul.

Monday: The New AAC Contract

Wednesday: Thoughts on Spring Ball So Far

Friday: Mark Your Calendar

Monday: Glass Houses


6 thoughts on “Temple football: Let’s try stability

  1. Stability is a good thing for team morale and recruiting and Carey has given Pat Kraft a chance to exhale. I would think that the pressure of hiring a coach weighs very heavily on him to make the right choice especially because the results could break the program. Just look at the twenty plus years between Arian’s firing and Golden’s hiring. You mentioned Buffalo. I am perplexed by their athletic success in BB and football. Given where Buffalo is and the lack of significant facilities their success has to stem from very good coaching. I would think that recruiting would be very tough given Buffalo’s location and their lack of name recognition. Nevertheless, they have had more success than TU despite TU’s better location, history, and facilities and the only explanation that makes sense to me is superior coaching. Anyone who says that coaching doesn’t matter is wrong.

    • It would seem to me that a proven winner as a head coach is the way to go and that’s why it’s so perplexing to me that Kraft did the opposite and handed the keys to the hoop program over to McKie. To me, there’s no doubt the Buffalo guy would have left for Temple and he would have been the better option but I hope things work out with Aaron. I have Buffalo in my Final Four.

      • As you know, I’ve said many times that it was mistake for Kraft not to have had a national search for the BB coach. I believe that it went down the way it did was because Dunphy gave them an ultimatum. Either fire me and pay me for the last two seasons of my contract or give me one more year and hire Mckie. Although there was an article iin the Inky this week saying that the team is well-positioned to succeed, I didn’t believe a word of it because the team lost two starters and may lose a third. If the kids on the bench are as good as projected they would have gotten more playing time. The article also pointed to the fact that a Kennesaw State transfer can play next season. Unless he’s Michael Jordan I can’t see how much of a difference he’ll make given the surrounding cast and the lack of a strong rebounding big man even with his 17 point plus scoring average.

  2. Carey has not coached one TUFB game. All we really have are opinions about Kraft’s hire under self-imposed difficult circumstance.

    Let’s see how he does against the other first-year coaches on the schedule, Maryland, Ga Tech, ECU, and SMU.

    4-0, great hire;
    3-1, good hire;
    2-2, meh;
    1-3, bad hire;
    0-4, OMG

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