Ed Foley: Gone, but Not Forgotten

In my lifetime which  (unfortunately) is getting to be sadly very long, there have been very few Temple sports lifers.

Sports Information Director Al Shrier, for one. Baseball coach Skip Wilson, for another. Basketball coach Harry Litwack. Fencing coach Dr. Nikki Franke. Athletic director Gavin White.

That’s maybe it.

Even the great John Chaney started somewhere else.

There have been no Temple football lifers and the last possible one, Ed Foley, has just left the Edberg-Olson building for a job at Baylor. Not even the great Wayne Hardin, who stayed here 13 years, could be considered a lifer.

You don’t get rid
of one of the best
special teams coaches
in the country who is
admired and respected
at Temple by everyone,
alumni, fans, current
and ex-players,
without some pushback

Foley did not start at Temple, but I certainly thought he would finish here. After being a 7-15 head coach at Fordham, he arrived at Temple with Al Golden and helped resuscitate a brain dead program by breathing some CPR into it.

On April Fool’s Day, 2017, he filmed the video at the top of this post with Kevin Copp and said: “I don’t want to really be anywhere else.” I believed him then. I believe him now.

As a recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach for Golden, he helped recruit three of the top five MAC classes and that led to Temple getting a promotion to the Big East (now the AAC). As special teams coach for Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule and Geoff Collins, he had the Owls’ consistently rated in the top 10 in blocked punts and field goals.

This guy loved Temple. He loved Philadelphia. He wasn’t my choice to be head coach either time because a 7-15 record in his previous head coaching job does not represent the credentials needed to do the same job at Temple. He was not a great head coach as a 14.5-point favorite in an interim capacity against Wake Forest in 2016. Against Duke, he again proved my point that you can be the best assistant coach in the history of the world and a terrible game-day head coach. In fact, he proved that at Fordham when his 7-15 was sandwiched between two of the most successful head coaches in that school’s history, Dave Clawson and Joe Moorhead.

Still, he did everything that was asked of him at Temple and more. I know for a fact that he turned down an assistant coaching job at Purdue a couple of years ago to stay at Temple and he probably turned down other offers I did not know about.


So that’s why it was so shocking to hear the news–first reported by Owlscoop.com–that Foley left to join Rhule in an off-the-field capacity at Baylor. He was already in an off-the-field capacity at Temple the last few months so it seemed odd to leave one job at a place he loved for another in a place he was unfamiliar with.

Maybe this quote in Saturday’s Marc Narducci story explained everything: “I don’t have an official title, but will be working with somebody I like and trust,” Foley said about Rhule.

Hmm. Translation: “I don’t like and trust Rod Carey.”

That seems to be abundantly clear. In the same story, Narducci said Carey was “unavailable for comment.” Unavailable for comment? Who is he, Howard Hughes?

Look, I LOVE the Rod Carey hire and I understand that he’s got to live and die with his own hires but this isn’t a good look. Foley has been able to get along with a divergent list of personalties, from Golden to Daz to Rhule to Collins and do it in a professional manner. You don’t get rid of one of the best special teams coaches in the country (face it, giving him a paper-pushing job is getting rid of him), a guy who is admired and respected at Temple by everyone, alumni, fans, current and ex-players, without some pushback. Especially when you bring in a guy from SMU whose special teams weren’t rated as highly as Foley’s. I have never run into a single person who said a negative word about Ed Foley the man. That is a truly rare individual.

Let’s hope Carey is able to explain this in a satisfactory manner sometime in the near future. Right now, it doesn’t pass the smell test.

In fact, it reeks.

Saturday: AAC Media Day

Monday: AAC Head-Scratchers


12 thoughts on “Ed Foley: Gone, but Not Forgotten

  1. Frankly, I don’t think there is enough information available to weigh whether this is a bad sign about Coach Carey, Absent knowing whether something precipitated this or merely whether their personalities clashed, it’s tough for me to know what to think. I also think that the statement that Rhule is trustworthy is an exaggeration. Rhule’s the guy who said after the championship game that he was going out recruiting but forgot to mention that he was doing so for Baylor. Unless I hear that Carey demoted him just because he could or for something petty, or special teams stink this year, my opinion will change substantially.

    • special teams may not stink this year but it is hard to fathom how they could be better.

      on the surface, this looks like Carey wanting his own people at the expense of Foley. And, Foley was man enough (Temple Tuff) to voice his displeasure which took Carey by surprise?

      Fran Brown now sleeps w/one eye open.., he definitely will not be here next year.

      RED FLAG.

      After much research IMO Carey wanted out of NIU more than he wanted to be here at Temple. And, the NIU football supporters wanted him out more than Temple supporters wanted him here.

      Carey was not on Kraft’s first list, and not in the top 3 on his second list.

      • That all may be true. We all will have our answer whether this was a good or bad hire on November 30, 2019

    • Special Teams was one of the strengths of last year’s team. Why demote a proven special teams coach. On top of that
      both Boumerhi & Connor Bowler have left the team since April. Connect the dots … It’s the coach .

      I would say that Kraft should be sweating bullets hoping this team finishes above .500, considering Carey’s offense stunk last year .

      It doesn’t matter if Carey doesn’t get the job done. Since Temple doesn’t fire coaches.

  2. John have to agree with you point about not having enough information to make a determination as to whether this was a good or bad decision at this time. As for the special teams, don’t know how much Dreisen was involved with those at SMU but Dan Sabock, who is listed as Defense and special teams analyst on the current staff was NIUs special teams coordinator last year. Comparing the stats for both TU and NIU, not a huge difference in performance between both squads. TU was better in both kickoff and punt returns. 13 yds per punt return versus 6.2 for NIU and 23 yds per kickoff return versus 17 for NIU. NIU was better defending punts, TU kickoffs and both squads seemed proficient in blocking kicks, 5 blocked kicks each with 2 punt blocks by TU and 3 by NIU. So with him still involved with special teams I think they will still be pretty good, especially with better talent to work with here.

  3. TU special teams lost a great kicker and a great punter recently. Temple was an ugly 0-2 with interim coaches recently. A good CEO will identify areas that need improvement and act fast. Ed will resurface at Widner or Rowan after a year in Waco.

    • Ed could probably get a P5 special teams’ job at Penn State, Rutgers, Navy or Maryland if he gets homesick at Waco (which I think he will). It would be terrible if Temple had to face, say, a RU special teams coached by Foley next year.

      • I was thinking Ed will HC at a small school where good guys coach, win, and make life-long friends. FBS is for a different breed.

  4. Inquirer had two stories on this today. Carey indicated that he made the move for the good of the team. He explained that he felt that the staff had too many filed coaches on offense and wanted to take an off the field defensive coach and make him an on the field guy. (NCAA has limits on how many coaches can be on the field.( Also Foley was quoted as saying that he was not forced out and decided on his own to leave. Unless I hear more or this backfires come this season I can’t criticize Carey for this move.

    • Have to say compared to a number of comments i’ve been reading on other sites this one is the most sensible I’ve seen. Read the Inky articles and came away with the same perception

  5. I’ve been impressed the paper thought it was worthy of ink and that the writers spoke with both sides, then published rational, non-inflammatory pieces. To have the space amid the Phils’ collapse, the 76ers moves, follow ups on Women’s World Cup, and the ever present Eagles is noteworthy

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