In a perfect world, Temple would be able to correct a mistake hit the reset button.
Perfect worlds in the era of five-year guaranteed contracts are few and far between but they are worth dreaming about.
It has been the view here for the better part of this horrible season that, even though Temple needs to make a head coaching change, a guaranteed contract ties its hands and we’re stuck with the current regime for the full five years.
For better or worse and it’s looking more like worse.
That’s where the perfect world comes into play.
If I could wave a magic wand and change things and give Temple the money it needs to hit the reset button, I’d do one thing:
Ask Al (Owl) Golden if he’s tired of being a position coach in the NFL.
While his staff would be totally up to him, Golden would probably be inclined to get the old gang back together, hire Ed Foley away from the Carolina Panthers to fix the Temple special teams (throw in the carrot of an assistant head coach title), make, say, Adam DiMichele the offensive coordinator and Gabe Infante the defensive coordinator, pluck current Georgia State strength coach Alex Derenthal away from that program and fill the staff in around the edges.
All the core members of Golden’s would-be staff love Temple football and know the Temple brand. The current carpetbaggers from the Midwest do not.
To me, he would be interested because being the head coach at Temple because it is “more prestigious” than being an NFL position coach, especially since position coaches are nomads. Matt Patricia, who was let go by the Lions last week, fired Golden a year ago. He latched onto the job of linebackers coach at Cincinnati, but who knows how long that will last? When Golden left Temple, that job paid $500,000. Thanks largely to him, it now pays $2 million.
In college, second acts sometimes do work out, look at Bill Snyder at Kansas State and (so far) Greg Schiano at Rutgers. Snyder finished 90-35 his first time around at KSU (including a 40-0 win over Temple in 1999), took a few years off and then came back after Ron Prince proved to be an utter failure. His second time around he was 69-49. Pretty good.
Golden is a competitive guy, a great recruiter and someone who might see his second act as a chance to prove he was a better coach for Temple than his prodigy, Matt Rhule.
Also, it would restore the Temple “brand” that has left the building the last couple of years. Great special teams, great defense, emphasis on a punishing running game and explosive downfield passing plays off play-action fakes.
Right now, Temple has lost its way and it has a lot more to do with the heart of the program being removed and the only sickness that has affected the program appears to be more of a malaise than any recent pandemic.
The reset button needs to be hit and three years from now could be three years too late. Temple needs to spend money to make it and getting Al Golden back would restore a lot of shaken confidence and sell a lot of tickets in what promises to be a hard-sell offseason.
Saturday: Five Guys