Getting The Old Gang Back

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.

Al Golden and Matt Rhule back in the day

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.

Gruden: “The Temple Owls play as hard as anybody in the country.”

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

39 thoughts on “Getting The Old Gang Back

  1. A criticism of Coach Golden is that he was not a good game day coach. Do you think that was valid, and do you think that would hamper him in a second tenure?

  2. Golden recruited well at Miami but the winning went downhill, not up. If Carey runs the program down, Golden could bring it back like he did the last time, but expect mediocrity in the win column. How come about every other school, (like Liberty a new program and going bowling already even with their horrible reaction to COVID), hires better than Temple? Surely to goodness there was a better choice out there for 2 mil a year.

    • Indiana connections got him this job plain and simple. That’s no way to run an organization.

    • I wouldn’t say mediocrity in the win column. Golden’s records at Temple were 1-11, 5-7, 9-3, 8-4. He overcame a lot (low APR, a roster full of JUCOs) those first two years. He would hit the ground running these first two by comparison.

    • Liberty like Iona was willing to hire a winner despite his baggage. TU would never do that which is a shame. Once it was clear that Dunphy had to go, I would have been on the phone to Greece and hired Pitino who was dying to get back to the U.S. Same with football. Time to drop your pride and hire a proven winner regardless of the baggage.

      • Liberty U is a unique social situation and I’m happy to see it. There is little chance another school can go down the same path and be big time winners. Liberty is a conservative evangelical Christian school which caters to a segment of our society. These are folks and young men who mostly do not approve of the current social trends in the US, especially schools and colleges.
        So now this group of talented football players have a place to go to. As example, Tim Teebow types of today will go to Liberty now. Tebow was mocked without mercy by media for his faith and all.

        BTW, I am not personally a Liberty ‘type’ but I do admire what they have become in Football.
        And they find a good coach and maybe he has ‘repented’ to their requirements, so what ; that’s good anyway.
        And that’s the simple story on Liberty.
        They get a select small segment of society automatically….

  3. $533,460 is what Rod Carey made at NIU his final year. Ok, let’s say you really like him and think he is your next coach at Temple. Start the negotiation at 750k a year, it’s 200k more than his current salary, if you have to get (which I doubt) to 900k a year you say “take it or leave it”. What’s a guy at NIU’s options that was 0-6 in Bowl games. You think somebody is going to say “Hey, we are going to pay you 3X what you make now, come on over here?” Not a chance.

    It baffles me how they got to $2 million a year for Carey. Couldn’t they borrow a student from Fox Biz School for an hour to explain how supply/demand works?

    Forget about the fact he is a stone cold stiff. You practically quadrupled a guy’s salary that had been 0-6 in Bowl Games. I give Carey’s representatives credit for duping the foolish decision makers at Temple.

    That’s why you are screwed. You are now on the hook w/ this stiff. Damn shame. You could suck up 750k, maybe 900k, but $2 million ain’t happening in today’s environment.

    • Agree 100% CE. Doesn’t seem like there was any negotiation during the hiring process, not even a clause to not have to buy him out if he screwed up like HE said he didn’t care about. If coaches really fail why is it that they get to collect the full amount if fired? Nobody else gets those kind of deals except corporate CEOs. And unless he somehow pulls this out (our other recent coaches certainly had their ups and downs) Temple better not extend his ridiculous contract like they did with Bobby Wallace. BTW, is Liberty’s coach making 2 mil? If not Temple should have hired him (there’s plenty of competition for those type of kids – Clemson, BYU, half the schools in Texas, etc.) Carey has a great deal here considering his mediocre background coming in – and he knows it.

  4. Who did Kraft hire? Collins, Diaz, and Carey. Thank you and good luck BC! Collins and Carey can’t recruit. If you can’t recruit there is no way you’ll wind up being a great coach. Just ask Dunphy….,

    Diaz is a great recruiter. Does it make him a great coach? No, but the talent level provides him a great starting advantage.

    MR wasn’t the best recruiter, but Temple was great at recruiting on his watch. Fran Brown and other staff coaches got it done in spades.

    My goodness, Carey and his crew recruit at the lower, lower half of the conference. Let’s wish Carey well, sooner is better than later.

    It will take a minimum of 3 years before Temple competes for another conference title.., assuming we replace Carey now.

    • We’re looking at 2-10 next year with Carey, assuming we get a dozen games in and I’m not 100 percent sure of that. Bold moves are what’s required of the Temple administration now. Hire Mark Ingram as AD and let him get in touch with Golden.

    • It isn’t hard at Miami to be a great recruiter because, like PSU and other legacy programs, the school’s name and reputation attract kids from when they were young. Miami and other legacy schools are places kids dream about and want to go to. Very few kids have TU as their first choice. Even in the down years when Miami was losing more frequently they still were in the top thirty .of the recruiting rankings. There is no evidence to go on to say that Diaz would have had success recruiting good players to TU if he stayed.

  5. Nice post, Mike, but the Old Gang ain’t coming together as long as Dunphy is acting AD. Too much work. His Get Up & Go got up and left years ago…

  6. Anthony Russo just posted on twitter that he is entering the transfer portal. Good Luck Anthony.

    • We’re screwed. We had only one AAC-level starting quarterback and that was Anthony Russo. This is the continuation of the Rod Carey Effect where the best players on the team leave the program. You can make all the excuses you want for them (first start, whatever) but Russo was good in his first start at Maryland and all of these other guys were terrible in theirs. As far as AR goes, I wish him the best and I pray he doesn’t end up as a Temple opponent. He’s already better than both Penn State quarterbacks so that would be a good landing spot for him.

    • Carey definitely screwed Russo. Carey made him run an offense Russo did not have the skills to run and as I followed Russo’s progress after he hurt his shoulder, whenever Carey mentioned Russo and his availability, it seemed that Carey didn’t believe that Russo’s injury was serious enough to prevent Russo from playing and that Russo was choosing not to play. Carey said that pain and not the seriousness of the injury was keeping Russo from playing. In other words, Carey was calling out Russo to buck up and play through the pain. .

      While I don’t think Carey deserves to be fired for the season they had this year because of the many distractions, he does deserve to be fired because it’s clear to me that he’s lost the team. Starters usually don’t transfer but he’s had four leave with, I believe, more to follow.

      • Losing the team (literally) should be a sign to the Board of Trustees that a course correction needs to be made immediately. I guarantee you that Carey’s next public statement will be “we want to play with the guys who want to be here” or something to that effect when the team’s best RB, QB, two best WRs, (best DE and TE last year) have left. Geez, you had 10-2 talent leave a team that is now likely to go 2-10 or worse. Disagree that Golden eyes PSU. He knows he has to restore his college resume first and Temple is the place to do that.

  7. It’s been interesting to see Carey defended on this page. The audience here is usually more astute than that. The smoke appeared middle of last season, was in full fire by the bowl game loss, and has progressed to full scale inferno over the past three months. The top talent in this program is voting with their feet. Carey is completely overmatched at the AAC level in every facet of the job. He is the perfect coach for an ESPN+ program.

    • He needs to go. Not renewing my season tickets if he’s still here and all temple fans should probably exert that minimal pressure.

      • We put up with a lot worse and many of us don’t go to the game for the game per se but for the comradeship. By losing the team, Carey has to go. Regarding the post about coaches on the hot seat, it’s pretty clear that it’s hard as hell today to win consistently, There are a lot of people on that list who not that long ago were considered good coaches any school would be happy to have.

      • Considering using my season ticket money as a donation for tailgating and doing something I’ve never done before. Stay in Lot K for the entire game. Can’t bear to watch Temple compete in the AAC with what essentially is a scout team because Carey doesn’t know how to cultivate relationships with the really good players (i.e., stars).

  8. It will be interesting to see how many of these kids keep their verbal commits. The top ten are three star recruits:
    Antonio Barber WR
    Coleman Jeffcoat ATH
    Jaden Coffen WR
    Jaylen Martin DB
    Jimto Obidegwu OL
    Johnny Martin III RB
    Jordan Laudato DE
    Justin Lynch QB
    Keshaun Jones OL
    Rakim Cooper OL
    Andrew Garwo ATH
    Balansama Kamara LB
    Jalen Satchell DE
    Jalen McMurray DB

  9. The 2015 Labor Day weekend celebration and the excitement of Game Day Live in Philly Halloween that year seems like a lifetime ago In many ways, one could argue the 2020 season should have been shelved from the beginning. No real training camp, no out of conference games, and a schedule that pitted the Owls against teams who had played several games before Temple ever started.

    Rutgers is magically competitive again and may very well have a chance to beat Penn State this weekend. 3 months age we all had penciled a W for Temples vs. RU. Not so now. Coaching and recruiting are core essentials for a successful college football program.

    Say what you want about the Carey staff. Kraft panicked after Manny Diaz resigned and did what Mike wanted – hired an established head coach, not a hot shot coordinator. Unfortunately, the step-up was far to big for Coach Carey.

    We have to stop whining about Al Golden. Carey is here to stay and Al is never coming back. In Al Golden’s ideal world, he replaces James Franklin. We are bracing for a dark winter and unfortunately for Owl fans, several dark Falls.

    Stay Safe Owl Fans!

  10. Prediction: Carey moves into the top 20 in a couple of weeks

  11. Let’s be honest, Pat Kraft did not care who he hired because he was on his way out the door anyways and to give Carey 2million a year was even more foolish!!!! When your losing the players that we are it tells me the players are losing faith in the program due to an internal problem with Cary. Get used to it, because I think we will lose a few more!!!! Does the Temple Administration even care? Disgruntled and very angry ex Owl who is very saddened in the direction of this program.

  12. Mike, PSU would be crazy to oust Franklin. They’ve lost because of a bad call (Indiana two point play), and unfortunate fumbles and interceptions. In those games they had double the yardage of the teams that beat them. They also lost the starting running back to a heart ailment and had two possible all americans sit out.

  13. A loss to RU this weekend may put Happy Valley over the edge. The cover-up charges relating to the police incident may not go away quietly.

  14. Connie Mack’s fans snuck an elephant in his North Philly backyard after winning the World Series back in the day. Now North Philly is the elephant in the room. Who would want to play or coach football in North Philly for four years? I didn’t last years in that depressing place. Thank God for TU Ambler and Montco. Have you been to SMU, CFU, or ECU? Country Clubs. Unfortunately Temple FB needs to retrench and move to the burbs if it’s going to survive in a P6 conference. I don’t want to waste my time or money in Philadelphia.

    • North Philly didn’t hamper Golden’s tenure or Rhule’s. Got to get the right guy.

    • This might be the worst take I have ever seen on this page.

      There’s been a good number of people who wanted to play and coach in North Philly since Al Golden was hired. Many players ended up in NFL. Many coaches ended up in high profile roles in P5 and NFL.

      One of Temple’s selling points is that it’s not a country club environment. Ask PJ or Matakevich or Colin Thompson how being located 10th & Diamond helped them prepare for their professional careers. Temple Tuff exists for a reason. There is no Temple Tuff in Ambler. That’s where Temple Soft resides.

      Temple has done quite well in a P6 conference up until this season. The only retrench needed is in the HC position.

      • Not really. Head coaching at TU is better than not coaching at all and getting a scholarship to TU is better than a half scholarship or none at all to play at a lower ranked school. Granted, one player who did choose to play at TU is Russo but that was because he thought Rhule would be coaching. PJ’s best offer was Rutgers, which was putrid at the time. TU was second and I think he came to TU because Rhule promised to give Jahad Thomas a scholarship as well. There was no real interest for Thomas at D-1 schools. Matakevich only had Akron interested in him. And Colin Thompson was a transfer from Florida who transferred after he got hurt. Like I said, TU is mostly everyone’s second or third choice and now with essentially penalty free transferring available, kids that can will transfer from TU to schools that they initially wanted to go to.

  15. Temple is not going to retrench and move to the Burbs. Not happening, nor does it need to happen. Obviously the pandemic has changed urban cores w/ the shutting down of nightlife, office buildings, theaters, etc, but it will not last forever. People (especially college students) will return to enjoying what enticed them to an urban location. Is it all rainbows and unicorns, nope. But if you are a 20 year old, do you want to be downtown Philly or Ambler?

    Plenty of urban schools have thriving enrollment and athletic success. The issue you have here is leadership and coaching. A terrible hire has set you back years even if you can get out now. You need an experienced, professional AD to steer your athletic department, not a place holder. You had talent on the football team, you have to keep it. Kids don’t transfer because they don’t like North Philly. They transfer because they don’t like their coach. Let’s be real candid, there is something about this coach that players don’t like at all. Kids are pretty astute, Russo has gone through a lot at TU. I wish him nothing but the best going forward, but it is obvious he has some issue w/ the football program and feels his best options are elsewhere. One or two kids transfer, that happens. You look at the # and quality of student athletes transferring and you have a serious issue that you need to deal with. Again, paying this guy $2 Million cannot be understated in terms of its calamitous effect on moving on.
    Sad. I will go down to games, like Mike i will most likely tailgate (H Lot), knock back some chillywhackers, head to Xfinity at game time so i can watch some actual 1-A coaches lead teams, then I get a ride home or uber. No drinking chillywhackers and driving.

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