UCF’s coaching hire is bad news for Temple

If the Enemy of My Enemy is a bad hire, and the AAC has had a few of those, don’t look to Gus Malzahn as falling on his face at UCF.

Geez, as a Temple fan, I hope he does what Charley Strong did moving over from a great coach at Louisville to a lousy one at Texas before falling on his face at USF. Dana Holgerson had five-straight winning seasons at West Virginia before putting up a lackluster 7-13 loss the last two years at Houston.

The thought process is a lot of these “big-time” Power 5 guys who are forced to resuscitate their careers at the G5 level don’t put in the energy that got them there in the first place.

I don’t see that with Malzahn simply because he was a G5 head coach before taking the Auburn job at Arkansas State and knows what it takes to win at this level. Malzahn was 9-3 with a Sun Belt championship at Arkansas State and that punched his ticket to Auburn, where he merely was 65-38 (including 39-27 against SEC teams).

Like the NFL mantra for drafting (‘always pick the best available player”), picking the best available head coach is always a good philosophy. Did Temple pick the best available head coach when it selected Rod Carey? No, his Indiana connections with Pat Kraft and Temple CFO Kevin Clark made him the most comfortable pick available.

The difference between Auburn and Temple is that the Auburn administration didn’t blink at spending $21.5 million to buy out a 65-38 head coach but Temple is blinking like a broken tail light at spending $6 million to buy out a 9-11 head coach.

UCF picked the best head coach available and it might be the best hire in G5 history.

Could he fall on his face like Strong and, so far, Holgersen?

Possibly, but there is nothing in Malzahn’s history to show he won’t be anything but successful.

In that case, he is the friend of my enemy and that’s not a good thing for the Owls.

8 thoughts on “UCF’s coaching hire is bad news for Temple

  1. Is it that Temple really can’t do better because of finances or just don’t give a crap as in satisfied with mediocrity (at best)? Or is it the perfect storm combining the two? I just don’t get why they settled for a very mediocre guy for top dollar, no questions asked, instead of looking around more thoroughly (or not shelling out that much). There had to be better possibilities even from the MAC or elsewhere. And your comparison Mike of how Auburn spends 21.5 mil without thinking twice but TU can’t bring themselves to buy out 6 mil after handing over 10 without thinking twice, is just mind boggling – as is the ineptitude in planning and decision making. I’ll bet UCF is paying a pretty price for Malzohn. If it’s equivalent to Carey’s deal, TU really screwed up for no good reason. Got my fingers crossed for next season, but it ain’t looking too good.

    • Gus is making roughly 2.2 mil per or about 200K more per year than Carey. I thought the Collins/Diaz buyouts would have given us flexiblilty on the football budget front but after reading how just about every other AAC school (particularly ECU) had to dramatically cut Olympic sports and Temple did not, I have the sinking feeling that Temple put a lot of that extra football money into keeping the Olympic sports afloat during the COVID pandemic. They might not have the money to buy out Carey and he’s established himself as having the personality of a wet noodle which does not attract (and more importantly keep) kids. We’re between a rock and a hard place.

  2. What both of you missed is that schools like Auburn, Texas, etc have really rich alumni who have no problem ponying up buyout money. TU lost one of those guys when Katz died. I don’t know if anyone has filled his place. Also, Carey was a panic hire. Time had already been expended, and any good candidate had already been hired. I don’t think that they had much enthusiasm to do another intensive search. Carey was a successful coach so they took him. Finally, Kraft already was looking for another job and may have thought that the hire would not affect him because he was leaving at some point.

    • You make some good points John which reinforces my overarching point that at TU there’s always something to muck things up, keeping them from improving the program. I do think hiring Carey was a rushed decision and that given a bit more patience they could have found and lured a better choice to come for a big salary increase – 6 bowl invites looks good but 0-6 in bowl games does not.

  3. We don’t have the money of Jobs, so we need the patience of Job.

  4. One more point. I would have risked Hiring Fran Brown if he agreed to put a former successful head coach on the staff to mentor him. Don’t know if he would have gone for it but it would have been worth a shot.

    • The 2021 season and the 2022 recruiting class are gone.

      Who hires and fires college football coaches? Temple has lame ducks in the Uni Pres and AD seats.

      Best case, new AD comes in late summer, and fires Carey in mid-season after an 1-5 or 0-6 start.

      Worst case, new AD and Pres hem and haw after an 1-11 or 0-12 season. They decide to let Carey coach the 2022 season.

      • Rudderless leadership is always no leadership. They should not give Carey more than this season and the mantra should be winning season or out. If the rest of the AAC was struggling with recruiting and portal losses like Temple is, that would be one thing but most of them are able to keep their best players AND add good players in the portal. We lose one, replace one. Up or out and I don’t see much up.

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