Lesser than (Al) Golden: The other Temple HC candidates

Even the outside world realized Rod Carey was a panic hire.

Familiarity breeds contempt is a phrase ascribed to Geoffrey Chaucer way back in the 1300s.

At Temple, familiarity has bred some bad marquee head coaching hires and contempt from Owl fans toward those who made those hiring mistakes.

Like Manny Diaz, I have a sinking feeling that this is the guy. I hope Arthur Johnson can take a step back and realize that just because you are comfortable with the guy, it doesn’t mean he is the right guy for your school. See Bill Bradshaw and Pat Kraft hiring mistakes.

Bill Bradshaw, the second base part of a LaSalle University double-play combination with shortstop Fran Dunphy, hired his old pal Dunphy to be head basketball coach at Temple.

Indiana football center Pat Kraft hired another Indiana football center of roughly the same era, Rod Carey, to take Temple football from Temple TUFF to Temple SOFT in three seasons.

Can’t be too hard on Bradshaw because he hired the two best Temple football coaches of the last two decades, Al Golden and Matt Rhule.

Now new Temple AD Arthur Johnson is faced with a dilemma: Follow the familiarity formula and hire someone like Tom Herman or Stan Drayton or conduct an open search tailored to the specific needs of his new university?

I don’t see the connection between Johnson and Herman as much as I see it between Johnson and Drayton and that’s a red flag.

As former ADs Bradshaw and Kraft demonstrated, cronyism is a powerful lure in hiring.

and so has Temple. .. ” Six days before Diaz was hired I wrote this comment. I hope that we don’t see Stan Drayton hired six days from now.

To me, there are a lot of good candidates and one great candidate and that great candidate is the same guy, Al Golden, who breathed life into Temple football when it was declared brain dead in 2005. Now all he has to do is perform CPR on the same patient who has fainted and that’s a much easier football medical procedure.

It’s a heavy lift, but about half as heavy as it was 15 or so years ago.

Now we don’t know that Golden is even interested in the job. There are plenty of reasons not to be but he was linked by some pretty good sources to the UCONN job and, if he gave out feelers for that one, even he knows the Temple job is a far better one. He might be playing three-dimensional chess while we’re all playing checkers in that he likes living in Cincinnati and might hold out for that job knowing that Luke Fickell could be moving on up. Maybe he’d prefer being an NFL coordinator for half the Temple salary but I’ve never seen him as anything other than a CEO and maybe he doesn’t either.

Who knows?

All that said, I have a sinking feeling that Stan Drayton is going to be the guy when all the dust is cleared.

Why do my sinking feelings even matter?

On the day Manny Diaz got the Temple job for 18 glorious days, I wrote this:

This was our blog post on the day Temple hired Manny Diaz. We were off only about 348 days.

It wasn’t because Diaz had a prior relationship with Kraft (he didn’t), it was because Kraft was lured by getting the “hot” assistant coach.

In that piece, I said I was 100 percent against Diaz because his dad was the Mayor of Miami and he would be back at Miami in a year and Temple football would suffer because Diaz was “learning” on the job.

Well, Golden has already been in the same job and he has a graduate degree and finished first in his class.

Other candidates I’ve heard are former Golden assistant Mike Siravo, Ole Miss aide Chris Patridge, a Pitt wide receivers coach (Kenni Burns), a Minnesota running backs coach (Brennan Marion) and an Ohio State wide receivers coach (Brian Hartline). Partridge, who has had exactly one year as a head coach (Paramus High), is intriguing, as is Siravao.

Those are just a few names. There are many more.

Between Partridge and Gabe Infante, who he succeeded as Paramus head coach, I’d rather have Gabe. There’s even a good possibility that Infante, a more polished head coach than Partridge, would be able to lure Ohio State five-star quarterback Kyle McCord (with who he won three state titles) to Temple since McCord is stuck behind another freshman at OSU, C.J. Stroud.

Still, none of those guys being hired will sell 1/10th of the season tickets Al Golden will on his name recognition alone. Forget the fact that he has already proven he can perform the SAME EXACT job at the HIGHEST LEVEL possible.

Everybody else is a crapshoot. Golden is knowing you are rolling a pair of dice that only ends up in sevens and elevens.

All along I’ve maintained that Fran Brown needs to go somewhere else (FCS perhaps) and prove he can coach on the field before Temple hands the keys to a $17 million vehicle to him.

Between Marion, Burns and Hartline, though, I’d take Fran Brown any day of the week.

Hire any of those no-names from anywhere other than here and Temple fans will say: “Who?”

No thanks.

Guys like Burns, Marion and Hartline would be impossible sells to a fan base suffering from PTS after watching a two-year trainwreck. Golden would be the best sell by far and Brown would be better than these other assistant coaches.

Drayton might be the guy who Johnson is most comfortable but it would be as wrong a choice as Bradshaw picking Dunphy and Kraft picking Carey.

If Johnson can avoid that temptation, he will make a great hire for Temple.

If my sinking feeling never comes to pass, Arthur Johnson will prove that he’s able to make the best decisions for Temple and not for his comfort level and he would be a hero to all current Temple fans for that.

PICKS THIS WEEK: WESTERN KENTUCKY +2.5 vs. Utsa, APP ST. -2 vs. Louisiana Lafayette and WAKE FOREST +3.5 vs. Pitt (mainly because that game is in Charlotte).

Update: Waited until the last week of the season to suffer our first losing week and it was a doozy, going 0-3 with losses thanks to Wake, App. State and Western Kentucky. Finished the regular part of the season 28-25-1. Will pick and choose the bowls better.

Monday: Where Carey went wrong

Friday: Guardrails in place


13 thoughts on “Lesser than (Al) Golden: The other Temple HC candidates

  1. Intriguing? With an opportunity like this (to say nothing of biting the money bullet to buy out Carey) why would Temple even consider only position coaches for their HC, no matter what high level school they’re coming from? If that’s the plan, how can Infante NOT be the choice with his Philly area connections, great HS HCing success and his Temple experience? I must be missing something here. Other than that, Golden would get things going again in every respect.

  2. Mike,

    I can support Infante as the choice here, although I do not think he is the best candidate out there at the moment.

    I am curious as to why you do not think that Gabe will be “learning on the job” as other coordinators would be? Yes, as you have pointed out, he has the experience running a program at the Prep, but he almost certainly has to get adjusted in transferring that to the next level. It may be quicker than some of us think, but it will still be on Temple’s “dime”.

    Is there any evidence that Gabe’s local ties would be enough to keep him invested in the Temple program? In other words, if he proves that he can clean up the mess after Collins/Carey what prevents him from stepping out to greener pastures in 3 years?

    I realize that we can’t ignore the fact that Temple likely will always be a stepping stone, but something tells me we have to get this one right and get someone who wants to be here for real.

    • The learning on the job part mostly (but is not limited to) gameday coaching. We saw the simple kind of stuff (three-straight offsides) that almost got Collins beat against Villanova or Matt taking two years to figure out he had to ditch the spread and Marcus Satterfield. Infante has that kind of simple HC 101 stuff locked down. His teams were far more disciplined and made fewer in-game mistakes than any college team I’ve ever seen. If he can accomplish that with 15-17-year-olds, he can certainly do it with 18-22 year-olds.

  3. Fun speculation. Hire Fran Brown as HC with his recruiting skills, local ties, and TUFF’ness. He’d thrive with experienced offensive and defensive coordinators such as Scot Loeffler or Phil Snow. Restore Ed Foley as special teams coach. We’re putting the band back together. We’re on a mission from God.

    • I think Scot is staying at Bowling Green and Phil at Carolina under that outline. If AG comes here (and we really should be recruiting him), he brings Foley, Gabe and AD in key roles no doubt.

      • I figured Phil and Scot aren’t available, but similar experienced coaches with drive. So many great assistant coaches went through Temple. Carey brought most of his staff with him – a whole school of fish out of water in NofPhilly.

  4. Mike

    Worth pointing out that as I sit and enjoy a beer at the Wissahickon Brewery, the MAC Championship game is on and Northern Illinois is up 17-0 on Kent.

    It’s taken the Huskies 3 seasons to rebound from the Carey destruction.

    Looking ahead, how long will it take for the Owls to get back off the mat under the best of circumstances?

    • 3 years…love northern offense…control clock and hog ball, keep your defense off the field
      ..reminds me of Temple circa 2016

      • 3 yrs absolute best case, more like 4. And, it will be 5 yrs if Mathis starts in 2022.

        Ball St is out-recruiting Temple this year.


        The most talented and skilled players left TUFB in droves the last three years..,

        Sunday, all-conference, and starting/two-deep players gone: Yeboah, Roche, Bruton, Gomez, Sestili, Jarman, Braswell, Ebikete, Banks, Crump, Maijeh, Picozzi, IGM, Russo, Clement, Griffin, Blue, Bags, Joe-Kamara, Lynch

      • Justin Lynch entered the portal today. Not surprising. I think he will make a good MAC QB, probably succeeding Rocky Lombardi at NIU. Meanwhile, Temple has to shoot way higher and get an accomplished quarterback in the portal. In fact, Temple has to be portal dominated the next two years before its recruits begin to make an impact on the field. Next guy would be wise to bring a plan that encompasses the portal into getting Temple immediately competitive. Would love to see Temple grab someone like Kyle McCord out of OSU and bring him home. Would immediately be an upgrade over Mathis. I wonder if Temple has anyone on the staff who knows him? 🙂

  5. What about Mark D’Onofrio? Great DC.

    • Left on bad terms at Temple. Was kicked out of his office and escorted by security on the orders of then President Ann Weaver Hart. Probably can come back as DC if AG insists, but no higher. BOT has the memory of an Elephant.

  6. Tale of Two Cities, determined in a large part by Notre Dame. Cincy parlayed a program defining win over Notre Dame into P5 acceptance. The CFP is icing on the cake.

    Several things in life do not come back. Lost opportunity is one of those things. Temple lost to Notre Dame, and after a slow start, sped South to the bottom of college football.

    Why can’t the TU BOT see and understand what Louisville and Cincy have done? Years ago the TU BOT watched Louisville ascend to the ACC. In real time, they are watching Cincy do the same thing. The TU BOT is failing.

    The TU BOT is devoid of Vision and Commitment. Trains come and go as the BOT stands waiting on the platform.

    What are they waiting for?

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