TU coaching search: Checking all the boxes?

Had an interesting text back-and-forth with a longtime observer of Temple football who mentioned Candidate X (we won’t say who his name is) and added confidently, “he checks all the boxes.”


“Where’s the box for prior head coaching experience?”

“Err, all the boxes except that one, I mean.”

“That’s a box, too, and a pretty important one.”

“You mean like Rod Carey?”

“No, Temple needs to find a guy who checks all 10 boxes, not nine of the 10 boxes. Carey checked the head coaching box, but didn’t check the other nine boxes (things like knowledge of the recruiting footprint, Temple personnel, etc.)”

My point was that if you can get a guy who has head coaching experience, knowledge of Temple personnel and recruiting footprint and all the other boxes, why not go for the 10 boxes, not the nine?

If someone like that wasn’t out there and available, that would be one thing but there are a few.

Our post from Dec. 3 … I still have that feeling and I hope to hell I’m wrong.

Hopefully, the Temple administration gets a guy who checks all the boxes and, in my opinion, that eliminates all but a very few top candidates.

Al Golden checks all the boxes. Gabe Infante checks all the boxes and, to a lesser extent, a guy like Chris Partridge (Ole Miss DC) checks all the boxes due to his one year as head coach at Paramaus High. Lesser extent is the key phrase here. In fact, Preston Brown’s two seasons as a regional South Jersey championship head coach catapults him over Partridge in the all-important head coaching box. He already has him beaten in the knowledge of Temple and recruiting department. (Although Partridge does have a rudimentary knowledge of Mid-Atlantic recruiting.) Golden and Infante, like both Fran and Preston Brown, are popular with the players (and the players’ families) and have the added bonus of being winning head coaches.

Golden, Infante, Patridge and Brown pairs the guys who check all of the boxes to just four. Dan Mullen checks the head coaching box, as does Eastern Michigan’s Chris Creighton, but getting a guy who understands Temple in and out are the top boxes. Mullen and Creighton strike me as Carey 2.0. While all of the other high-profile head coaches have gone to the big power schools, Temple does have a chance to hire one head coach who would be better for Temple than all of them.

Head coaching experience might not be the most important box, but it needs to be on the “all boxes” list. It would be nice to have a coach who locks down special teams, who has an attacking defense (and not a slogan like Mayhem) and a ball-control offense that keeps your own defense off the field.

That comes with experience calling the plays and being a CEO of a successful program. College experience is preferred, but if you’ve proven you can be the CEO of a championship program at a lower level, that’s better than a running backs coach who has not.

Why do I get the feeling that Temple will hire someone who checks some of the boxes and not all?

That’s because the names I’ve been hearing, like Texas connections Elijah Robinson (A&M line coach) and Stan Drayton (Texas RB coach) keep popping up.

If the search committee serves as a guardrail in place so that another crony hire doesn’t blow up in Temple’s face (like Pat Kraft and Rod Carey and Bill Bradshaw and Fran Dunphy), it will have served its purpose.

Hopefully, they’ve got a list that doesn’t miss any boxes and they check them all off.

Monday: The Announcement


9 thoughts on “TU coaching search: Checking all the boxes?

  1. Well then – Hey, I’m dying here, I’m dying here, you know ?
    Info /rumor/ scuttlebutt, somethin…..

  2. Me, too, but look at it this way. Last time they rushed into hiring Carey because Kraft got left at the alter by Manny Diaz. Carey was the ugly 2 a.m. chick Pat settled for because he knew “her” back in the day and met a perceived comfort level. Hope Arthur Johnson is on the coaching version of tinder and keeps swiping left until a beauty shows up. In our case, that means 1) A guy who knows Temple TUFF and Temple recruiting;; 2) A guy who has been a head coach and took a program from a loser to a winner. I only see one or maybe two of those “beauties” out there and not these assistant coaches who don’t know Temple and have never won a game as a head coach before.

  3. In my business, a “box checker” is a less experienced employee with strong desires but limited knowledge, intuition, or insight. Hardin, Arians, Golden, and Rhule did not check all boxes. A new coach must want to coach in a tough neighborhood, with tepid fan support, and other challenges. Like the song from Damn Yankees, “You Got to Have Heart, Miles and Miles and Miles of Heart.” https://youtu.be/Ry8CpIg2fvU

    • Hardin did check all the boxes: Coached a pro championship team where? Temple Stadium? Coached a big-time college team to a No. 2 National ranking? Check. Knew Temple. Knew college football. Not surprisingly, the greatest coach in Temple history and that included Pop Warner.

      • Wayne Hardin was the handball champ of McGonigle Hall, nobody could beat him. 1977-79, like many others I tried my damndest to beat him but never could. He was quick as a cat. The football players knew better and never challenged him on the courts. I’ll always remember his steely gaze, like he was looking right through your eyeballs and peeking at your brain.

        AG had that look, MR did not.

        I couldn’t stand to even look at Daz, Collins, or Carey. Never wanted to speak to any of them, don’t know if they had that look.

      • He was the same way at golf. Never met a competitor like that in my life. It carried over to the football field and Temple was the beneficiary.

  4. Dang you’re good. Yes Hardin checked all boxes. Ernie Casales was a tremendous AD.

    I loved Hardin and spoke to him once. I’ve even been to Porterville, Ceres, and the University of the Pacific, but I forgot about the Phila. Bulldogs. I saw them play at Temple Stadium. Hardin did check all boxes. It must have been that membership to Manufacturers Country Club that kept him in town.

  5. Disappointing that’s there isn’t a HC in place for Natl Signing Day.

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