TU Announcement: Avoid High Risk at all Costs

New Temple University athletic director Arthur Johnson probably had plenty of time to pull out a book while watching one of those boring 52-3 or 49-7 football losses his team had this fall.

Or maybe it was the 44-10 one or the 37-8 one?

Hopefully, he read Bob Reiss’ 2000 book, “Low Risk High Reward,” which should be must reading for any Temple athletic director and it particularly applies to the current search for this school.

Reiss played basketball on an unbeaten Columbia University team in the 1960s and applied much of his competitiveness to the business world.

Simply put, Reiss argues against the “High Risk, High Reward” theory that has been accepted by some. He advocates that low risk can produce high reward as well.

A lot of these assistant coaches Temple seems to be wooing come under the theory of “High Risk, High Reward” and, if Reiss was part of the search firm hired by Temple, he would probably present a compelling reason why that’s not the way to go for the university at this time.

Reason No. 1: There are a couple of “low risk, high reward” candidates out there so there’s no need to go the high-risk route. Reason No. 2: If the high-risk assistant proves The Peter Principle (rising to his level of incompetence), then Temple football will be sentenced to a Dark Age where they will have no choice of honoring a bad contract for the duration. Bob Diaco, the National Assistant Coach of the year who fell flat on his face at UConn, is the perfect example of a highly-regarded assistant coach not being able to handle the headset on gameday. He basically killed the UConn program.

Temple can’t afford to pay off Rod Carey, pay the next guy millions and then find out a couple years into a five-year contract that the new guy is Rod Carey 2.0.

Places like Miami and USC have the wherewithal to replace a bad coach every couple of years. Temple’s quota is one firing every generation.

They will have to suck it up and lose big for five years and that might be the death knell of the program.

The solution is simple: Lower the risk by getting a proven winning head coach (no matter what the level) who comes with an intimate knowledge of Temple and how to produce a high reward in this specific job.

Al Golden is such a guy. If he’s not interested, Gabe Infante and Preston Brown are proven head coaching winners whose time at Temple gave them an outline of what needs to be done to turn things around here.

Anyone else is a crapshoot and Temple doesn’t have the chips to play craps with this hiring.

There’s no need for the risks associated with hiring a Texas running backs’ coach or a Texas A&M defensive line coach, a current NFL assistant or even another MAC head coach.

Temple has the chance over the next couple of days to prove to the world that the lower the risk the higher the reward.

Friday: Reaction to the Hiring

40 thoughts on “TU Announcement: Avoid High Risk at all Costs

  1. Just got this email from former Temple and Seattle Seawhawks kicker Don Bitterlich. Will post it as a comment here:
    Mike ,

    I agree with your sentiments posted. I feel a high risk { and potential reward} , more so, high risk in a SEC coordinator over Golden, or Gabe or Preston. In that order.
    There is no sure thing, but, I put my faith in the program back upon Al Golden, keeping Gabe and Preston as a potential successor.

    Al understood the strength of the Temple brand, from the line play on both sides, then surrounding the trenches with potential star skill players.

    Seems you are making the salient points on the blog and we hope this happens.

  2. Reports today say Fran Brown

  3. what’s the reason for delay? other schools moved with deliberate speed, not to miss the early signing period.

    Being the last to fill a HC vacancy doesn’t speak well for TU’s process. The carousel stopped spinning and Temple is w/o a horse.

    • Always behind the curve with everything….par for the course.

    • This is exactly why I wrote after the USF game that we needed to fire Carey now and not wait until the end of the season. Gabe could have held everything down while they were using the last month of the season to vet candidates.

  4. Word on the street is that Fran Brown will be the next coach and is finalizing the deal.

  5. **Correction – they have been seriously considering him but still not confirmed.

  6. Brown was my first pick. He’s local, familiar with the recruiting area, young and energetic. Al Golden may be available as an AC if the Bengals miss the playoffs.

    • Al is not going from an NFL assistant to a college assistant. Heard from many of his ex-players he didn’t want the job and it turned out they were right. It’s a shame because hiring any assistant is a crapshoot. That said he’s 100x better for Temple than Stan Drayton.

  7. I wonder about the guidance, if any, the BOT gave the AD.

    Did they say, “Arthur, take all the time you need. Don’t worry about the early signing period, or making offers to star student athletes in the portal. We wrote off 2021 and will write of 2022 for the right HC.”

    The delay has a severe negative ripple effect. The first and second choices for assistant coaches and staff are no longer available. That means any new HC will be forced to hire third and forth choices this upcoming year. And, replace those guys for the 2023 season…,

    Source say the AD had his guy a week ago. Who was that guy and what happened? Dunno.., maybe it is still the same guy.

    In any event TUFB lost opportunity. The ripple is a multi-year negative effect

  8. The fact that a full day after the footballscoop.com leak came out about Brown that more reliable sources like Thamel, McMurphy or Feldman haven’t been able to confirm it is troubling. I will say one thing: If it’s Drayton after all this excitement over Brown bubbled over, there will be a lot of pissed off fans.

  9. I don’t think a school like temple has the luxury of low risk / safe hires. You end up with mediocre to below mediocre guys like Carry. Just like we used to recruit, it’s about finding the diamonds in the rough. We need a head coach that can recruit and help turn these boys into men academically, athletically and personally. Rhule could do that and in return his boys would run through a brick wall for him. Fran has learned from Matt and I believe he could do the same. He’s one of the highest paid coordinators in the country for a reason. Yes there would be learning curve but if you have the right guy at the right place in the end it’s going to be a success.

    Fran Brown – head coach
    Gabe Infante- offensive coordinator
    Elijah Robinson- defensive coordinator
    Ed Foley- special-teams coordinator

    Might not be the most experienced coaching staff with the exception of Ed but we would be the top recruiting class in the American every year!

    • The longer this drags out the more I’m afraid it’s going to be Drayton. Between Brown and Drayton, a lot more juice in the fan base if it’s Brown Reaction to Drayton would be a universal: MEH

      • Beginning to think you are going to have to hold off on your Friday: Reaction to Hiring post until next week the way this is dragging out

  10. Already here we’ve lost at LEAST 2 more years to bad football by not being ready to go at this first signing date.

    Tuff to recruit into a bad football team, and no one will come here now with this indecision. SO then, maybe 1 or 2 miracle HS kids under the radar come to TU, which do not get picked up by organized schools and scholarships, that’s my only hope now.

  11. You have to wonder how much the BOT cares. It’s as if they are building in excuses to be bad. “Oh, we lost the 2022 recruiting year due to the late HC hire. Now, we will give this HC another 4-5 yrs to build a competitive team.”

    Do they realize college football is moving forward at lightning speed? TUFB is going backwards.

    It would be refreshing to learn the BOT’s vision for Temple Athletics.

    Memphis will be the next team to leave the AAC. They have a strategy, means, and ways to achieve.


  12. Looks like I was right all along: Drayton will be the guy due to his ties with Johnson, not his ability to do the job. No connections to Temple, plenty of connections to Johnson. Bradshaw begets Dunphy+Kraft begets Carey+Johnson begets Drayton=another Temple hiring disaster. I was hoping Johnson would break this cronyism syndrome but I guess I gave him too much credit.

    • SMH…, according to sources the AD made this decision over two weeks ago.

      What happened to make TUFB lose valuable recruiting time?

      TU owes everyone an explanation. And shame on all the columnists who don’t press the issue during the news conference.

      Mark my words, this is the beginning to the end of TUFB. Terrible process, worst in all of college football, led to a terrible hire. Terrible results will follow.

      Temple is the least talented team in the AAC by a wide margin. Over the last three seasons all the stars left. Drayton will be recruiting for a losing team during his entire tenure.

      Cronyism sucks.

      • Drayton is more qualified for this job. I have no clue what your guy’s problem with him is. He has local recruiting experience, he has national recruiting experience, as a run game coordinator, he’s likely to want to run an offense you can get behind, he has NFL experience and he had plenty of other chances to leave Texas, so he wants this job. I have no clue where your hatred for this move is coming from. Because it’s not the guy that you know and are familiar with but the guy that Johnson knows and is familiar with? This kind of hurt feelings stuff is how we ended up giving Carey a king’s ransom in exchange for his buyout figure. Grow up.

      • Penn and Nova is not Temple

      • Kraft was familiar with Carey too. How did that turn out? You grow up

    • This is a fence swing hire. Stan either brings the program back to a higher profile or he may be the last head coach in the history of the program.

      He comes with a strong resume’ and sterling reputation. Much of this will depend on his staff. Important to keep Gabe and Preston in their current roles. His background is the strongest since Al was hired. My hunch is he will do well. I found it telling that Sarkisian retained him after taking over at Texas. Most of that staff was jettisoned.

      I’ve heard conflicting info about where the Fran Brown candidacy went off the rails. But it went off the rails last time as well. I would have been happy with Fran at this point.

      Reality was that Al was never coming back. He has an idea of what the next decade looks like for him and none of it includes college coaching. Putting Gabe or Preston in the role would have been absolute insanity with their lack of collegiate experience. They may be more viable as candidates if the Drayton administration has a good run over the next 4 years.

      I will be rooting for Stan as The Man!

  13. Well there’s nothing we can do except hope everything goes well. Here’s a clip of Drayton coaching the RBs at Texas. Great RB coach but we’ll have to wait and see how that translates. All we can do is hope for the best..

  14. Another interesting interview. Like I said, all we can do is hope for the best and hope it translates to being a successful head coach. Hopefully Gabe and Preston get coordinator positions.

  15. Gabe and Preston would have almost certainly had huge roles if Fran Brown had been hired. This guy is going to want to bring a lot of Texas people with him. We’re just replacing a midwestern staff with a southern one. Didn’t work out with Wallace or Carey and not getting my hopes up here either. We needed to go Temple-centric … either Golden, Brown, Mike Siravo, etc. and cronyism reared its ugly head again.

    • I do think though that because he hasn’t had any head coaching experience he won’t be able to bring as many people over as someone who was a head coach like Wallace and Carey. Carey had a whole staff and brought them over. Drayton doesn’t really have a staff to bring with him.

      However he’s been all over the place and might want to bring one of his guys he’s met at OSU, Tennessee, Texas Florida or wherever else he’s been. —– I REALLY HOPE NOT and I hope he was strongly urged to keep TU connections.

      This guy doesn’t know Philly at all. Penn & Villanova more than 20 years ago and even now is not TU. So I’m hoping he’ll surround himself with TU guys. We’ll see.

      • Penn might as well be a California school for the types of students it gets and Villanova a Boston school. They are about as non-Philly as any Philly schools can be.

  16. Veeeerrrrry Interrestingk as Arty Johnson would say behind the bushes on Laugh In. Stan Drayton is low-risk, which is how AD Arthur Johnson interpreted your headline. High-Risk would have been Fran Brown. Be veerry careful what you wish for.

    • Mike Aresco and Texas. No small coincidence Aresco moved the AAC HQs to Irving, TX. The new AAC will have 4 teams from Texas, 1/3rd of the AAC teams will be from Texas.

      And who do you think gave Johnson’s resume to Temple? Now, Johnson hires a Texas position coach.

      28 HC vacancies this year, Temple was the last to fill. Of the 28 new HCs only two were position coaches, McGuire (LBs at Baylor) Texas Tech, and Drayton (RBs at Texas).

      This is a high risk swing for the fences, and a move to get Temple closer to Texas. Drayton is regarded highly by only a few folks. See link below:


      We’ll all hope for the best. the reality is very, very, very rarely do position coaches with zero coordinator experience move up to be HC, and enjoy success.

      Can anyone remember the last time a position coach moved up to HC and had a winning record in the first or second year? TU fan base needs to calibrate expectations, it may be awhile, or it may be never.

      Jim stated it best, “This is a fence swing hire. Stan either brings the program back to a higher profile or he may be the last head coach in the history of the program.”

    • Al Golden would have been low risk since he already performed the exact same job at a high level. Pretty much everybody else is a crapshoot.

      • Mike, I think you should wait before making judgements on our new coach. I know you wanted Golden, but I also remember years ago you complaining about his game day coaching and how he never beat a MAC team with a winning record. Drayton was very impressive in today’s press conference. He now has the job, complaining about his hire instead of Fran Brown will not change anything. At least wait until he hires his staff.

  17. Hope for best, we must.
    In the mean time, doing the required reading of articles about the new HC I see he played college football at a school named Allegheny in wester PA. Truth be told I don’t think I’ve ever heard of football from there. Oh well…..

  18. After watching the press conference, hard to not come away really impressed and encouraged by what Stan brings to the table. I’m skeptical as much as anyone, but came away feeling excited.

  19. Should have waited one more day and picked up Urban Liar. LOL

  20. I Love Temple OWL Football, let’s give this Head Coach a chance!!! I agree he needs to keep some of our Temple coaches and hiring his OC and DC is going to be interesting. I also feel if a man is a good recruiter, he can do it anywhere!! I did hear people say when Coach Ruhle and Brown went to Baylor that they would suffer in recruiting and how did that work out? Plus does anyone else even know if any of these other people were even interested? We cannot use Carey as an example of what just happened to this program in the last 3 years with this hire !!! Good Luck Coach and let’s get Temple Owl Football Respectable again!!!

  21. Mike

    We all know how you’ve felt about this choice from the get go and I can’t disagree.

    I was hoping to come away impressed with the introductory conference, but did not at all.

    While I was pleased to see Drayton didn’t grab for cliches on cheesesteaks and South Philly, I was underwhelmed.

    Drayton sounded and looked much older than 51 years to me. Is he gonna have the juice to attract players and to connect with young men? What was with the dabbing of his mouth and face multiple times with his towel? Was he sweating? Nerves?

    No matter what, he’s got to succeed or we won’t see Temple football in 5 years.

    • Agree. Wanted to hear the word win a lot more. Heard him talking about how great it was that his ex players were good men and married and all that. Frankly I don’t give a damn. I want him to say we are going to upgrade the roster to the point where we are handing out the 61-14 beatings and not receiving them.

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