Drayton Presser: Hope for the best …

Another five or so years pass another Temple football incoming head coach presser.

Those of us Temple football fans approaching the half-century mark of these (meekly raising my hand here) know the drill.

Hope for the best, expect the worst.

Jerry Berndt on his signing day in 1989.

It’s a hard lesson taught by Father Time.

Stan Drayton seems like a very nice guy and he, like so many first-time Temple head coaches, said all of the right things.

Yet I can’t get out of my head that this was another crony hire and neither of the past two cronies worked.

If former Texas Director of Football Operations Arthur Johnson hired anyone else other than a Texas assistant coach for the Temple job, I would have felt a little better today because the past two Temple ADs who tried the same thing fell on their faces.

This is what we wrote here a couple of days after Rod Carey was fired.

LaSalle University second baseman Bill Bradshaw hired his old shortstop, Fran Dunphy, to follow John Chaney, tossing underhanded the storied basketball franchise. Dunphy pivoted and threw that ball over the dugout for a run-scoring error.

Indiana football player and 2000 grad Pat Kraft hired another Indiana former football player and 1995 grad Rod Carey and that was a fumble picked up by the bad guys and run the other way for six.

Now you tell me that of the dozens of qualified people who applied for this job, Drayton was hired NOT because he knew Johnson at Texas but because he was the best man for the job?

Hard to believe, Harry.

Pretty much the day after Carey was fired, I wrote in this space that I had the “sinking feeling” that Drayton would get the job because of the proclivity of Temple ADs to go for comfort level rather than getting the best guy for the job.

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

That was three years after and BEFORE Manny Diaz got the Temple job that I had a “sinking feeling” that Diaz would get it because I knew Pat Kraft was enamored with the “hot coordinator” hire. Then, when Kraft was dumped by the hot chick, he went to the comfortable 2 a.m. drunk option: Carey. Before Kraft could turn on the lights and see the ugly person he was sleeping with, he put on his pants and headed off to Boston College.

Thanks for the visual, Pat.

Now, like with Jerry Berndt, Ron Dickerson, and Bobby Wallace, we can only hope for the best with Drayton.

Geez, I hope the guy wins a national championship–or at least an AAC one–but I’ve seen this rodeo before.

When Peter J. Liacouras hired Dickerson in 1992, Ron said: “I think I can do for Temple football what coach (John) Chaney has done for Temple basketball. We want to be nationally prominent.” Dickerson finished 8-47 at Temple.

When Jerry Berndt was hired in 1989, he said at his presser: “The potential here is too good to pass up.” Berndt finished 11-33 at Temple.

Our comment post SIX DAYS before Diaz was hired. We were right about Manny then, we hope to hell we’re wrong about Stan now.

All of you who follow this space know I was for the “sure thing” hire and, to me, that was Al Golden.

I was not a big proponent of Fran Brown but seeing the support for him from recent Temple alumni (and almost all of the guys currently in the NFL from Temple), I thought getting those guys behind the program was more important than satisfying the new AD’s comfort level. Drayton’s hiring was panned pretty much by every current Temple NFL player who chimed in on Twitter Thursday. All-time quarterback P.J. Walker tweeted simply: “Temple coach, LOL!” Numerous area high school coaches, like the current one at Northeast High in Philadelphia and the current one at Lakewood (N.J.) tweeted that Temple blew it with this hire, knowing that Brown wanted the job.

I’d rather have P.J.’s support than not. You can toss in Sean Chandler, Haason Reddick and pretty much every prominent ex-Owl. I’d rather have local high school coaches screaming their support of this hire on both sides of the river. Instead, opposition or stone-cold silence was the pervasive reaction on Thursday.

Call me crazy, but that’s the logic.

Drayton will be swimming upstream against all that but he will have Johnson pushing him in a motorboat against the initial tide.

For all Temple football fans, let’s pray to God that’s enough.

Monday: What Stan did not say

Friday: Quick Turnaround

Monday (12/28): Stopping the bleeding


20 thoughts on “Drayton Presser: Hope for the best …

  1. And Now —- The coaching staff news and what happens to the current crew, some of whom we think we like.

  2. Mike, I too, had a feeling of disappointment by the announcement when I woke up Thursday morning. I first wondered if Al Golden was interested, then if he was interviewed. I am not against this hire, just disappointed by it. Not because I am qualified to make the decision for Temple’s HC position, but just my heart for the program. I also pray that Johnson and Drayton “right our ship”. I read many twitter comments from Texas players who have great respect for Drayton, and they appeared heartfelt that he is worthy of this HC opportunity. He has a terrific resume and is certainly a class person. My sense is that the Temple football program is a special dynamic. More recent Temple Football alums through our programs resurgence are more qualified to weight in then myself, a guy from the early 70’s, under Wayne Hardin and Walt Bahr, both men that recognized something in my skills and personality. They developed me as an athlete and man to achieve success beyond my expectations. That type of coach, that can recruit a student athlete, and develop them is my “box that needed to be checked”. That is the special dynamic which I feel is the ultimate intangible qualification for our Football Head Coach. Al Golden demonstrated that qualification. Yes, I felt he was a sure thing, like yourself. I was fortunate enough to get to know Al and having many opportunities to chat with him personally. {I still remember Al calling me at work, and asking if I could get my boss to sponsor the “Flip the Switch” used in the tunnel as those Owls came onto the field prior to kickoff.} The next box to be checked is the recruiting. Character athletes with potential to excel. I hope Stan and his staff also understand the Temple Football brand. The 10th and Diamond toughness. Al and the players during that transition of the Temple program made the Temple Tuff and that brand a reality. They were awesome to watch and support. A team that loved Temple, loved each other and their Coach. Myself, making driving to away games at Athens, Akron, Kent, Buffalo, UConn, Navy, Penn State, Army a priority in my life and plans. Buying a block of 50 tickets for friends and work colleagues to join my tailgate and then the game. I hope Stan can turn our ship around. I sure would have been pumped had Al returned. I hope our program’s brand is restored.

    • We were 76-54 from 2009-2019 for a reason and that’s because Golden did what he promised…build a house of brick, not straw. Almost all of the positive tributes for one candidate came from occupants of that house. A lot of nice things were said about Drayton, too, but they were guys from other houses in completely different neighborhoods.

  3. Looks like Iverson Clement is withdrawing from the portal, which makes sense given Drayton’s experience but it’s still a good sign.

  4. Our friend Mike posted this on Facebook about today’s post. Thanks, Mike:
    Michael Adkins
    One of.the best things you have written this year. Truth is hard; wish him for Temple’s sake. I hope.these red flags turn cherry.

    • …for what it’s worth it seems like Drayton is a quality coach/person. I can definitely appreciate where you are coming from in terms of the local connections/ rebuild (especially in our area) since Rutgers and Temple both had eerily similar experiences with Ash and Carey. Word on the Rutgers board last week was that Temple was making headway with Elijah Robinson though I think Robinson ended up going in a different direction. It then seemed like Fran Brown was fairly close to being hired (our board mods had put it at ‘80%’) though once Wednesday hit things seemed to stall out there.

      …gotta give you credit again Mike; you did call this right from the start. I do think your fanbase will need to give Drayton a bit of time/a realistic chance; Temple’s current recruiting situation started years back under Collins and then got exponentially worse under Carey (you also noted that Collins didn’t seem to be recruiting well at the time as well).

      Joe P.

      • Thanks, Joe. The key was getting Carey the hell outta here. The locker room was extremely toxic and I can never remember a Temple team flat-out quitting like it did the last six games of the season. You could begin to see it on a couple of the Cincy runs where Temple players just stopped and watched Ford score long touchdown runs instead of chasing him. It deteriorated after that game by game. Drayton is a guy who I see stopping all of that quit and slowly starting to turn it around.

  5. I now think this Mr Stan Drayton is going to work for Temple.
    His experience with big time football with both college and Pro, is a big deal in his abilities to understand.
    I predict this can work out much better that ol’ MAC coach Carey.
    Oh_well has spoken with lots of wistful hope here.
    But isn’t that the history of TUFB for about 35 years now ?
    New Coach and new Hope.
    I say this guy can get us to 6 ,7 or 8 wins….

  6. As an Alumni and one who follows SEC and ACC here where I live in GA, I am very pleased with this hired, with a resume that he coached elite athletes Drayton coached at Ohio State, Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Bowling Green. He also served as running backs coach for the Chicago Bears from 2015-16. He worked as offensive quality control coach/special teams of the Green Bay Packers in 2001-03. Let’s ask, Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson and Keaontay Ingram. and Ezekiel Elliot their thoughts on Drayton. He also coached at Pen and Villanova.

    • From ESPN. Ok Stan ……
      Texas Longhorns quarterback Casey
      Thompson, who started 10 games in
      coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season, is
      in the transfer portal.

  7. From ESPN. Ok Stan ……
    Texas Longhorns quarterback Casey
    Thompson, who started 10 games in
    coach Steve Sarkisian’s first season, is
    in the transfer portal.

  8. Comparing Drayton to the T stooges (Ron, Jerry, and Curly Bob) is
    a worst-case scenario. Former player’s love for Fran Brown is cronyism. Stan has the experience and connections to make things work. Do you want players from Waco or Wawa?

  9. Has any one seen the terms of the contract? How long? What about a buyout?

    • Terms were etched in stone in 2019. If Carey was poached by another school, Temple got $10 million from that school in 2020 and $8 million from that school in 2021. On the other hand, IF Temple fired Carey, he would be owed his annual salary for the remainder of the contract–$2 million per, three years. 2×3=$6 million. This is a significant financial commitment by Temple and we owe the BOT and President and AD a debt of gratitude.

      • say what? The BOT does not deserve any gratitude.

        Do you remember the Diaz to Carey fiasco? Yes, it is costly when you’re in the business of constantly trying to make wrongs right.

        The BOT will be worthy of gratitude when: the University is ranked in the Top 75 of National Universities, it accepts an invite to the P5, and builds an OCS.

        Lofty ambitions? Why not? TU’s ceilings are self-imposed, academics and athletics.

      • I’m sure spending $6 million for Carey’s buyout had to be rubber-stamped by the BOT. A President and AD doesn’t make that kind of financial commitment on their own.

  10. Mike and fellow Owls, I wrote my prior comments before watching the Presser. Personally, I was impressed by our President, AD and HC. Articulate and knowledgeable, were my first impressions. The presentation was well thought out. I also got the sense that the BOT, search staff, covered the “boxes” that needed to be checked insofar as the personality of the Temple Football program. I feel better, not great, but certainly better. I believe these men can make this work. Starting from recruiting, staffing, teaching, leading and getting wins restoring our “Acre of Diamonds” on the field, which we enjoyed smashing Penn State and only one play from beating Notre Dame. Oh yes, then, Dr. Wingard’s ability to dissolve the political quagmire and get the On Campus Stadium. btw, a little personal peeve, return to the cherry color, not the Carey “red”.

    • Yes. My only minor criticism is that he doesn’t use the words win and winning enough. Ultimately, that’s what you are judged on so let’s start demanding and expecting wins right away.

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