As if he didn’t have enough work to do, new Temple coach Stan Drayton was given another task by the Temple administration last week.
Making phone calls.
Like the calls to recruits and portal transfers and other coaches, the latest calls were just as important.
Maybe more important.
Drayton called a hefty number of fans who had been season-ticket-holders but for some reason or another decided to put the money away the last two years.
The diplomatic reason is COVID but I suspect the real reason Temple season tickets dropped particularly last year was the abysmal performance of the prior coaching staff.
Notice we didn’t say “team” because the kids who left for other teams depleted the talent level on the roster so much so that the kids who were left behind couldn’t compete.
I got a little taste of what was to come at the 2019 tailgates when several parents mentioned to me at post-game tailgates, “Mike, nobody likes the guy (Rod Carey) and everyone wants out.”
If that was in the late stages of an 8-5 season, you can imagine the patience completely ran out after 1-6 and 3-9 seasons.
It’s apparent Drayton has stopped the bleeding of players out the door, welcomed a lot of good players into the program and is liked by the team, all the while instilling discipline necessary to compete at a high G5 level.
You need players and coaches committed and Temple has that.
The last piece of the puzzle is fans and Temple must show the rest of the college football world that the buzz around the program extends beyond the practice facility and into the stands.
With those phone calls, it’s apparent Drayton understands what’s needed and a personal appeal to the Prodigal Son fans is an excellent way to start.
Getting the Doubting Thomases, though, back into their seats requires a win at Duke and, if Drayton understands the first three pieces of the puzzle (as he’s demonstrated), he surely understands what he has to do next.
Friday: Decrafting the schedule
Monday: Honeymoon Period