Withers: The New Normal in College Football

Along with the NLI and the transfer portal, college football has another new normal.

Coaches sign for jobs at one school, turning around a couple of months later and signing at another.

It’s called “The Manny Diaz Syndrome.”

Before Diaz signed to be the head coach for 18 days at Temple and left for the same job at Miami it was unheard of for a coach to sign a contract at one school, break that contract, and seemingly minutes later leave for the same job at another school.

“I never wanted to be THAT guy,” Diaz said when he signed at Miami and profusely thanked Temple.

Well, Manny, you were that guy and now plenty of guys followed your lead.

Even Steve Addazio had more ethics than that. Ten days after getting the Temple job, he was offered the job at the biggest school in his home state, UCONN, and said thanks but no thanks I gave my word to Temple and will keep it.

Now everyone breaks their word, both players and coaches.

Not many at the head coaching level, but plenty at the assistant level and–according to football scoop–Everett Withers, 59, is the latest big-time assistant to do that and revert to Temple.

The last time we saw Withers leading Temple was when Stan Drayton got sick and missed a game. Whether it was his fault or offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf’s fault, the Owls had a horrific call on first-and-goal at the Navy 5, and that led to an overtime defeat in a game they should have won. First-and-goal at the 5 and the Owls hand off on dive that had not worked for the previous 59 minutes of the game.

They got what they deserved, a game-tying field goal and not a game-winning touchdown.

Have Edward Saydee fake that dive, complete with the leap ahead, to freeze the defense and roll E.J. Warner right (away from the pressure), and have him throwback to the tight end for six and that’s a completely indefensible play. Temple wins, the kids sing “T for Temple U” or “Dancing on My Own” all the way home on the bus ride.

Drayton gets out of bed like Lazarus and is immediately feeling better.

Langsdorf should have known that.

So should have the CEO in that game.

Withers was the CEO that day while Drayton watched at home on TV.

Water under the bridge.

The new normal also includes a head coach grabbing for his binky–the comfort zone–rather than going outside the box to get the best person for the job.

Withers left Temple (where he was Chief of Staff) to become “assistant head coach and passing game coordinator” at FAU.

Now he’s back at Temple as DC.

Do I believe Withers is the best person to be the Temple DC?

Hell no.

This is a guy whose last DC job was at FIU in 2021.

What did they do then?

Allow 54 points to Texas Tech, 58 to FAU, 45 to Charlotte, 47 to Old Dominion 50 to MTSU, and 49 to North Texas.

Yeah, that’s just the kind of DC I want at Temple.

If I was doing the hiring, I’d jump out of the group of guys I’ve known and worked with and hire someone who was a DC who shut out an offense somewhere–anywhere–before.

I did find a shutout in Withers’ past and it came all the way back in 1995 when his Louisville defense shut out Maryland, 31-0.

By comparison, 16 years later, Chuck Heater, now 70, shut out Buffalo and Ball State in consecutive games for Temple.

Since then, though, modern offenses have seemed to pass Withers by even though Heater has caught up to them in every job he had.

Yet Drayton likes the guy and he’s going to be Temple’s DC. I love Drayton the man but I hate this decision. Go out and hire the best guy not a guy you like and are comfortable working with.

That didn’t happen and we have to hope Temple doesn’t pay the price. Hope doesn’t get me to a bowl game, though.

Monday: Almost Dying for Temple football


7 thoughts on “Withers: The New Normal in College Football

  1. Mike, you did a post earlier on Chuck Heater. That suggestion was certainly one I thought was a good one. I too hope that whoever Coach hires, that he can lead our players and defend aggressively.

  2. Mike, with some of these (re-newed?) coaches for TU, I harken back to an old Chubby Checker song, ‘The Limbo’ . having one of the greatest lines ever : ” How LOW can you GO ? “. Ouch here…

  3. You are who you hire. The new normal is astonishing. Look at who Pat Kraft hired, and he kept getting the “better job” smh.

    I think Drayton understands he is who he hires. Zero patience for underperformance, and the new DC should get a short string contract.

  4. The roster is stronger this year, and getting stronger. To date, they are 16 players who transferred out, and have yet to find a new home.

    At least seven new transfers should find spots on the two deep, Black, Wilcoxson, Haye, Wilson, Francis, Wright, and Barajas. Significant upgrades overall.

    Spring Practice amber to red lights: Impact RB and an all-AAC offensive tackle.

    • Accurate. Talent level on the roster is better. Depth still a concern. Said from the jump it would take Stan two years to flush out the residue of the Carey era.

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