Adam DiMichele: Sorry to see him go

Adam DiMichele’s final game as a Temple Owl.

Before too much time passed, we wanted to note here that Adam DiMichele is no longer with the Temple program and we’re sorry to hear that.

The news was official less than two weeks ago when Adam sent out a tweet saying goodbye.

Maybe someday we will hear the real story about why a guy who has been here since the beginning of the Al Golden Era left but it won’t be this year and maybe not next.

As soon as I found out, I texted someone I knew inside the E-O simply this: “What’s the deal with Adam DiMichele?”

“What do you mean?”

“He resigned 27 minutes ago.”

“Oh no. I know he wasn’t happy but I didn’t think it was that bad. I’m bummed. He’s a real good dude.”

Whatever the deal is, we simply know this. Of the four coaches Pat Kraft specifically asked Rod Carey to keep (Fran Brown, Ed Foley, Adam DiMichele and Gabe Infante), three of them are gone and Kraft isn’t here to protect a single one.

Sad, because DiMichele was a part of the turnaround from the beginning. He played for Golden and coached under three uniquely different personalities, which suggests he gets along with everyone. He was quarterback with three Philadelphia teams (Eagles, where he threw a touchdown pass in a preseason game to a guy named Gibson), Soul and Owls.

Adam’s career stats at Temple.
P.J.’s career stats at Temple.

DiMichele was one of my five favorite Temple players of all time (Paul Palmer, Joe Klecko, Tyler Matakevich and P.J. Walker were the others).

Stat-wise, DiMichele didn’t compare to Walker but there were extenuating circumstances. Because Joe Paterno never released him from his Penn State scholarship, DiMichele was eligible only three years to play at Temple, not four. Plus, he missed half a season with a broken leg.

The fourth year he would have been the quarterback of a great Temple team that finished 9-3. That team had everything but a quarterback. DiMichele would have been that quarterback and both his stats and an insanely good legacy here would have been cemented.

Would that team have gone 12-0 during the regular season with DiMichele at quarterback? I think they would have. They lost, 31-6 against Penn State with Vaughn Charlton and Chester Stewart at quarterback and they probably would have beaten UCLA in the bowl game and those were the two best teams they lost to that season.

Maybe 13-0 including the bowl (although the bowl opponent would have been better than UCLA) is a stretch but 12-1 was definitely within reach.

No way this team would have been “only” 9-3 with a quarterback like Adam DiMichele behind center.

It would have been fun to find out.

We will never know the story of how his playing career would have ended but someday I’m confident we will hear the real story of how his coaching career ended here.

Someday, but probably not soon.

Friday: Expansion Mania

Monday: Optimism abounds


The New Guy Seems Nice

Hat tip to OwlsDaily’s Shawn Pastor for finding this interview with Jake Landry last year.

When I heard a guy named Landry replaced a guy named Harmon as Temple’s quarterback coach, a couple of Landry’s raced through my mind.

One was former Detroit Lions’ quarterback Greg Landry.

“Nice choice,” I thought. “Pro quarterback gets guys ready for a pro game.”

No such luck.

Jake Landry is the new quarterback’s coach and, like so many of Rod Carey’s recent hires/promotions, there is a NIU connection.

Hard to believe but former Eagles’ and Owls’ quarterback was passed over for the QB job.

Would I have preferred Adam DiMichele?


DiMichele, like presumed starter Duece Mathis, was a Power 5 recruit who transferred to Temple. Like Mathis, he had a lot of mobility and probably could have helped Mathis navigate the transition like he did.

No use complaining about it, though.

From the interview above, Landry seems like a nice enough guy and he was also a quarterback in college so he probably brings a lot to the table. Probably the No. 1 thing is that he’s been at the table with his fellow coaches for a long time. That’s part of the problem. They all bring that midwestern nice to the feast when there is a hard edge to Philly that previous other coaching staffs had.

Carey is going to either go down with the ship or steer away from that iceberg that looks straight ahead with his guys.

Can’t blame him.

If he pulls a 2-10 (he won’t be favored in more than two games he beats Rutgers in the opener), he will probably get fired with a couple of years left on his contract and, looking back, probably would want to have no regrets in his coaching hiring.

Leo Durocher once said nice guys finish last. The Owls are picked to finish last.

Iceberg straight ahead.

Friday: Ode to Cherry and White

Heating Things Up: Hiring Adam DiMichele

Every once in a while, Temple coach Geoff Collins does something that makes you think he gets his surroundings.

Hiring Adam DiMichele certainly qualifies with one of those somethings.

DiMichele is now the “recruiting coordinator” and the 10th fulltime assistant as allowed by the NCAA as of last Tuesday.

Hey, he could have hired another Coastal Carolina guy.

DiMichele kicks McNabb's butt

Adam as a Philadelphia Eagle (hey, they still need a backup to Sudfeld)

I’m not so provincial that I believe Collins should hire all Temple guys to coach at Temple but, with Adam, I’ve got a soft spot.

Including P.J. Walker, Steve Joachim, Matty Baker, Tim Riordan, Henry Burris and Lee Saltz, Adam DiMichele is my favorite Temple quarterback of all time.

Notice I wrote “favorite” and not “best.”

Favorite is because he was the conduit between a lot of bad years and a lot of good ones.

Sitting at Franklin Field right behind the late, great Peter “Doc” Chodoff watching Temple get waxed during the Dark Ages that culminated in a 20-game losing streak, Doc turned to me and said, “Mike, why does every other team have a better quarterback than Temple?”

“I’ve always said the same thing. Seems like it’s been that way forever, Doc. I don’t know.”
Doc Chodoff got a field named after him a few years later, right around the time  I got my quarterback who was better than the bad guy’s quarterback.

His name was Adam DiMichele.

DiMichele was the bridge between the 20-game losing streak and what Temple football is today. Had not Buffalo completed an inexplicable “Hail Mary” pass, he would have led the Owls to a bowl game in 2008.

Had not Joe Paterno denied him a transfer waiver, DiMichele—not Chester Stewart nor Vaughn Charlton—would have been the quarterback in the 2009 Eagle Bank Bowl and there is no doubt in my mind he would be the difference.

DiMichele was part of a lot of great plays while at Temple, my favorite being the “fake knee down” against Navy in the 2008 season. Temple looked like it was going to run out the clock but DiMichele feigned the knee and pulled it up just before it hit the ground and found Bruce Francis 30 yards behind the nearest defensive back. Francis walked in but the Owls lost that game, 33-27, in overtime. The year prior, DiMichele flipped the ball back to D’yonne Crudup on a double-reverse and Crudup tried to hit him in the end zone for a game-winning TD against UConn, but DiMichele tipped the ball to Francis, who caught it but it was ruled a non-catch.

DiMichele was always the quarterback of a fullback-oriented offense that head coach Al Golden and offensive coordinator George DeLeone believed in and was the beneficiary of a strong running game that set up great play-action passing. Hopefully, Adam will have enough influence on Dave Patenaude to go away from Coastal Carolina Soft back to Temple TUFF. If anyone can convince Patenaude to put Nitro back there leading the way for Rock and David Hood, it’s Adam DiMichele.

More than that, though, he’s got to convince Collins and, by getting hired, he’s at least halfway there.

Monday: The 2018 Power 5 Opponents

Smith: Temple’s Gateway to the West

Our first attempt at Adobe InDesign. (OK, we’ll get better.)

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis represents the city known as the Gateway to the West.
Move that about 300 miles to the Northeast and put it in Pittsburgh for Temple’s purposes.
Former Gateway head coach Terry Smith is proving to be one of Matt Rhule’s most productive hires so far.
Look at the list of the six “hard” verbals so far and it is peppered with Smith’s Pittsburgh-area ties.
Today is a good day to talk about those ties for two reasons: is reporting today that Lenny Williams, Sto-Rox’s outstanding dual-purpose quarterback, is about to commit to Temple and the Owls are coming off their first-ever camp held in the Pittsburgh area this weekend..
That would be great news because Williams would be the Owls’ most high-profile recruit out of the Pittsburgh area since Victor Lay signed out of Aliquippa. (Adam DiMichele, also from Sto-Rox, would have qualified but he was technically a Penn State recruit and a transfer from a Florida JC.)

The website’s list of hard Temple verbals.

As a senior at Sto-Rox, DiMichele threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 36 touchdown passes.
Thirty-six TD passes.
By comparison, recent Temple recruits Chester Stewart (DeMatha, Md.) and Vaughn Charlton (Avon Grove, Pa.) had 17 and nine touchdown passes during their senior years.
We’ll see what kind of numbers Lenny Williams puts up in the TD-throwing department his senior year, but I’m willing to bet it’ll be closer to 36 than 17.
Williams would be the fourth Temple verbal from the Pittsburgh area this season, joining the Gateway duo of Delvon Randall (safety) and interior linebacker Brenon Thrift and Renaissance Christian Academy athlete Troy Simons.
Smith, DiMichele and Rhule all were in Pittsburgh this weekend, spreading the Temple gospel.
Evidently, they found a few believers and that can only be good news for Temple fans going forward.

Create your own Animation

New TU coaches saving lives and laptops

Adam DiMichele will probably go to his grave in 70 years or so as the only QB to play for Temple, the Eagles and the Soul.

About a year ago at this time, Adam DiMichele was starting training camp with the Soul.
On Wednesday night, he was saving one.
DiMichele has come a long way since being the best Temple quarterback of the post-Hardin/Arians Era (sorry, Henry Burris) and the journey has taken him full circle back as an Owl graduate assistant. From being the first Temple quarterback to ever throw a touchdown pass for the Philadelphia Eagles (to a guy named Gibson, no less), to the Canadian Football League, to the MVP of the Erie (Pa.) arena team, to the Soul and now back to Temple.
On the way to class on Wednesday night, DiMichele came across a Temple senior in distress.
“I think I just saved a life,” DiMichele posted on his Facebook page.

Matt Rhule didn’t save a life, but he did save a laptop this morning.

Pressed for details from his friends, he explained:
“I was walking to class tonight, and was on the phone with my brother Dom,” he said. “So I come to the red light and was waiting for it to change so I could cross.
“I look to my left and there’s a guy laying on his back on the steps. Everyone just walks by him …  I looked a little closer and realized he was unconscious. I tried to wake him up by basically screaming at him.
“I got my phone out and called 911. (I) felt like I knew exactly what to say and where I was but I didnt have a clue. Another bystander came over to me and we both talked about what we needed to do. He realized the guy was having some sort of convulsions or something (mind you, I am no doctor at all)  but he said that the guy was basically throwing up while laying down and that we needed to sit him up before he choked on his own (volmit).

Maybe that should be the new slogan for 2013: “Temple Football. Recruiting fans, one at a time.”

“My heart was racing, I never really saw anything like this in person, or helped anyone like this before  so we sat him up a bit, made sure to try and be as cautious and safe as possible. Well, he ended up immediately throwing up. He came back around a few minutes later and didn’t remember too much at all.
“He remembered going to work out, and not feeling good on his walk home so he sat down and rested, and the next thing he remembers is us waking him up. I don’t know if  I necessarily saved his life or what not but he was very thankful for me helping him.”
DiMichele later said it was an experience he’ll never forget.
“It was crazy,” he said. “I was nervous, but I’m glad I made the decision to help him when I did.”
Fortunately, the EMAs arrived and told DiMichele he did the right thing and they took the senior to the hospital and everything turned out to be just fine.
As an aside, DiMichele may have recruited another fanny for the Lincoln Financial Field seats this fall.
“He told me he would certainly come to some Temple football games this fall,” DiMichele wrote.
This morning, head coach Matt Rhule chased down a guy at the airport and gave him back a laptop the man left at security. Hopefully, Rhule had time to give a season-ticket sales’ pitch as well. Either way, both coach DiMichele and coach Rhule generated some good Karma the past couple of days and at least two more fans.
Maybe that should be the new slogan for 2013:
“Temple Football. Recruiting fans, one at a time.”

Adam DiMichele: We may never see his like again

Adam DiMichele's fake kneeldown at the end of the first half at Navy that ended in a long-bomb touchdown to Bruce Francis will always be remembered as one of the greatest Temple plays of all time.

Adam DiMichele’s fake kneeldown at the end of the first half at Navy that ended in a long-bomb touchdown to Bruce Francis will always be remembered as one of the greatest Temple plays of all time.

Adam DiMichele will be missed by all Temple fans.

By Mike Gibson
OK, I’ll be the first to admit it.
I’ve been spoiled for the past three years.
I’ve never once wished for a quarterback change at Temple University when No. 13 was on the field.
The thought never even entered my head.
Not once.

It’s hard to
put your
finger on
it, but I
knew from
the first time
I saw Adam
in a Temple
uniform that
he was the
perfect quarterback
for me and my team.

“I love that kid,” I said to my friend, Mark, during the 28-14 win over Bowling Green three years ago.
“You have to,” Mark said. “Who wouldn’t love Adam DiMichele?”
Nothing kinky, mind you, but I love him as a (very) older brother or as a proud father.
Quarterback is a very strange position.
You either have it or you don’t.
It’s hard to put your finger on it, but I knew from the first time I saw Adam DiMichele in a Temple uniform that he was the perfect quarterback for me and my team.
He had all the qualities I ever wanted in a quarterback:
Overlaping skills like moxie, determination, leadership?
Check, check, check.
Athleticism, escapability?
Check, check.
I made the list in my head and could put an emphatic checkmark next to each wonderful quality under Adam DiMichele’s name.
Check, check, check, check, check.

I slumped back in my seat. All these years of asking why the other team always had a better quarterback than Temple were over.

I slumped back in my seat. All these years of asking why the other team always had a better quarterback than Temple were over.
There were other problems, but I was always confident in my quarterback.
For sure, there were similar stretches in other years, like when Walter Washington came or Henry Burris was here but not three years like this.
I don’t remember ever having three years of this level of confidence in the leader on the field.
I knew those days would be over once and now they are.
I don’t have that same level of confidence anymore.
I don’t know if I ever will.
I’ve never yelled from my seat in the stands for some kid to be pulled from the game, but I will admit I thought a few times it might be a better idea for Chester Stewart to sit and watch the Homecoming Day game from the bench and let Vaughn Charlton have a shot.
After the 7-3 loss to Western Michigan and after Stewart missed a wide-open Bruce Francis by 10 yards for what would have been a third time, I saw enough.
As I walked into the concourse, the first person I saw was Vaughn Charlton.
Not the kid, the dad.
“They should have burned the redshirt,” I said.

I wasn’t looking for a response nor did I get one. I just walked away, knowing that a precious game was frittered away.
The most important position on the field is quarterback and I would have liked to see how a year older and wiser Vaughn Charlton would have responded to the challenge at a time his team needed him the most, after DiMichele went down.
I didn’t see it. All I know is that, right now, I can’t picture either Vaughn Charlton or Chester Stewart throwing six touchdowns in a game, like Adam DiMichele did two weeks ago.
I don’t know if either one of them has the qualities down the line that Adam DiMichele does.
I hope they do, but hope doesn’t get me to a bowl game.

On the other hand, DiMichele came to Temple as the WPIAL’s all-time passing leader and, in his senior year alone at Sto-Rox, tossed 36 touchdown passes for 2,706 yards.
Charlton’s senior year at Avon Grove?
Nine TD passes, 1,337 yards.
Stewart’s senior high school numbers were slightly better than Charlton’s but not half as good as DiMichele’s: 72 for 134, 1,348 yards and 17 touchdowns.
What was that coach Bill Parcells said?
“You are what your record says you are.”
Well, with quarterbacks, you pretty much are what your stats say you are.
Adam DiMichele proved that. So did every other previous great Temple quarterback.
None of them came here and achieved at a high level without doing the same exact thing in high school or JUCO ball. Walter Washington (Jacksonville Mainland), Burris (Spiro, Okla.), Matty Baker (Central York), Brian Broomell (Sterling, N.J.) and Steve Joachim (Haverford High) and Doug Shobert (Central Bucks) were big-time high school superstars.

So was Adam DiMichele. It’s a good blueprint to look for when Temple recruits its next-great quarterback.