Going North To Go South


If doing this a lot does not cause burnout, nothing does.

Sometime in the first year of Al Golden’s tenure at Temple University, I stopped at the SAC to purchase some Temple gear and, much to my surprise, I saw the coach jog by me in the general direction of leaving the green zone, near 12th and Montgomery.

It occurred to me then that if there was ever a time for a coach to “burn out” that was it. Golden had to deal with a 20-game losing streak, a nationally low APR, and had to weed out so many of Bobby Wallace’s mistakes that it was a wonder he would field a team.


This may have been the greatest day in Temple football history.

He didn’t, and somehow found as much strength to rebuild Temple that he showed courage in jogging toward 12th Street and who knows how far East. The 20-game losing streak would end the next week, and a bowl game came not all that much longer after that.

Now, we have learned from this story that Golden was “burned out” from the combination of coaching at Temple and dealing with unrealistic expectations at Miami. If Golden went 33-25 at Temple, like he did at Miami, there would be a statue of him in front of the E-0. Instead, for being a winning coach, he got fired. Now he is the tight ends’ coach with the Detroit Lions.

Golden went North to go South, which means that he will end up at a better place as a head coach and should be able to recharge his batteries. It’s ironic that both Golden and Steve Addazio saw fit to leave Temple and ran into tougher times elsewhere. Temple caught a huge break when Daz left on his own, because Temple does not fire coaches. Sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. Acres of Diamonds means something here.

No one knows when or if Matt Rhule will get burned out at Temple, but he does have the advantage of not having to deal with those same APR troubles as Golden did. He seems to like Philadelphia, and has enough perspective to know that coaching his kid’s baseball team will somehow keep those batteries on constant recharge for Temple.

Knowing what happened to the two coaches who left before him might keep him grounded for awhile. At least it has got to be part of any thought process, as Golden used to say, going forward.


The final word on Steve Addazio

In about a year, only the fan bases from Florida, Temple and BC will understand this video.

In an effort to keep my blood pressure from elevating to dangerous levels, I’ve avoided the final word on Steve Addazio until now.
Before Matt Rhule takes over on the first day of spring practice (it’s now three weeks away), though, I think it’s a useful exercise to put the Steve Addazio Era to rest.
Although he wasn’t my first choice then (Bruce Arians was), I liked Steve Addazio when I got to know him at Temple.

I had a long talk with him in New York City and he gave me some good stuff and asked me not to use it and I kept both my mouth and laptop shut. In any meeting with Temple alumni, he had us all ready to strap on the pads. Vitamin A was that addictive. There was much to like.
He was 51, but had the vim and vigor of a 21-year-old.

Matt Rhule in today’s Morning Call
Keith Groller of The Morning Call wrote this great story on Matt Rhule that appeared in today’s paper. For this cool bumper sticker above and to support Temple Football Forever, anyone who contributes at least $20 via the pay pal donation option on the sidebar (in the Support TFF section) or $20 to the address (in the help TFF afford a pair of shoes section) gets it exactly as it appears above (3 inches high, 11 inches wide). Please allow two weeks for pay pal orders and one month for postal orders. Thanks.

He was “National Recruiter of the Year” not once but three times and I thought this was just the kind of guy Temple needed. I could easily envision a recruit putting down Penn State hat, an Alabama hat and putting on a Temple one on ESPNU under Addazio’s watch (if you don’t think that’s possible, the same thing happened for a New Mexico football recruit two years ago).
On the day Addazio was hired, a Florida fan emailed me the video above and warned me about Addazio. He told me the firesteveaddazio.com website was available if I wanted it.

I dismissed it as poppycock.
I’d like to apologize to that fan today.
Everything Hitler, err that Florida fan, said about Addazio’s one-dimensional, hare-brained, offensive scheme turned out to be true in 2012.
He turned an explosive, otherwise productive, quarterback in the 2011 season into a caretaker of a Woody Hayes’-type, run-first, scheme. Chris Coyer was limited to handing off on almost all first and second downs and that’s an offensive recipe for disaster.  After pounding his head against a brick wall for most of four quarters against UConn, Addazio was forced to unleash Coyer in a two-minute drill that won the game.
Did he learn a lesson that would carry over to the rest of the year?

Not surprisingly, confidence in Daz’s future waning.

Truth is, Addazio is a stubborn former offensive lineman who always wants to run the ball. He was that way at Florida and (sans Scot Loeffler’s one year as OC) was that way at Temple and probably will be that way at BC.
After that UConn win, he went back to pounding his head against the wall and about 20,000 of my fellow Temple fans joined him.
Now we can get back to watching football.
There’s a lot we don’t know about Matt Rhule but he does believe in making defenses defend the whole field and, for that alone, we know he will do a better job that Daz did.
My blood pressure will be better off now that Daz is gone and hopefully that means my life expectancy has just been extended by a couple of years.

Philly and Boston: Recruiting tale of two cities

Players like Arkum Wadley (N.J.) have helped Matt Rhule jump over Steve Addazio in recruiting.

Today’s guilty pleasure is a story of two cities, Philadelphia and Boston.
In one, a school is holding on to a group of pretty solid recruits, despite losing its head coach during the first week of December.
In another, a new coach is scrambling for recruits and, as of Tuesday, did not land a single new commitment despite being on the job for over a month.
One of the schools had to wait for a guy coming off a long NFL season.
The other guy, named a “National Recruiter of the Year” (NROY) three times, jumped right in and hit the ground running.
So it figures the NROY is beating the NFL guy, right?
Think again.
Matt Rhule, the NFL guy, pretty much kept most of his commitments in Philadelphia for Temple University.
Heck, he even made a phone call to a recruit three hours before his New York Giants were scheduled to play in Atlanta.
Steve Addazio, the NROY guy, had yet to land his first commit for Boston College as of Tuesday.
It’s OK not to suppress that guilty smile.
It appears to be a solid class of guys who can help right away. I’m penciling in Mainland (N.J.) kicker Jim Cooper already as a starter for next season. New Jersey player of the year P.J. Walker is the quarterback of the future, starting no later than 2014, and running back Jihaad Pretlow’s junior highlights can be found here.
In the chart below, compiled by loyal TFF reader Steve Sipe (yes, the brother of Berlin attorney Brian Sipe),  Temple has only lost one commit so far, Clearwater tight end A.J. Sattinger.
As always, I hesitate to publish charts because this two-week period before signing day can be tricky but this gives Temple fans a general idea of how things are going and they are going pretty well.
I’d like to see a second quarterback in this class since all three Temple top quarterbacks are graduating at the end of the 2013 season. A pass rusher with about 80 sacks, preferably a ready-to-go JC one, would be a nice addition to bringing in DTs like Averee Robinson and Tyler Haddock-Jones (only Haddock fit on the google spreadsheet).
“Other than that” as sports talk caller Jose from Norristown might say, Temple fans should be all set for a nice signing night film session party. (Or a day after film session party in Philly, New York or Scranton.)

Haddonfield (N.J.) WR Zach Grant should also appear on this list., as should Arkum Wadley, whose video appears at the top.

In between finishing up his duties as an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants, Rhule had to   keep a diverse group of Addazio recruits in the fold and, for the most part, it appears that he’s done that.
On the other hand, Daz is having trouble bringing guys north to Boston.
I must give Addazio some credit, though, for not “stealing” Temple recruits. The thought crossed my mind maybe, oh, five minutes after I heard Daz was leaving Temple.
So he’s got to be given points for restraint.
At least so far.
And, in the recruiting battle between the two, it looks like this kid Rhule has NROY potential.

Sipe has this list of guys either coming in or recent visits. Moody is off the table (Pitt commit)

What’s Up With Chuck and Marshall matters?

Doesn’t seem right if Chuck Heater goes from Temple to Marshall.

Over the past few days, we’ve heard some positive developments along the coaching front at Temple University.
Matt Rhule became a full-time coach four days ago and that’s a big plus, a couple of days after hiring an offensive coordinator, Nick Rolovich, who many believe will be a future great head coach at the BCS level.
That leaves me with one question and one question only:
What’s up with Chuck?

Marshall website added this tidbit four hours ago.

Temple has, in my mind, the best defensive coordinator in the country in Chuck Heater and Rhule would be wise to keep him. Hopefully, he’s working on that now and that will be wrapped up in a couple of days.
I’m getting a little nervous because I saw running backs coach Tyree Foreman and Ed Foley at the Rhule press conference and  I did not see Chuck Heater.
Usually, that’s a bad sign but Steve Addazio hired Don Brown to be his defensive coordinator and Heater is a defensive coordinator and I’d doubt he’d go to BC to take a demotion.
From all accounts, Heater loves Philadelphia and loves Temple.
Still, Heater has plenty of contacts in the business who would like to lure him elsewhere.
One of those is Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, who worked with Heater in Florida.

Temple has, in my mind, the best defensive coordinator in the country in Chuck Heater and Rhule would be wise to keep him

Holliday tried to get Heater when Daz took him the first time and now it looks like, according to a Thundering Hurd website, the doctor has written a prescription with Heater’s name on it again.
Can’t blame Chuck for wanting to work with a guy who he worked a long time at Florida with but Chuck also worked with Matt for a year and Temple and knows that Matt is a tremendous guy, too.
Whatever happens, and we hope Chuck stays, we wish him the best. Unlike Daz, who I won’t miss even a little bit, I will miss Chuck Heater a lot. Always a great guy to talk with at any Temple function and  I really enjoyed talking with him in the parking lot after the UConn game.
If Chuck leaves, though, hopefully Rhule takes a serious look at current University of Delaware DC Nick Rapone, who is past FCS coordinator of the year and a former DC at Temple under Bruce Arians. The bright lights and the big city and big-time football won’t affect Rapone, who has coached not only at Temple but at Pitt. He’s also written six books on defensive football, all available on DVD.
Plus, if you are going to have a Nick as OC you might as well have one as DC.
Rapone’s daughter currently is a college student.
She could have gone anywhere, but she’s at Temple.

Former Temple Owls talk Nick Rapone:

Dead period: We’re still alive


“What are you doing here?” Coughlin asked Rhule. “Go home.”
“Well, coach I have a lot of things I have to do yet.”
“No, go home. Your family comes first.”

Is it the end of the world if there is no Temple football news?
No, thank God.
Fortunately, as we learned this morning, the abacus used by the Mayans for their calculations was just a little, hopefully a lot, off.
On Monday, Temple head coach Matt Rhule said this would be a “dead period” but he was referring to the recruiting world. No contact with recruits is allowed until the end of the holiday period.
I love reading the gossip column by Dan Gross in the Philadelphia Daily News but his last column of the calendar year was Dec. 15. Since Tom Cushman, Mark Whicker, Gary Smith, Ray Didinger and Stan Hochman left the DN, Gross’ column is the first thing I turn to in my DN.
There’s nothing grabs my attention in that sports section anymore.
If they were on top of things, and they aren’t, they’d interrupt eight pages of their non-stop ad naseum Philadelphia Eagles’ coverage for a story on Rhule’s developing staff.
In the absence of hard news, substantive rumors will have to suffice.
The latest “Gross-like” gossip is defensive coordinator Chuck Heater stays in his current position and adds the title “assistant head coach” to the job description. I think that’s quite likely and Heater’s retention would be welcome news. The first sign that was going to happen was that Chuck remained at Temple to both interview for the head coaching position and keep the recruits together.
Like most things he does, Heater performed those duties flawlessly.

Bill Cubit made it to the semifinals in 2010, not the finals.

The second sign was that Steve Addazio hired Don Brown as his defensive coordinator. Hopefully, Heater told Daz he was planning to stay at Temple before that.
When Temple beat UConn, 17-14, and shut out the Huskies in the second half, I found myself standing next to Chuck by one of the buses post-game.
“I don’t know what you did or said at halftime, but you are a genius,” I told him.
“No, it wasn’t me, it was the boys,” Heater said. (Yes, Chuck did use the word boys.)
In my mind, Heater was the best defensive coordinator in the country in the 2011 season. Temple finished third in the nation in scoring defense, behind only Alabama and LSU. Temple did not have Alabama and LSU talent.
I saw a lot of Temple’s defensive problems in 2012 as being Daz-oriented.
A nonsensical run-first, second and third approach resulted in a lot of three-and-outs and a tired defense. Two suspensions to linemen gutted front five depth. Daz kept the team’s potentially best defensive player (in my mind, at least) on the bench as a Scout team quarterback.
Bringing Heater back and giving him Kevin Newsome and allowing him to work out the X’s and O’s of a 3-4 defense would be a big plus for Temple.

Future Owl kicker Jim Cooper, Jr. in this week’s SI.

Another lively development in the dead period was future Owl kicker Jim Cooper, Jr. featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd. He’s the first  future Temple football player featured there since Kevin Harvey played at Paulsboro. You are not likely to read about that development in the Daily News, either.
The latest offensive coordinator rumor has former Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit, the former OC at Rutgers, coming home to Sharon Hill and helping Rhule out. I like that move, if it happens.
Cubit is an offensive mastermind and would allow Rhule to concentrate on being team CEO, which is really a full-time job.
Speaking of that, hate to say it, Matt, but I’m rooting against the Giants the next two weeks.
In the presser Monday, Rhule told a story about his wife getting sick and Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin telling him to leave and go home.
“What are you doing here?” Coughlin asked Rhule. “Go home.”
“Well, coach I have a lot of things I have to do yet.”
“No, go home. Your family comes first.”
Well, Temple is his family now.
Somehow, I think the Giants can get along for the final two games without an assistant offensive line coach. Heck, the Eagles fired almost their entire staff over the last few weeks and they seem to be doing just fine.
Err, maybe that’s a bad example but you get my drift.

Rhule: Substance, credibility over talk

Comcast’s feed was better than the one broadcast on Temple’s YouTube channel.

The last thing Steve Addazio said a  couple of days before walking out the door was that this off-season “would not be a box of chocolates” and “would be a rough deal” for the players and that “they would work harder than any team in the history of Temple University.”
The last two weeks have more like a box of chocolates than a rough deal.

Life is like a box of chocolates for BC fans now.
They have no idea of what kind of run play they are
going to get.

The comment about working harder than any team in the history of the school was an insult to Al Golden and Matt Rhule and every one of the guys who played for them and practiced outside in a couple feet of snow those first few years. It was an insult to guys who practiced on a rock-strewn field for Bruce Arians (now the Student Pavilion). It was an insult to Wayne Hardin’s guys who had their chin straps stolen by neighborhood thugs in the 1970s when practicing at 16th and Norris. Addazio didn’t know what went on then. He couldn’t have.
Yet he talked. He liked talking.
By now, though, we know that Addazio was mostly talk, little substance.
On this day two years ago, Daz said “make Temple a destination school” and “don’t be passing through” yet he passed through quicker than any of his players and rented a home.
Yesterday was Matt Rhule’s day and he was a little talk, but heavy on substance.
The new head football coach at Temple University did not drop any “box of chocolates” line on his first day, but you knew from listening to him that he didn’t have to.
That box of chocolates is all eaten now and the Owls will get back to work, Rhule-style.
My guess if it ever snows again the players will be out there working out in it.
Rhule still owns the home he will move right back into soon.

‘Twelve of those said Temple was their dream job and seven of them were interviewing for other jobs at the time and couldn’t make it to our scheduled interview’
_Bill Bradshaw

Actions speak louder than words, yet Rhule had his say after Bill Bradshaw dropped the funniest line of the day: “The interest in our head-coaching position was overwhelming, diverse and national in scope. We had 119 serious applicants and narrowed it down to 36 potential candidates, 12 of those said Temple was their dream job and seven of them were interviewing for other jobs at the time and couldn’t make it to our scheduled interview. Four of those needed a GPS or an on-star to get from the airport to campus, so we eliminated them as well.”
Bradshaw then said Rhule “was an Acre of Diamond in our own backyard.”
Good Russell Conwell stuff, but there was more.
Just as Al Golden did seven years ago, Rhule referenced Russell Conwell in his remarks.
As far as I  know, Addazio still doesn’t know who Russell Conwell is because I was not able to remember a single quote  from Daz about the founder of Temple University and his unique story.
Rhule did not address who his assistants will be or what kind of offense he will be running. Hopefully, TEMPLE will go back on at least half the helmet because that kind of branding was important to Golden. We’ll find out that nuts and bolts stuff soon enough. More importantly, he addressed larger issues like trust and commitment.
For a group of kids who have been abandoned twice in three years, that’s what they needed to hear.
If the larger university community came away with a sense that this was a young man who said what he believed and believed what he said, the first day was a big success.
The empty box of chocolates has been shipped to Boston.

Five Rhule changes

“You know, coach Rhule, the thing I like most about here is our TEMPLE helmets.”

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.
There are exceptions and rainy days and Mondays when Temple replaces a 4-7 coach stubbornly stuck in his losing ways with hope and change is definitely one of them.
I wrote this on the first Sunday in December:

Never in my wildest dreams did I think Daz would concoct a harebrained, one-dimensional, offensive scheme that would lead to so many three-and-outs and put Temple’s defense in an impossible position. The question then becomes, “Do you see him as a reasonable person open to change or a stubborn former offensive lineman who wants to run the ball all the time?”

In my heart, I knew what the answer to that question was and I thought Temple would be stuck with that guy, Temple Football Forever as it were.
Now, through some miracle, Steve Addazio is gone.
Matt Rhule represents that hope and change and he will be introduced today at a 2 p.m. press conference (Howard Gittis Room, Liacouras Center).
Rhule wasn’t my first choice, but he is Bill Bradshaw’s and I hope he’s the best one.
I can see him making five “Rhule Changes” that could both work and be popular with Temple Nation, as Al Golden used to call it:

2011’s best DC in the country.

1) Four and three minus 3 and 4
No, that’s not some mathematical formula. Somehow, due to a couple of suspensions and over-recruiting at a position, Temple has about eight linebackers who are able to play at a high level of FBS football and about half of that number of quality defensive linemen. Go from the 5-2s and the 4-3s of the past to, at least temporarily, a 3-4 defense. That gets a lot of playmakers on the field and gives the DC an option to blitz a couple of LBs and keep a couple more in pass coverage. I’d love to see Chuck Heater, who I called the best defensive coordinator in the country a year ago, stay and work out those Xs and Os. If not, former Temple DC Nick Rapone, who is Delaware’s defensive coordinator and three-time National DC of the year in FCS football, is available (and his daughter goes to Temple).

2) Binder of men
Mitt Romney had “Binders of Women.” Al Golden had his binder of men. I asked Golden what was in his binder once and he said he had how to run a program, down from hiring the grad assistants to how to recruit. Golden always believed in recruiting a “team” of 25 guys, one for each position, including specialists, every year. I always thought that was sound thinking. Steve Addazio flew from the seat of his pants on a lot of things and one of them was recruiting, which explains why Temple had eight good linebackers and not enough good linemen this year. Somehow, I think Rhule will adopt Golden’s binder philosophy.

3) Best athletes on the field
Since Matt last left us, Temple was able to recruit one of the best athletes in FBS football, former Penn State quarterback Kevin Newsome. For reasons known only to Addazio, Newsome was kept holding a clipboard on the sideline and running the scout team offense. Meanwhile, the back line of the Temple defense was dreadful. Newsome was only a first-team All-State defensive back in Virginia, along with his national top 5 quarterbacking skills. If Newsome is going to be third-team QB again, he deserves a chance to play defense. He’s only 6-3, 215, runs a 4.5 40 and has a 37-inch vertical leap and good ball skills. Somehow, call me crazy, I think the back line of the defense improves with a talent like that.

Hands off my helmet, baldy

4) The King Solomon Solution
After Addazio ditched the most distinctive and, in my mind best, helmet in college football history, I ran a poll  on this site. Overwhelmingly, Temple fans wanted the TEMPLE helmet back but there was a minority who liked the T and had good reasons, too. I’m in favor of splitting this baby right down the middle and the beauty of this solution is that nobody gets hurt. TEMPLE on one side. T on the other side. That way, you get the Temple University brand out there (T) and the Temple football brand (TEMPLE) on the field together.

5) Elephant in the Room
I think the issue of stability and depending on a coach long-term should and will be addressed today and I hope Matt does just that. I grew up as a Temple fan watching Harry Litwack, who was here for decades, Skip Wilson who was here for decades and John Chaney and Wayne Hardin who had double-digit-year runs as Temple coaches. All of those coaches loved Temple enough to make long-term commitments. They “got” Temple, as does current hoop coach Fran Dunphy. If there’s are two common threads there those are loyalty and success. All those coaches as successful as they were loyal. Only lately, and only in football, has the position of head coach become a revolving door. That Elephant needs to addressed and I’m confident it will.
If Matt Rhule becomes as successful and as loyal as Litwack, Wilson, Chaney, Hardin and Dunphy, today will be one of the great days in Temple sports history.

Tomorrow: Complete coverage of the Matt Rhule Press Conference

Our picks: Lembo, Bowles, Rhule (in that order)

BREAKING NEWS: CBS Sports and Owlscoop.com are now reporting as of Thursday night it’s down to Rhule or D’Onofrio … God help Temple if it’s D’Onofrio, whose Miami defense was ranked No. 118 of 120 FBS teams in 2012 …

Todd Bowles, because he represents the diversity this university  is all about and  proudly rocks the Temple colors and has a winning head-coaching record in the NFL, should be named the next Temple coach if it’s between him and Rhule. I think it might go to Matt Rhule , though.

Lembo and Cristobal have “home run” power while Bowles and Rhule, at best, are gap hitters and it’s more likely that Bowles or Rhule will strike out or pop up than the other two guys

Getting information from inside the walls of Temple athletics is almost impossible.
Bill Bradshaw runs a tight ship and that approach has navigated Temple through some troubled waters in the big-time college football world.
I’m OK with that because of the nice ports this trip has taken Temple fans of their major sports.
He hired “the most underrated head coach in college basketball” in his old baseball infield mate at LaSalle, Fran Dunphy.
He hired a program-builder without peer in Al Golden who lifted the Temple football program off the scrap heap and into respectability.
Love him or leave him (cough, leave him), Steve Addazio was able to talk his way into two high-profile jobs after Florida and was able to take Golden’s talent and win Temple its first bowl game in 30 years.
Addazio might have done Temple a huge favor by leaving after this  4-7 disaster.
That’s 3 for 3 and the best Bradshaw hit at LaSalle was .312, so I’ve got to like him better as an AD than a lead-off hitter.

Bradshaw’s track record is good, so I’m OK with his stealth methods.
The latest news is that Temple fans may have to wait until next week to learn of a new coach.
In the meantime, all we can do is read between the scraps of information we’re able to get out of Broad Street.
Reading the tea leaves, as it were.
We’ve learned that early last week Bradshaw called a current NFL and former Temple player and asked him who he would chose between Matt Rhule and Mark D’Onofrio, two former Temple coaches.
The player said without a doubt Rhule.

That was before Eagles’ defensive coordinator Todd Bowles entered the picture and I’m told Bowles is now considered a very serious candidate.
Former Florida International University coach Mario Cristobal already interviewed, as did current Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. No confirmed status on two great head coaches already available, Dave Clawson of Bowling Green or Pete Lembo of Ball State.
My choices are Lembo first, Clawson second and Cristobal third simply because they have taken FBS teams to bowls as head coaches. They would remove all the guesswork about how they will do at Temple simply because they’ve done it as a head coach before.
I’m thinking, though, that Temple will hire someone like Rhule or Bowles because this delay speaks more to Rhule and Bowles finishing their NFL games this week. If you are into conspiracy theories, and I’m not, you might guess the delay might have something to do with new Temple president Dr. Neil D. Theobald, an Indiana guy, flying out to the Hoosier state to try to convince either Colts’ head coach Bruce Arians or Lembo to take the job. Arians might win the Super Bowl, so that’s not happening but I would gladly take Lembo instead.
Borrowing a phrase from Facebook friend Chris “Mad Dog” Russo “gun to my head” Bowles gets the job. (I wrote this Thursday afternoon and still believe Todd should get the job over Matt Rhule or Mark D’Onofrio for a multitude of reasons.) The reasoning will be that Temple is looking for stability in the position above all and Bowles will beat out Rhule based on his small sampling (2-1 record) as an NFL head coach. Plus, he has OWL in the middle of his name and the marketing people love that kind of stuff.
That said, I’d rather see either Lembo or Cristobal sitting there at the presser on Monday. To use a baseball phrase Bradshaw might understand, Lembo and Cristobal have “home run” power while Bowles and Rhule, at best, are gap hitters and it’s more likely that Bowles or Rhule will strike out or pop up than the other two guys.
That would make it 3 for 4 for Bradshaw.
Good enough?
Yes, in baseball, but maybe not athletic administration.

Waiting for that puff of smoke from Mitten Hall

 Workers put up the smokestack for the big announcement at Mitten Hall.

Two hours after this post, Steve Addazio was hired by BC.

Nobody does it quite like the Vatican when it comes to hiring announcements.

The last time a big hiring happened in St. Peter’s Square, thousands of people waited outside for a puff of smoke announcing a new Pope.
Got to wonder what happened during that interview process.

“Your resume said you were in the Hitler Youth?”
“Then you were in the German Army?”
“Then you were Hitler’s driver for eight months?”
“Can you win?”
“Not a problem. You’re hired.”

Inquirer’s Mike Jensen’s choice is the most logical one.

As important as that hiring was for that organization, what’s going on inside Mitten Hall today and tomorrow is for this one.
Temple University is hiring a new head football coach and this is what’s at stake:
Hire a proven winner and Temple goes from 4-7 to 9-3 seasons and increases attendance at Lincoln Financial Field from the 25K range of the past three seasons to 35K and beyond. With that come increased contributions and an overall university endowment in the bottom half of the nation moves into the top half.
That’s all.
Hire someone who MIGHT win and risk going from 4-7 to 3-9 or worse. If that happens, the only thing rattling around LFF on Saturday afternoons will be tumbleweed, not people.
Do you want to take that chance, even with a popular former assistant coach who is well-liked by the current players and the parents? Or a popular former Temple player who has never run a BCS program or recruited a single player?
I don’t.
No one knows who is the leading candidate at this point, but this much is clear: Temple got burned by a blustery-talking assistant coach from a big-time program the last time and is not likely to go down that road again.
Also expect that a name will surface who might not be among those mentioned so far.
You need only to look at Boston College for an example of that. Steve Frauddazio, err, Addazio was named head coach by BC a week ago today at 4:30 p.m., even though at 2:13 the same afternoon he was not mentioned as a finalist by ESPN Boston writer Brett McMurphy (see inset).
Pete Lembo of Ball State is the one guy who has NOT been mentioned by anyone, so I fully expect that Lembo could be named head coach sometime tomorrow.
Lembo is one of really two “proven winning head coaches” available for Temple to hire at this point. The other is Bowling Green’s Dave Clawson.
And neither one of those guys were ever in the Hitler Youth.

Tomorrow: The Haves, The Have-Nots and the Might-Haves

KYW mentions MacIntrye as possible Owl coach

Temple had a shot at Bruce Arians in 2006 and 2011, but virtually no shot now.

WANTED: HEAD COACH, TEMPLE UNIVERSITY _ Large, urban, school in nation’s fourth-largest market, seeks HEAD coach for up-and-coming BCS program. School is committed to winning at the highest level of football and a new president is coming on board in January whose stated top two priorities are success at fund raising and winning in the Big East. Successful candidates will have had WINNING seasons as a HEAD coach at an FBS school. Philadelphia-area connections a plus, but not necessary. No current assistant coaches need apply.

When you hire an assistant coach, you are just as likely to get a Ron Dickerson as you are an Al Golden or a Steve Addazio

There’s a reason why they call the position HEAD coach.
That’s how I see the specific criteria for the next Temple University football coach.
Temple football owes a debt of gratitude to Al Golden, a driven young assistant coach, who built the program.
It owes somewhat less to Steve Addazio, another career assistant, who recruited a fine class last year.
In a way, both were crap shoots because, when you hire an assistant coach, you are just as likely to get a Ron Dickerson as you are an Al Golden or a Steve Addazio.
Now, though, this is the most important hire in the history of Temple University and the school needs a proven winner as a head coach. Remove the guesswork by hiring a guy who has won as a head coach before at the FBS level. Period, end of story.
Current Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Bruce Arians would fit the criteria, and was a leading candidate for the Temple job in both 2006 and 2011, but his career has advanced far past Temple’s pay grade and I’m afraid he’s out.
So it leaves those current hot college head coaches. An assistant would be a big mistake now.
I think it’s important Temple work quickly because these guys are being rumored for other jobs.
That narrows the field thusly:

YES TO (in order):

Former Temple assistant Mike MacIntyre

MIKE MACINTYRE, current head coach San Jose State _ MacIntyre, against an impossible recruiting, funding and facilities disadvantage, went 10-2 and has the Spartans  in a bowl game. One of his two losses was to PAC-12 champion Stanford by a 20-17 score. One of the wins was over BYU. Another was a 52-24 pounding of a 9-3 Louisiana Tech team.
MacIntrye has Temple connections and knows all about the program, having been the Owls’ defensive coordinator in 1997 and 1998. He had San Jose State, with about as much talent as Temple had this year, playing at a much higher level than Temple. MacIntrye, a finalist for the Temple job in 2011, was the only possible name mentioned as a successor on a 5:45 p.m. KYW report by Temple play-by-play man Harry Donahue. I agree with Harry, who is a very good friend of Temple AD Bill Bradshaw. Great choice. At $450K, makes about half of what Daz made at Temple this year, according to the website coacheshotseat.com.

Kent State’s Darrell Hazell

DARRELL HAZELL, current head coach,  Kent State _ Hazell took a team that Temple beat, 36-14, last year (he wasn’t head coach then) and beat the living daylights out of a Rutgers’ team that blew out Temple this year, 35-10. Hazell had Kent State (remember, Kent State we’re talking about here), 11-1 before losing the MAC title game in overtime to NIU. Hazell has Philadelphia-area connections. He’s from Cinnaminson, N.J. Currently grossly underpaid at $350K per year. Purdue is rumored to be interested.

PETE LEMBO, current head coach, Ball State _ Had Ball State, a team Temple beat, 42-0, last year, go 9-3 and earn a trip to the Beef O’Brady Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla. Like Temple, Ball State beat South Florida. Unlike Temple, Ball State also owned a win over a Big 10 team. Knows all about the area having been head coach at Lehigh University. Not a sexy pick (just look at the photo), but the guy is a damn good head football coach and not likely to get outcoached like Daz was in the Maryland game. Since Temple has plenty of talent already in place, Lembo is just the type of guy most likely to get the most out of it. Makes $400K per year.


MATT RHULE, current assistant offensive line coach, New York Giants _ Rhule is an outstanding young man but has no (zero) wins as a FBS head coach. He’s a fine recruiter, but would be a crap shoot as a game day coach. Addazio did not think enough of him to make him sole offensive coordinator, instead bringing in Ryan Day from Boston College to be co-coordinator with Rhule. Shortly after that, Rhule left for the Giant job. Temple is too big to be the first head coaching opportunity, especially at the BCS level. I’d encourage Rhule to get a head coaching job at a place like Kutztown or Delaware and work his way up the head-coaching ladder that way. It’s obvious he’s well-liked at Temple, but the question you have to ask yourself is, “Does he pass the non-Temple smell test?” Would even Kent State or Western Michigan hire him for their head coaching openings? The answer is no. His first head coaching job should not be in the Big East.

TOM BRADLEY, former Penn State defensive coordinator _ Yeah, I know that photo is of Jerry Sandusky but if you hire Bradley he brings all of that Sandusky Penn State baggage with him and that’s a headache Temple can’t afford. Plus, Bradley is a dead fish personality and not likely to inspire a fan base like Addazio was. While Bradley has recruiting ties to Western Pennsylvania, he has no recruiting ties to Eastern Pennsylvania or South Jersey and that’s where Temple needs to win the recruiting wars.