Addazio’s first 5-star recruit: Urban Meyer

Steve Addazio and Urban Meyer: Reunited and it feels so good.

When Steve Addazio got the head coaching job at Temple, I was one of the first to post my reservations. I wanted someone who had been a head coach somewhere else before Temple, not someone who had to learn on the job.

The next day I got an email from a search committee member who shall remain nameless.

“Mike, this guy is a dynamo, you are going to love him,” the person wrote. “After he spoke, we all were sitting there in the room with our mouths wide open. Mark my words. As surely as he sold us, he’s going to sell 5-star recruits into coming to Temple.”

Well, signing day came and went and there were no 5-stars in sight.

Yesterday, though, that all changed when Addazio announced former Florida head coach Urban Meyer was going to join Temple’s staff in an as yet-to-be-determined capacity. He’s Addazio’s first five-star recruit.

“Urban and I are best friends,” Addazio said. “I kid him. He kids me. After I hired Chuck (Heater, defensive coordinator) and Scot Loeffler (offensive coordinator), I said, ‘Let’s make this an all-Gator staff. Why don’t you join me?’

“He just laughed. A couple of weeks ago he asked how he could help. He’ll be living in New York in the fall but ESPN needs him only on Friday and Saturday. He said he’d be free to help us at least three days a week.

“I’d be nuts not to take him up on it, so he’s going to come down to Philly and work with us three days a week.”

“He’ll be living in New York in the fall but ESPN needs him only on Friday and Saturday. He said he’d be free to help us at least three days a week.”

Someone asked Addazio what Meyer’s title could be.

“I don’t want to call him an assistant coach,” Addazio said. “That wouldn’t seem quite right.

“We thought about a title like ‘Quality Control Specialist’ and that sounds like he’s working for General Electric. We’re a football team, not a company, so I rejected that. Then someone mentioned ‘Czar of Football Operations’ and I thought that sounded old world and I rejected that.

“Maybe we should open up a title contest for the fans. We’ll figure it out. When I mentioned the idea of a contest to Scott (Walcoff) in promotions, he said sure. He also asked what I thought of changing the name of Oscar Meyer Dollar Dog Day to Urban Meyer Weiner Day. I said I’d have to think about that one.”

Already, Addazio knows how a typical Urban Meyer Day at Temple will go.

“He’s going to get off the train at 10th and Diamond and two Temple police officers are going to greet him there and walk him down the steps to the complex.

“He’s going to stop at (secretary) Nadia Harvin’s desk and she’s going to give him a pen and a yellow legal pad and Urban is going to have the run of the place, making notes and suggestions. At the end of the day, he’s going to leave the yellow pad on my desk and I’m going to follow through.”

Addazio broke out into a broad smile.

“I had to run this idea past (athletic director) Bill (Bradshaw) and he just loved it,” Addazio said. “Bill said something really profound. He said that every time Meyer said something on ESPN on Saturdays, it would say Temple such-and-such coach Urban Meyer right there on the screen.

“He said you can’t buy that kind of publicity, that it opens the door for Temple to every five-star recruit in the country.”

Just then I woke up and realized everything Steve Addazio just said was in a dream.

Happy April Fool’s Day everybody.

Also worth reading:
Big 10 shows renewed interest in Temple