Dr. Wingard: It’s time to make a change

To: Dr. Jason Wingard

President, Temple University

Sullivan Hall

Broad Street and Montgomery Avenues

Philadelphia, PA 19122

Dear President Wingard,

You’ve played big-time college football.

You, more than anyone else, know a couple of simple Football 101 facts:

One, when a team refuses to pass but gouges your defense on runs, you put eight men in the box and dare them to pass.

We’re popular in Kuwait on Sunday. Views of TFF from end of the game last night until 9 a.m. this morning. Maybe some oil money is coming to buy out Rod Carey’s contract.

Two, when you get a first-and-goal early in the game on the bad guy’s 3-yard line, you put your POWER back in the game, not your scatback. Tavon Ruley would have produced a 7-0 lead. Edward Saydee is a good back but not the guy you want in there when you want to move bodies.

Three, when your highly-paid coaching staff refuses to understand those basic football concepts,, it’s time to get another highly-paid coaching staff.

That’s pretty much the story in a nutshell of Saturday night’s USF 34-14 win over our beloved Temple Owls.

You know it.

Your fans know it.

No lies detected …

Your coaching staff is clueless.

These people are from Northern Illinois. They don’t understand Temple. They hate Philadelphia. They can’t fathom Temple TUFF. They never will.

They were 1-6 last season. They will finish 3-9 this season.

It’s time for a change.

The sooner the better.

Yes, buying out the remaining three years of a coach who makes $2 million per year will cost the university major coin but put it this way.

You cannot sell this staff to the fanbase next year. Spend money, replace the guy, sell maybe 10x as many season tickets over the next 12 months.

Keep him for another year and you might not sell more than 400 season tickets in a 70,000-seat stadium for the 2022 season. This university doesn’t deserve that national embarrassment. People in Philadelphia are knowledgeable about the game. They can’t stomach three-men fronts against run-only offenses. They can’t stomach a guy who is so unpopular with his players that they routinely leave for other pastures.

Bring back Al Golden, who has proven he can win here, or give the job to a more hungry guy who is popular with the players like Gabe Infante.

You came to Temple promising bold leadership. Nothing would send a bolder leadership message to the 300,000-plus Temple alumni that you won’t accept the performance of this coaching staff.

Spend money to make money.

Fire Rod Carey no later than Monday. If you can get into the office on Sunday, that would even be better. I don’t speak for my 300,000 fellow Temple alumni nor the 40,000 current full-time students or 12,500 employees but I’m confident the great majority agree with me today.

Don’t wait until Arthur Johnson arrives in his office Nov. 1. You can fill him in on the details once he gets settled.

We cannot wait until the end of the season.

Sincerely,

Mike Gibson

Editor and Publisher

Temple Football Forever

Monday: Word of the day

Friday: UCF Preview

Sunday: Game Analysis

Open Letter to Dr. Jason Wingard

Dr. Wingard needs to be to Rod Carey what Robert DeNero was to Gaylord Focker in Meet the Parents.

Dr. Jason Wingard

President

Temple University

Sullivan Hall

Broad and Montgomery Aves.

Philadelphia, PA 19122

Dear Dr. Wingard,

Congratulations on getting the top job at Temple.

In my mind, Temple University could not have made a better choice. I hope to meet you at the tailgates this fall. Please stop by and say hello to the Bruce Arians’ former players (back of Lot K by the fence closest to Citizens Bank Park) and the Wayne Hardin guys (farther away against the same fence but in the very corner).

Although I do not know you know or even heard about you before (my bad), if someone gave me a pen and paper and told me what my wish list was for the next Temple President I would have written this:

Football guy

Philadelphia guy

Academic guy

Excellence guy

You checked all of those boxes.

If you think this is a negative review, please let me know. I don’t think I could have been any more positive.

I really don’t know who else would have been better, maybe former Philadelphia Mayor and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell but he’s getting up there and has health issues.

To me, your hire best reflected the priorities of not only the Temple Board of Trustees but the university as a whole.

The BOT has stated it wants a stadium and maybe you can help negotiate the political mine field and get this done so Temple, like just about every other great public university, has a stadium where the alumni can reconnect with campus at least six times a year.

That’s not as important as the excellence part.

As former Chancellor Peter J. Liacouras has stated, the football program is the front porch of the university. He is on record as saying this:

Nothing would put Temple on the forefront of the nation than a winning championship football program. We all saw that in 2015 when the Owls put a 27-10 beatdown on Penn State and took a 7-0 record (and a No. 21 national ranking) into a Halloween Night matchup with No. 9. Notre Dame. That game came down to the wire and remains today the No. 1-watched college football game in the history of Philadelphia TV.

You cannot buy that kind of advertising. Not with a million nor a billion dollars and I doubt very seriously a trillion dollars.

That’s why it’s important you watch the success of the football program very closely this fall. If Rod Carey has a winning season, he deserves to stay.

Simple as that.

A great CEO accepts no excuses. Not Covid, not the year after COVID, not anything.

Win and stay. Lose and go.

If not, Temple needs to look in another direction and find a dynamic person to be the front porch of the university’s CEO. There’s a big buyout involved but, as in any business, you need to spend money to make money. There’s a guy out there. Al Golden is the only one who has proven he can do it here but there are many more talented individuals who can do this job on the same level as Golden and Matt Rhule.

Maybe even better.

That’s should be Temple’s Golden Rule. There are many great people out there who can do spectacular jobs. You can’t be President and head coach at the same time, but there can be a guy with similar ability in both important jobs.

Not you, but someone like you. The fact that Temple found you means that Temple can find HIM.

Signed,

Mike Gibson

Editor and Publisher

Temple Football Forever

(graduate, SCAT)

Monday: The Playoffs

Wingard: One catch at Stanford, one catch for Temple

Dr. Jason Wingard played on this Stanford team in 1992.

Temple University football fans and Dr. Jason Wingard already have at least one thing in common:

Experiencing the sheer joy of celebrating a dominating football win over Penn State in a 10-win season.

Dr. Wingard (left) with former Eagle Troy Vincent

Wingard’s win, a 24-3 bowl game trophy, came in the 1992 season. Temple fans, of course, will always remember 9/5/15, a 27-10 season-opening win over Penn State. The Cardinal finished 10-3 in 1992, the Owls 10-4 in 2015.

Wingard’s career football stats were modest–a catch for five yards in that 1992 season–but he’s listed as playing on all 12 games that season. My best guess is that he was an offensive lineman because, despite being a track star at West Chester Henderson, he also has no interception or tackle stats at Stanford. He was listed as a 1992 pre-season All-American and pre-season All-Americans usually have stats on college football reference’s site (unless they are offensive linemen).

Jason Wingard’s career stats at Stanford.

Whatever, he’s one great catch as the next Temple University president.

That’s because going into the search I thought having a football guy would be important for the school’s search for national excellence. That’s because if you’ve ever put on a uniform, you are a competitive guy and want to win. Since his dad graduated from Temple, he’s a legacy pick. He’s from the suburbs, lives in Philadelphia now (Chestnut Hill) and probably knows the political lay of the land. If there’s a guy who can pull off a stadium, it’s him.

From Wingard’s first press conference, he mentioned a desire for Temple to be excellent in both academics and athletics.

As past President Peter J. Liacouras noted, the two are not mutually exclusive. You can be great in both.

Stanford is and, from all indications, Temple will be.

If he refuses to accept one-win seasons going forward, he has my support.

One of the interesting articles Dr. Wingard wrote as entitled “Want Millenials to Stay? Invest in Corporate Learning.”

Maybe he will be able to write a future piece on getting Gen Z’s to stay in a certain G5 college football program.

“How to succeed in college football’s transfer portal? Hire a winning charismatic head coach who not only wins but relates well to the players.”

That’s the kind of one catch Temple needs most now. The clock is ticking.

Monday: Oyster Crackers