In my lifetime which (unfortunately) is getting to be sadly very long, there have been very few Temple sports lifers.
Sports Information Director Al Shrier, for one. Baseball coach Skip Wilson, for another. Basketball coach Harry Litwack. Fencing coach Dr. Nikki Franke. Athletic director Gavin White.
That’s maybe it.
Even the great John Chaney started somewhere else.
There have been no Temple football lifers and the last possible one, Ed Foley, has just left the Edberg-Olson building for a job at Baylor. Not even the great Wayne Hardin, who stayed here 13 years, could be considered a lifer.
You don’t get rid
of one of the best
special teams coaches
in the country who is
admired and respected
at Temple by everyone,
alumni, fans, current
without some pushback
Foley did not start at Temple, but I certainly thought he would finish here. After being a 7-15 head coach at Fordham, he arrived at Temple with Al Golden and helped resuscitate a brain dead program by breathing some CPR into it.
On April Fool’s Day, 2017, he filmed the video at the top of this post with Kevin Copp and said: “I don’t want to really be anywhere else.” I believed him then. I believe him now.
As a recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach for Golden, he helped recruit three of the top five MAC classes and that led to Temple getting a promotion to the Big East (now the AAC). As special teams coach for Steve Addazio, Matt Rhule and Geoff Collins, he had the Owls’ consistently rated in the top 10 in blocked punts and field goals.
This guy loved Temple. He loved Philadelphia. He wasn’t my choice to be head coach either time because a 7-15 record in his previous head coaching job does not represent the credentials needed to do the same job at Temple. He was not a great head coach as a 14.5-point favorite in an interim capacity against Wake Forest in 2016. Against Duke, he again proved my point that you can be the best assistant coach in the history of the world and a terrible game-day head coach. In fact, he proved that at Fordham when his 7-15 was sandwiched between two of the most successful head coaches in that school’s history, Dave Clawson and Joe Moorhead.
Still, he did everything that was asked of him at Temple and more. I know for a fact that he turned down an assistant coaching job at Purdue a couple of years ago to stay at Temple and he probably turned down other offers I did not know about.
12-12 Jim Rome CBS Sports Minute on Ed Foley https://t.co/ibsiNPLUJe
— Mike Gibson (@papreps) December 13, 2018
So that’s why it was so shocking to hear the news–first reported by Owlscoop.com–that Foley left to join Rhule in an off-the-field capacity at Baylor. He was already in an off-the-field capacity at Temple the last few months so it seemed odd to leave one job at a place he loved for another in a place he was unfamiliar with.
Maybe this quote in Saturday’s Marc Narducci story explained everything: “I don’t have an official title, but will be working with somebody I like and trust,” Foley said about Rhule.
Hmm. Translation: “I don’t like and trust Rod Carey.”
That seems to be abundantly clear. In the same story, Narducci said Carey was “unavailable for comment.” Unavailable for comment? Who is he, Howard Hughes?
Look, I LOVE the Rod Carey hire and I understand that he’s got to live and die with his own hires but this isn’t a good look. Foley has been able to get along with a divergent list of personalties, from Golden to Daz to Rhule to Collins and do it in a professional manner. You don’t get rid of one of the best special teams coaches in the country (face it, giving him a paper-pushing job is getting rid of him), a guy who is admired and respected at Temple by everyone, alumni, fans, current and ex-players, without some pushback. Especially when you bring in a guy from SMU whose special teams weren’t rated as highly as Foley’s. I have never run into a single person who said a negative word about Ed Foley the man. That is a truly rare individual.
Let’s hope Carey is able to explain this in a satisfactory manner sometime in the near future. Right now, it doesn’t pass the smell test.
In fact, it reeks.
Saturday: AAC Media Day
Monday: AAC Head-Scratchers