Flip side: Why 2020 Could Be a Step Forward

The Rutgers Al of Miami, coach Coop, is still not completely sold on Manny.

From the moment the season ended, it’s been nothing but bad news for the Temple football program.

Other than the expected losses, players with returning eligibility left for the NFL (2) and other FBS teams (2).

Pessissmism, not optimism, have understandably reigned.

Still, all is not lost. There are several reasons for optimism left in no particular order and we’ll go with just five names:


Manny Diaz. Despite having three top 10 national recruiting classes in the last six years, Diaz took that talent and lost six games, including crosstown rival FIU (which had six classes rated lower than Temple prior to last season). If Diaz “coaches” Miami (with D’Eriq King at quarterback and Quincy Roche at DE) to a loss against visiting Temple, the season momentum could be off and running for the Owls.

Anthony Russo. Even in an ill-suited offense (for him), Russo improved from 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions to 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. If he makes even the same kind of improvement this season, that will be 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. No Temple quarterback has ever had that kind of season, even in a 10-2 season (Brian Broomell), a 10-3 season (P.J. Walker) and a 9-1 season (Steve Joachim). Gotta think that 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions get the Owls at least 10 wins.


Ray Davis. Maybe 900-plus yards from a true freshman running back will convince this coaching staff to put more emphasis on the running game, even with an RPO approach. If it does, that sets up success in the passing game.

Jadan Blue. Three years ago, Blue had over 100 yards and three touchdown receptions in what might have been the last “true” Cherry and White game of the century. People who saw that performance knew we had something then. His record-breaking season in 2019 cemented that perception. If Blue even has a “slightly” better season in 2020, he could be a first-team All-American. His style of play reminds me a lot of Gerard “Sweet Feet” Lucear, a former great Owl wide receiver from Georgia. With him as the “speed” receiver and Branden Mack as the “possession” receiver (with a whole lot of speed), Temple’s passing game could be lethal.

Nikolos Madourie. Who? At Temple these days, you’ve got to check the official roster daily to see if the guy’s still here. (Madourie still is.) He could be the impact pass rusher Roche was. For comparison’s sake (recognizing the levels of play are different, though), Roche was named AAC Defensive Player of the Year with 13.5 sacks. Madourie, a 6-6, 240-pound player from Sunrise, Fla,., had 15.5 sacks his last year of JUCO ball. If he gets, say, 13.5 this year, he will be more than an acceptable replacement for Roche especially since guys like Dan Archibong, Ifeanyi Maijeh and Kris Banks are going to provide a good push up the middle.

You want optimism? That’s the best we can do now, a week before the start of spring practice.

Otherwise, we live in Philadelphia but our mindset is in the Show Me state of Missouri.

Friday: A Look at Depth


Three Identical Strangers: TU, NIU, Miami


Hopefully, Rod Carey keeps the Cherry helmets this fall

Nothing I see on TV usually blows my mind.

Like everything, there are always exceptions to the rule and the recent CNN documentary “Three Identical Strangers” falls into that category. Without getting deep into it, it was about three young men separated at birth on July 12, 1961, intentionally by an adoption agency as a case study for the effects of nurturing versus naturing.

The college football version of that show is far less intense and intrusive but the study elements are close this fall. The case studies will be separated not by 100 miles or less but by about 500 miles West and 1,000 miles south of Philadelphia.

Proven coaching or talent. Young, unproven coaching or talent.

The question in the fall of 2019 will be: Given the somewhat equal talent in three separate settings does a proven head coach produce a more desirable result (winning) than a hot assistant?

My theory is that Temple football dodged two big bullets over the last decade, separated by one letter.

Daz and Diaz.

Had Steve Addazio stayed at Temple, the Owls probably would have tapped out at the seven-win mark, a number that has concerned the powers-that-be at Boston College so much that they worked in an eight-win minimum into his contract extension this season.

Manny Diaz would have been a college football version of one-and-done but never got to that point. Temple did not need to hire another head coach for one year only to see him leave because, at some point, the instability has to take a toll on recruiting.

“You don’t want to go there,” the bad guys will begin to tell recruits, “they change coaches every year.”

That begs the question: Why can’t Temple have both excellence and stability?

Rod Carey, who by any account, gave Northern Illinois that for the last six years, shows a lot of signs of being the real deal. If the Owls dodged a bullet with Daz and Diaz, they may have the benefit of getting a lot of ammunition from Carey for their weapons.

The lab experiment for this theory will take place in three places: Philadelphia, DeKalb, and Miami.

Only one of the schools hired a proven winner as a head coach. The others took a flyer on unproven assistants as Baltimore Ravens’ running back coach Thomas Hammock was hired by NIU and Diaz went back to Miami.

Interestingly enough, all three schools return 14 starters from the 2018 squads. If the Owls are able to record the most wins of the three schools, the data won’t be complete on this experiment but will certainly point to a brighter future in Philadelphia than those other towns.

From a talent standpoint versus their respective leagues, there is not much to chose from the three experimental samples.

By December, someone should be able to write a pretty good case study.

Tuesday: Dear Rod Letter

Thursday: Who’s Coming and Going?

Saturday: Signing Day No. 2

Tuesday (2/12): Plugging Holes


Comical If Not So Sad


Lance Leipold is probably the best available head coach out there, but does Kraft know that?

Mulligans are usually associated with the game of golf, but Temple athletic director  Pat Kraft now has a chance to have that kind of do-over in football coaching searches.

He missed this most recent two-foot putt by a mile but this is a chance to correct his mistake.


This is what we wrote 20 days ago and Kraft did exactly the worst thing–bring in another team’s coordinator.

The $6.5 million question now is whether he admits his hiring model was a flawed one or does he take this as an opportunity to create a new model?

Manny Diaz lasted all of 17 days as Temple football’s head coach and, frankly, I’m glad he’s gone. He was never a fit for Temple. The guy never coached North of Jacksonville, had no recruiting ties to the area and probably doesn’t even own an overcoat. Temple was going to train him to be Mark Richt’s successor for one year and he would move on to his “dream” job, Miami. He would make all the mistakes first-year head coaches make–all the ones that Matt Rhule made in a 2-10 season and Collins did in a 7-6 one–and the Temple fans and players would be the ones paying for it.


A busy day ahead for the Interstate sign company

Now Kraft will have to juggle several balls in the air with the $6.5 million buyout money ($2.5 million for Geoff Collins and $4 million for Diaz) and hope he can catch them all:

    • No more carpetbaggers. Kraft, in his message to the players last night, finally used the word “stability.”  That word has never appeared in his vocabulary before and it is a concession to the fact that this revolving door is getting comical if it wasn’t so sad. Is there someone out there who has not lost to Duke and Wake Forest by a combined score of 101-53 who feels that TEMPLE is his dream job? Surely that man exists.
    • Keep contractual obligations. Another ball that is difficult to catch. Temple has the names of Fran Brown and Gabe Infante (and probably Ed Foley) signed on the dotted line and the university has a moral duty to keep them onboard and find a next guy who can work with both. Moral duty may mean nothing to Diaz, but it should mean something to Temple.
    • Forget coordinators.  Both Foley, who lost to Wake and Duke by the above-mentioned 101-53, and Fran Brown are good men who may consider Temple their “dream job” but neither has won a single game as an FBS head coach and probably are not ready for prime time. Nonetheless, we don’t want to learn the hard way.

It is time for Temple to finally bring in an established head coach and not another coordinator to have to learn on the job, someone who will bring some stability to the program and has loyalty to Temple.


Al Golden said on national TV Temple TUFF is spelled T-U-F-F (and it is)


That would probably rule out a terrific head coach like FIU’s Butch Davis, who will probably spend his entire year here looking out the window. Buffalo’s Lance Leipold parlayed a 108-6 record at Wisconsin-Whitewater and six national championships (real ones, not fake ones like they have in FBS) into a 10-4 record with the Bulls and is ridiculously underpaid at $325K. Can he be talked into keeping Foley, Brown and Infante, guys who he never met? Waving a couple of million at a guy like that can be convincing. Nothing would scare the shit out of Geoff Collins more than facing the guy who kicked his ass last September at Lincoln Financial Field this September at LFF. He’s a perfect geographical fit for Temple in that Buffalo is a major Northeastern city like Philadelphia. He probably owns several overcoats.


… and this is what we wrote 18 days ago

Al Golden is a guy who knows Temple and loves Temple and HAS PROVEN HE CAN WIN AS A HEAD COACH AT TEMPLE and would get along with Foley, Brown, and Infante and deserves a hard pursuit by Kraft. He gave Temple five terrific years, is still young and probably knows more than anyone else that the grass is not greener on the other side of the 10th and Diamond fence.

Todd Bowles would be a good co-defensive coordinator for Fran Brown to learn from but I’m told his lack of a Temple (or any other) college degree ruled him out of the coaching search in 2010.

The worst thing, though, would be for Kraft to go back and churn the coordinator pile of guys like Mike Elko and Don Brown and come up with a guy whose dream job is elsewhere.

Other people’s dreams are Temple’s nightmares.

New Year’s Day: The Cleanup Begins

Friday: The Pace

Christmas: Best Gift Could Arrive Two Days Late

Love the way coach Foley cracks up Christina Applegate here. 🙂

If Christmas comes two days late for Temple in the form of some valuable hardware, the Owls will have to send text messages in the direction of Detroit.

They will have one guy to thank for it and it was a guy who came under a lot of criticism in this space over the last two years.

Geoff Collins.


Give credit where credit is (or will be) due this game week.

“When I got the (Temple) job, I saw a lot of guys coming and going,” Collins said at his inaugural Georgia Tech press conference. “The one thing I made sure to say the last day I talked to the team was that this wasn’t going to happen now. I told all of the (assistant coaches) to stay in Philadelphia and concentrate on winning the bowl game. I felt I owed the Temple kids that much.”

Collins can do Temple
another solid by taking
Dave Patenaude’s fate out
of Manny Diaz’s hands and
offering him a GT job. That
way, we can get back to
the Temple football all
Owl fans know and love–a
pro set with a heavy run
package with plenty of
play-action designed to
accentuate explosive downfield
plays in the passing game
and one that is perfectly
suited to Anthony Russo’s talents

Collins will be in Detroit for Georgia Tech game against Minnesota the night before in the Quick Lane Bowl. Mix in a trophy ceremony after that game and chances are that Collins is still in the stadium late  and to expect him to make flight connections for a 1:30 start in Shreveport the same day is a little unrealistic. He won’t be coaching GT–legendary Paul Johnson will finish up–but he will be there to press the flesh with Yellowjacket fans just like he did in Annapolis with Temple fans two years ago.

Wherever he is, though, the Owls will owe him some thanks because Matt Rhule put Ed Foley behind the eight ball for the 2016 Military Bowl against Wake Forest. While Wake head coach Dave Clawson had a complete group of well-paid Power 5 professionals  Temple really only had Ed Foley and offensive line coach Chris Wisenhan as constants. Pretty much the entire Rhule staff spent the time recruiting for Baylor and making a bare minimum of Temple practices. Foley had no choice but to assign grad assistants to run eight Temple defensive practices.


Our Oct. 19th poll

It showed in Temple, a 14.5-point favorite, falling behind, 31-6, at halftime. The offense made a gallant enough run, but the Owls fell, 34-26.

Temple’s only a four-point favorite this time and Foley said he’s learned a few things this time. That, and having a full complement of assistants should be enough. Diaz has the best special teams’ coach in the nation in Foley and, after Ed hoists the bowl trophy, he deserves to stay right here.

Collins can do Temple another solid by taking Dave Patenaude’s fate out of Manny Diaz’s hands and offering him a GT job. That way, we can get back to the Temple football all Owl fans know and love–a pro set with a heavy run package with plenty of play-action designed to accentuate explosive downfield plays in the passing game and one that is perfectly suited to Anthony Russo’s talents. If the nightmare scenario happens where Collins is gone and Patenaude stays, Russo remains a read-option quarterback and he’s no more of a read-option quarterback than Tom Brady is.

If Collins’ departure means Patenaude is gone and Diaz finds a pro set coordinator, that’s a net plus for the good guys who remain.

Wednesday: Bowl Preview

Friday: Bowl Analysis

Recruiting: About as good as expected



Roughly a year ago at this time, Geoff Collins was on the beach sitting on a chair by a table with signatures of 24 commits all while prepping for a bowl game.

What a difference a year makes.

Coaching changes always cause upheaval so that’s probably one of about 99 good reasons why Temple needs to fix the revolving coaching door office at the Edberg-Olson Complex.

Just about every story coming out of AAC schools on Wednesday, including Temple, talk about how happy everyone was with the early signing day.

That’s great, but as an ex-President once said: “Trust, but verify.”

This is where Temple stands nationally, according to Rivals.com this morning:


This is where Temple stands where it counts, among its fellow AAC members, according to Scout.com:

scoutIf Temple is really going to be pleased with this recruiting haul, it should come in February, not December, this year because, while Collins just about nailed every target by now, new head coach Manny Diaz is going to have to use some of his Power 5 coaching connections to flush out the remaining eight scholarship recipients. If Diaz can bring in a lot of guys who have Power 5 offers between now and then, the Temple rankings go up considerably. Temple hasn’t had the No. 1 recruiting ranking in any league its played in since Rivals.com ranked the Owls’ 2012 recruiting class No. 1 in the MAC.

If recruiting rankings really mean nothing, then why are teams like Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State in the top 10 the last three years? Temple can get lucky on the Tyler Matakevichs and Muhammad Wilkersons of the world, but those are anecdotal stories and outliers to the whole recruiting process. It’s nice to get five of those type kids in every class, but it’s even nicer to get a boatload of four-star commits in the other 20 signees.

Maybe Temple shoots up the charts with a bullet in these next two months or so.

Hold the celebrations for February, though, because anything else is seeing things through Cherry and White-colored glasses.

Monday: Reasons To Be Optimistic This Game Week

Temple HC Pick: A Cautionary Tale


Sometimes coordinators (left) work out, sometimes (right) they don’t.

From reading the reaction all across the country about Temple’s recent hire of Manny Diaz as head coach, one might think that the deal is a slam dunk for Temple.

As New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa said on his WFAN show Monday about the New York Jets next hire, no coordinator slipping into a head coaching job is ever a slam dunk.


Wayne Hardin was the only slam dunk hire in Temple history but top 10 head coaches don’t go to G5 schools these days.

“I don’t want any more coordinators,” Francesa said. “A coordinator is never a sure thing. Really, there’s no sure thing but at least with a head coach you have a track record of what they’ve done as a head coach.”

Francesa is not always right, but his logic on coordinators taking over head coaching jobs is irrefutable and provides a cautionary tale for Temple right now.

At most … most … Temple’s hiring of Diaz can be considered a layup and layups have been missed in the past.

Really, the only “slam dunk” Temple had was Wayne Hardin and that could not have been surprising. When Hardin came to Temple, he had just come off a professional football championship with the Continental League–a league competing with the fledgling AFL–for the Philadelphia Bulldogs. Prior to that, he had Navy ranked No. 2 in the country and coached two Heisman Trophy winners.

He was the real deal.

There are no slam dunks at Temple anymore and none, really, nearby.

A head coach and a coordinator are two separate jobs. Just because someone is a great produce manager at the local supermarket does not mean he’s cut out to run the whole store.

There are plenty of examples of it not working out on the college football level, either.

In fact, you don’t have to go very far from the center of Temple’s campus to point to three missed layups. You could put a protractor in the middle of Broad Street and Montgomery Avenue and draw a 200-mile circle around it and come up with these recent examples.


“Chris did a great job for us at Wisconsin and has been successful at every stop he’s made as an assistant. I was always impressed with his preparation and the way he motivated his players. He’s ready to be a head coach. I think Chris is a great fit for Rutgers.”

Ash’s record at Rutgers: 7-29


“He will bring a winning attitude to the team and we will bring in winning people to the team and just all around winning mentality to the  He will do whatever it takes to that. I think he will do a great job as head coach there.”

Diaco’s head coaching record at UConn: 11-26.


“D.J. is one of the bright young minds in the coaching profession. He is a great teacher, recruiter and has a deep passion for the game and helping young men develop both on and off the field. He did a wonderful job while here at the University of Florida. Everyone here loved working with D.J. He is a winner.”

Not so fast. Durkin exited Maryland with an 11-15 record and a bad scandal involving the death of a player.

It’s a little easier to predict success for a guy who has done it all of his life with the clipboard in his hands. Handing the reins of a program over to guys who have had terrific success with the headsets on is not a slam dunk as Rutgers, UConn and Maryland have learned.

While Temple has been lucky in hiring coordinators under two different athletic directors, expecting Temple to be successful using this same kind of formula forever is tempting fate. All Temple has to do is look at some of its neighbors. The one program that hired a successful head coach, Penn State, is thriving. The others not so much.

Right now, Diaz is ahead of the pack and looks like a layup but finishing the play will determine if he scores and the scoreboard always tells the true tale.

Ask the guys coaching schools not all that far away.

Friday: The Latest

National Reaction to Diaz Hire

No doubt Dr. Pat Kraft did his due diligence prior to hiring Manny Diaz as Temple’s football coach but even he probably did not anticipate the reaction following the introduction.

Mostly, it’s been a positive led by a terrific endorsement on ESPN’s duo of Jonathan Vilma (a Miami product) and Emmanuel Acho, a linebacker he coached at Texas (see above video).

That wasn’t the only reaction, though. Here is a sampling that includes players, media and rival fans.



“Watching some of the games, seeing him running around on the sideline having fun with that defense, that is the kind of guy you want to play for,” quarterback Anthony Russo.


Alan Rubenstein, Canes’ Insider: “There have been a lot of reasons on social media why Diaz shouldn’t take the job at Temple. The fact is Temple is a good opportunity with a program that has been successful over the last ten seasons and seen its head coaches in the past step up into Power Five positions.”

Imagine any Philadelphia football station talking about Temple like this one about Miami.

Opposing Fans


Rutgers (rivals board):

Tico: “No matter how you feel about the Temple program, they didn’t pout or cried about being left behind. They reinvented themselves and they have a pretty good looking future as of now. And from the looks of things, they’re not looking to rest on their laurels and think this is all they have to do (unlike other programs).”

Lotus aggressor: “It appears that we are doomed to the worst case scenario. The only hope is that Temple gets the Texas Manny Diaz and not the Miami Turnover Chain Manny Diaz.”

.. and, of course, you can’t read the RU board without a dumb remark here and there:

Miketd1: “Yeah, that’s nice. There’s a reason an undefeated UCF didn’t get a shot at the national title. Enjoy the kiddie table.”

Like losing 78-0 a couple of times every year is the big boy table.

Uconn fans (The Boneyard Messageboard)

Dream Job: “The great thing going with Temple right now is that they are unafraid of hiring guys who consider it a stepping stone job. Who cares if a guy is only there 3-4 years before moving on? Better than firing someone every 3-4 years.”

UCF fans (Rivals board)

Poolside Knight: “It fits Temple’s Program Identity. This might be an upgrade from Collins who I thought relied a little too much on Special Teams gimmicks but the problem for Temple is that if Miami continues to struggle it could be a 1-2 year round trip to Coral Gables for Diaz.”

Wednesday: A Cautionary Tale




Diaz’s Presser: Better Than The Billboard


Photo courtesy of Manny Diaz Sr.

In the great tradition of one-liners at Temple football coach hiring press conference, Manny Diaz offered this gem about the university we all know and love:

“It was better than the brochure.”
Geez. I hope that was a good brochure but, truth be told, the press conference was better than I expected even though I did not get all the answers I wanted.

The brochure remark joined these great ones in the introductory presser Hall of Fame:

“We’re going to build a house of brick, not straw,” _  Al Golden, 2005. (Golden kept that promise, stayed five years and built a house solid enough to win a bowl game the year after he left.)

“My message is to make it a destination to be at Temple. Don’t be passing through. I’m now honestly living my dream.” _ Steve Addazio, 2010  (Addazio passed through after two years and then told BC he was living his dream. He must’ve had a lot of dreams.)


Great coaching hire by Manny Diaz

“I asked Bill to sign a 15-year contract and he wouldn’t let me,” _ Matt Rhule, talking about athletic director Bill Bradshaw, who gave Rhule a five-year contract that the uni ripped up and extended to 2021 after the 2015 season. Rhule didn’t even serve the five years Golden did.

“We will compete for championships, we will provide a world-class student-athlete experience and education, and we will represent the community with pride.” _ Geoff Collins, 2016. (Depends on what your definition of “compete for championships” is but Memphis, which played UCF in the last two title games, fit that description better than Temple in the two Collins’ years.)

So we’ve gone from coaches who have promised to build brick houses to ones who didn’t want to pass through to one who wanted to sign a 15-year contract and another who wanted to compete for championships to a guy who said Temple was better than the brochure.

No promises, no demands, this time. Love is a battlefield.

Fortunately, the brochure guy got to work on the love part Friday night by bringing in Baylor assistant coach Fran Brown and that says more about his commitment to competing than any promises could. The billboard welcoming Diaz to Philadelphia (I95 Northbound between Chester and the airport) was impressive but the deeds already are paying fruition. Who knows? Having Brown learn how to be defensive coordinator under one of the best DCs in the country could be a succession plan of sorts. Brown is a great recruiter and one of the most popular coaches with the players in practice facility history, so that’s a good start. Brown is a keeper around the E-O, as is OL coach Chris Wisenhan, QB coach Adam DiMichele and the best special teams’ coach in the nation, Ed Foley.  That would be a nice nucleus. Collins can have the rest of the coaches.

Offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, who tried to make a read-option quarterback out of a pro set one, probably should be packing his bags right now. Hopefully, Diaz has enough football savvy to know that making a read-option QB out of NFL prospect Anthony Russo makes as much sense as Bill Belichick suddenly making a read-option QB out of Tom Brady.  Patenaude has spent two years here trying to force square pegs into round holes and good coaches know that square pegs go into square holes.

Diaz didn’t promise to stay forever, but actions are always more important than words and his first hire was a helluva great action.

Monday: Out of Town Reaction

Wednesday: A Cautionary Tale

Friday: 5 Things We Won’t Miss About Mr. Mayhem

Monday (12/24): Hitting The Ground Running

Wednesday (12/26): T-Minus 1 To Game Day

Fizzy: Groundhog Day

Editor’s Note: Fizzy wrote this BEFORE the press conference but we did not see this until a day before. His points are still well-taken here. 

                                            By Dave (Fizzy) Weinraub


Once more, the alarm clock sounded at 6AM, and the Temple athletic director groggily got to his feet.  Stumbling to the mirror and looking at himself, he groaned.  Not again, he thought. For the fourth time in recent years, another school stole our head football coach.  Not only that, but he took the first plane to Georgia Tech and won’t even stay to coach our bowl game. The athletic director shook his head as his thoughts continued to flow.  And we have no head coach to meet our recruits, so who knows how many we’ll lose? 

The above scenario is quite familiar to Temple football fans, as well as those from many other universities across the country.  Run by the big “Power Five” schools, the impotent NCAA does absolutely nothing to preclude student football players of less wealthy schools from getting the shaft.  After a letter of complaint I sent years ago, the executive director of the NCAA responded by basically saying it was illegal to restrain someone from working wherever they wanted.

As General McAuliffe said in the Battle of the Bulge in WW II… “Nuts!”

For example, my oldest son works for a large corporation and I asked him if he was looking around.  He said, sure, but I can’t go to the companies most likely to hire me because I signed a “non-compete letter.”  When I questioned its legality, he said his company sued a person who left for a new job and won.  Perhaps Temple should have its new coach sign a non-compete agreement and see what happens at the next Groundhog Day.

There are other remedies.  In the NFL, coaches can’t leave unless they receive a promotion. Head coach to head coach in the Football Bowl Championship Division is not a promotion.  Head coaches would have to fulfill their contracts… imagine that.  At least, the NCAA could also punish the hiring school by saying if you steal a coach under contract you lose the opportunity to go bowling games or win the championship of your conference.  Without question, coaches should have to stay until the end of the season.

Turning this around, maybe Temple is losing a business opportunity.  They could go in the head football coach training business (Ph.D. in Football) and earn a substantial fee.

Tomorrow: Press Conference Reaction

Monday: Where Did We Hear This Before?


How Manny Diaz Could Win The Press Conference


Temple fans are looking for Manny Diaz to win the press conference

Believe it or not, there is some news about Temple’s hiring of Manny Diaz that is not all that discouraging:

He can win the press conference.

Kickoff is 3 p.m. today at the Liacouras Center.

It could dribble out of bounds, it could go through the goal posts. It could even be fumbled by the bad guys or taken back for a touchdown by the good guys.


“Mark, I’m headed up I95 but I’ll be back to replace you in a year.”

Full disclosure: I am not in favor of this hire. If you came to me and asked me who the ABSOLUTE WORST choice that Temple athletic director Pat Kraft could make I would not have been able to give you Diaz’s name because I never heard of the guy.  I could have given you a pre-outline of a worst-possible choice: 1) a coordinator from a P5 school; 2) a coordinator who has never been a head coach before; 3) a coordinator who has to learn how to be a head coach (probably for another school) on Temple’s dime and Temple’s time; 4) A guy who has never been to Philadelphia before and knows nothing about the city; 5) A guy who knows very little about Temple’s personnel; 6) A guy whose dad was a Mayor of another large city and probably longs to return to that city.

Manny Diaz fits all of those disqualifications.

Still, there is a press conference.


49er and former Owl Julian Taylor echo the feelings of a lot of former and current players about this hire.

If the right questions are asked (doubtful since they weren’t last time) and the right answers are given (also ditto), the Manster might change my mind.

Here is a primer for the new coach:

Shawn Pastor, OwlsDaily: Manny, both Steve Addazio and Geoff Collins left these kids after two years. Can you promise to them and the Temple fans right now you won’t do the same?

Diaz: Shawn, nice to meet you. I’ve been following the Temple coaching changes from afar and I’m really sick about it. I can tell you right now that I have a five-year contract and I will not even entertain any offers from anyone until the conclusion of the contract. That is my solemn vow to you and these kids. My word is my bond and when I sign a contract I consider that a promise not only to my employer but my God.


John DiCarlo, Owlscoop.com: Manny, you’ve seen the Money Downs and heard Geoff Collins call his defense the dark side defense. What do you think of that kind of swag and nicknames?

Diaz: Not a fan, John. This defense is too good a defense to give up 45 points to Boston College, 52 to UCF and 49 to Houston and earn any nicknames. We’re going to play a sound base defense and go for shutouts. I did notice that the last time you had consecutive shutouts was in the 2016 season. That’s one of my goals: back-to-back shutouts. Until that happens, I’m not giving out any nicknames.

Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer: Manny, what do you think of quarterback Anthony Russo?

Diaz: Definitely an NFL talent. I watched the film and could not believe they had him running a read-option offense. He’s a Pro Set quarterback. Even Stevie Wonder can see that. Let me ask you a question, Marc: Would Belichick have Tom Brady run a read-option? I told coach Patenaude this morning to pack his bags and take that sorry-ass offense with him to Atlanta. Any other questions?

Don Hunt, Philadelphia Tribune: Manny, what about keeping Ed Foley and Chris Wisenhan? Foley had the best special teams in the country and Chris had the best offensive line in the AAC.

Diaz: Don, I’m looking for a special teams’ coach and an OL coach. I’d be crazy not to keep those two guys. They are not only staying, but I talked to QB coach Adam DiMichele and asked him to stay as well.

Pat Kraft: Manny, I think you’ve won the press conference. Please get to work keeping our commits and getting a few of the U’s to come North to Miami. Gentlemen, in the words of the great General MacArthur, these proceedings are closed.

Friday: Fizzy Checks In About the Overall TU situation

Saturday: Reaction to The Press Conference