Sean Desai: From Temple to NFL coaching star?

Instead of conducting a coaching search the traditional way, Temple’s recent most important football hires were done without a national search.

There were some good, and some bad.

Stan Drayton’s birthday was yesterday and so far it looks like his best days are ahead of him.

By best days, we mean a lot of wins and at least one championship.

There were only two Temple coaches who mentioned championships either before or right after they were hired.

One was Matt Rhule.

The other was Drayton.

Everybody else, including Steve Addazio and Al Golden, spoke in more vague terms.

Daz said he wanted to win “great bowl games” and Golden said he wanted to “build a house of brick, not straw.”

Rhule set his goal in stone, telling a basketball crowd at halftime a few days after he was hired that “we will win championships here.”

Drayton told the team at the end of last year “you will be champions.”

Rhule delivered in the singular, not plural sense. If Drayton does the same, Temple fans will take that.

When Temple hired Drayton, Sean Desai was named by The Temple News as one of the top four candidates.

Still, after hearing people gush about Sean Desai–who was up for the job before Drayton got it–you have to wonder where Temple would be if they hired him.

Former Miami Hurricane and Tampa Bay Buc Dan Sileo called the Philadelphia Eagles hiring Desai a “home run” and said that Desai “will be a superstar head coach in the NFL.”

Former Temple Owl and Carolina Panther Colin Thompson echoed that sentiment.

In a way, both Daz and Golden delivered on their promises if you consider the New Mexico Bowl a “great bowl game.” Golden turned a 20-year loser into back-to-back eight- and nine-win seasons and his brick house was a solid enough foundation for Rhule’s success.

Championships, though, are where Temple coaches should set the bar and Rhule and Drayton were the only coaches who grabbed at it.

Rhule delivered. If Drayton does the same, nobody will ever wonder what Desai would have done if he was hired instead.

Even if he becomes the next Bill Belichick or Vince Lombardi.


A Temple favorite for Eagles’ DC

Now that the Philadelphia Eagles have hired an offensive coordinator, the second-biggest hire of this offseason could occur this week.

If they are smart, a Temple Owl could fill the position.

Sean Desai, who spent five years coaching at Temple, is rumored to be one of the top five candidates for the job.

Currently at Seattle, Desai coached at Temple under current Notre Dame defensive coordinator Al Golden and was the Temple special teams’ coach before the legendary Ed Foley took over the same position.

Desai would be a good fit and not just because he’s an Owl.

He is a disciple of Vic Fangio, who probably would have gotten the job had he not accepted the same position with the Miami Dolphins recently. Fangio is generally considered the best defensive mind in the NFL and Desai would bring all of those principles to the Eagles with the added benefit of youth.

Sean Desai did a good job with the Bears and with the Eagles talent on defense he probably would be an upgrade over Jonathan Gannon.

Desai was back at Temple less than a year ago, serving at the Commencement Speaker for the College of Education and Human Development in May.

Not only was he a coach at Temple, but he served as an adjunct professor in the College of Education in 2009 and 2010, teaching a master’s and doctoral program in education administration.

In the NFL, he has plenty of experience as a DC having served as the Chicago Bears’ DC in 2021. With the Seahawks this past season, he was “associate head coach for defense” under Pete Carroll.

Desai earned his doctorate in educational administration, with an emphasis in higher education in the College of Education and Human Development in May 2008. He served as an adjunct professor in the College of Education in 2009 and 2010, teaching in the master’s and doctoral programs in education administration.

While Desai never got a chance to coach current Eagles’ defenders Shaun Bradley and Haason Reddick, he has connections with those who recruited both and probably knows both well.

At Temple, Desai was the special teams’ coach in 2008 when the Owls averaged 26.6 points per return (tying for second in the nation) and had two kickoff returns for touchdowns.

The Owls haven’t had a kickoff return for a touchdown since Desai left.

With the current putrid state of the Eagles’ special teams, having Desai close by can only help Nick Siranni.

Let’s hope he comes to the same conclusion.

Friday: Some Great Storylines in the Temple schedule

Monday: Pre-camp Game by Game Analysis

Friday (March 3): How the Temple offense compares with a champion