Temple could learn a lot from Cincinnati

Four BE titles in five years  helped fund renovations in Nippert Stadium.

Four BE titles in five years helped fund renovations in Nippert Stadium.

Since 2005, Temple has had four head coaches: Bobby Wallace, Al Golden, Steve Addazio and Matt Rhule.
Since 2005, Cincinnati has had six head coaches: Mark Dantonio, Brian Kelly, Jeff Quinn, Butch Jones, Steve Stripling and, now, Tommy Tuberville.

Cincinnati doesn't seem to be bothered by multiple coaching changes.

Cincinnati doesn’t seem to be bothered by multiple coaching changes.

One of the reasons Rhule was hired was to stop the bleeding of coaches at 10th and Diamond.
The thinking was that the kids needed the stability of one coach and they could not go through the trauma of having a new coach every other year.
So, rather than get a big-time winning head coach, Temple University “settled” on someone no other FBS school even heard about or considered hiring, Rhule.

The coaching turnover doesn’t seem to affect Cincinnati, whose model is to get the best possible winning head coach available, rather than go after an assistant coach. Cincy got both Kelly and Butch Jones from Central Michigan, where they proved they could win as a head coach. There was no guessing and hoping that they’d win once they got to the big city.

And win they did.  After Kelly gave Cincy two Big East titles, Jones gave them two more. Coaches come and go at Cincinnati, like Temple, a prestigious major urban school but, unlike Temple, the administration went out and spent the big bucks needed to get the best available head coach with a proven winning record.

The Owls are only 1 game with 5 Chris Coyer passes off reverses, 5 CC runs and 5 CC catches from this kind of celebration at the end of the Cincy game. Sadly, since this  coaching staff appears  too stubborn to try that approach, can't  in  good faith pick an Owl upset Friday night. Click over the Hoosiers for my upset specials.

The Owls are only 1 game with 5 Chris Coyer passes off reverses, 5 CC runs and 5 CC catches from this kind of celebration at the end of the Cincy game. Sadly, since this coaching staff appears too stubborn to try that approach, can’t in good faith pick an Owl upset Friday night. Click over the Hoosiers for my upset specials, though.

While Golden, an assistant at Virginia, brought Temple to its first major bowl game in 30 years and gave another assistant, Florida’s Steve Addazio, the talent he needed to win the school’s first bowl game since 1979, Cincinnati doggedly went after and signed the best head coach it could find and its results were even more impressive:  Four first-place finishes in five years, thanks to two guys who proved themselves as a head coach somewhere else first.

Now another proven winner, Tommy Tuberville (formerly a head coach at Texas Tech and Auburn), is in charge and the Bearcats don’t seem to be regretting the move.

The same cannot be said at Temple,
where few fans or administrators
could ever have envisioned losing
to the likes of Fordham and Idaho
prior to the season. There is way
too much talent at Temple to lose
to a FCS team followed by another
loss to a FBS team that lost 14
straight games and gave up 63
points in its last outing

The same cannot be said at Temple, where few fans or administrators could ever have envisioned losing to the likes of Fordham and Idaho prior to the season. There is way too much talent at Temple to lose to a FCS team followed by another loss to a FBS team that lost 14 straight games and gave up 63 points in its last outing.

In a results-oriented business, the Temple Board of Trustees has got to wonder what is going on at the E-O.

Even though  then Temple AD Bill Bradshaw said he had several major “big name” head coaches including “head coaches with teams currently in bowl games” applying for the Temple job after Golden and Addazio left, he stuck with his business model by hiring another career assistant.  There can be no doubt that Temple had people with better resumes on campus but, for some reason or another, decided to go in the direction of hiring a  familiar campus face.

The Temple Hiring Model seems to be going after assistant coaches, producing no league titles in three different leagues. The Cincinnati Hiring Model is going after proven winners, producing four Big East titles in five years.  Those titles helped fuel a funding momentum that sunk millions of dollars into Nippert Stadium renovations.

In the maybe not-too-distant future, Temple could learn a lot by looking into how Cincinnati choses its football CEOs.

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14 thoughts on “Temple could learn a lot from Cincinnati

  1. The other point is the coaching moves are the result of success, having winning seasons at Cinncinnati then moving up. In a situation like that I don’t think you have the instability that a lot of those who were for hiring Rhule fear. With a winning program for the players who are coming specifically for a particular coach you’ll have more interested in coming to a winning program. Suppose the admin had hired a guy like a McIntyre, Lembo or Clawson rather than Daz when Golden moved on, the team continued the success for another 3 years and that coach moved on. And even if you have to do rebuilding it probably doesn’t result in what looks like what Temple is putting on the field this season

  2. I wrote on Dec. 4 last year that I wasn’t as concerned about coaches leaving Temple as I was getting stuck in a situation where you had “stability” and no wins. You can have that kind of stability. I’d rather have tons of wins and no stability. Winning is everything to me and when you follow up a loss to Fordham with a loss to Idaho, I mean, what else do you need to see? Losing close and covering the spread gives me no joy. None.

    • I think what it really comes down to is who you hire and not the “stability” of the coaching situation that matters or turnover that matters. UConn has only had 2 coaches in the same time frame at the start of the season and they went out and hired a coach with a winning record in Pasqualoni and that didn’t pan out. UCF had just the opposite experience, hired George O’Leary after success at GA Tech, and while he was 0-11 his first season but that was a team that was only 9 years old and was in the process of moving from the MAC to C-USA, which was stronger at the time, similar to what Temple experienced last year moving up to the Big East. The hire of Rhule reminds me a lot of the Memphis hire of Larry Porter from the LSU staff, reputation as a top recruiter, not HC experience and had a 1-11 and 2-10 season. To me that is the maximum leeway Rhule should have if this season ends up 0-12.

  3. Pasqualoni was too old to be hired by Uconn and he was starting to decline at ‘Cuse (lost to Walter washington and temple in 2004). Lembo would be a perfect choice to come here after this year is completed. He was “the guy” Bradshaw was talking about who had his team in a bowl game. Temple didn’t want to wait on the Beef O’Brady Bowl to be over to hire him and thought Rhule would stop the hemorrhaging of the recruiting class. What they didn’t figure on was MR could not coach his way out of a paper bag and his assistants are beyond atrocious. If they don’t get Lembo, they can get either Cristobal or Todd Bowles after the season and turn this around right away. If they keep Rhule, it’s Dickerson/Berndt/Wallace redux.

    • Just checked out his record and his last 3 seasons at Syracuse was his poorest performance stretch of his entire tenure there. But at least Uconn was going for a proven track record. If Rhule’s tenure goes the way of Larry Porter at Memphis how much more damage will be done to the program if this season is 0-12 and that is followed up with a. 2-10 year and a change is made then. With yesterday’s bowl news I want a quick turnaround, I want to spend time in December in the Bahamas watching a bowl game

  4. PS to my last post, with all that I actually think Temple had a chance Friday against Cinncinnati

  5. I’ve been screaming for Rhule to use Coyer more (reverses, fake passes, more throws over the middle) and Zaire Williams for screen passes and 6-6 Deon Miller for fades in the end zone. I haven’t seen any imagination like that all year in our offense. If I see that Friday, we have a chance. Since I haven’t seen it for five games, I’m not getting my hopes up. They’ll probably do the same things they’ve done all year: Throw the ball once to Coyer, try ten 50-yard bombs and lose, 30-6.

    • Mike if that turns out to be the case then I hope the admin is already starting to think about cleaning house at the end of the year and maybe quietly putting together a list of potential candidates. After 6 games that will show me this coaching staff isn’t learning anything so why should we expect a big improvement in performance for next season. While still a good team, Cinncinnati is not as good as I thought at the beginning of the year. They seem to run an offense that is a bit more condusive to our defense being able to hold. More of a ground attack, short passing and the less high powered compared to Louisville and Houston, at least when looking at the numbers. Running game, shorter passing plays and maybe some gadget plays should be the offense. Either get a lead or keep the game close going into the 4th quarter not 3 and out after a bunch of 50 yard attempts. Maybe a couple after some drives moving the chains you know set them up first. And to think Cinncinnati was a team we used to best regularly, actually have an all time winning record against them (9-5-1)

  6. I would add that TU has adopted a philosophy that is penny wise/ dollar foolish. Instead of looking for the best candidate they’ve looked for the best candidate in their budget range. In addition, after Golden, I think they believed that they could again catch lightning in a bottle by hiring an assistant coach. That hasn’t worked out the last two times. As Mike says, I think prior head coaching experience at whatever level is must and when hiring the next coach, it must be at the forefront of the search committee’s list of requirements.

    • John, I think you hit the nail on the head. I would hiring either an experienced HC or a coordinator can be scrap shoot. I will say, whether he would have been good long term who knows, if you hire a coordinator it seems that getting one from a big time program, Addazio, seems to offer the most success stories. Either that or promote a member of the existing staff, in which case why wasn’t Rhule considered when AG moved to Miami, or any of the other assistants from that staff. In 2 of the 3 cases where AAC teams have ex assistant coaches as HC, both were already on staff (Houston and Rutgers). Strong is the other success who was hired directly from being an assistant. Those with prop HC experience you also have 3 of the 5 coaches with success with Pasqualoni a bust and the jury still out on Taggart. The Temple situation seems close to Memphis, at least in Temple’s case got one good year and one medicre year from Daz. Memphis had 2 terrible years from Porter and aren’t looking great with Fuentes right now. If Uconn doesn’t keep their interim on as HC, I have to guess they will go after an experienced, successful HC

  7. Temple could learn a lot from Cincinnati and the other 120 schools with better programs. Temple could also learn a lot from its mistakes, wasted money, and history playing at the FBS level.

  8. wonder how Temple’s lease with the Eagles compares to Pitt and Miami? …, there is no way we could ever recover the cost in ticket sales.., kind of makes very little sense to ‘pay that much to play’, is the Temple the only school in an underwater agreement just to play? no wonder this has the BOT scratching their heads

    • Don’t have any idea on the lease cost for Pitt but it does seem that the Rooney’s work more closely with the university there than Lurie does here.

    • kj – Only about 20-25 FBS teams make money. The rest require subsidies of some sort.

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