Thank you, Al (and Miami)

What Miami can do to Temple, PSU can also do to Miami in a year or two.

 All of us agree Al Golden did a terrific job here at Temple University.
He did what a lot thought could not be accomplished: Save a football program at Temple.

Mark D’Onofrio: Crapshoot

So we have to thank Al today and wish him the best of luck in Miami.
He did what he said he would.
Build a house of brick, not straw.
Had Temple hired Rick Neuheisel or Jim Harbaugh (two guys who wanted the job for at least a couple of weeks), the house might have been straw.
Or at least stuco.
Al Golden has proven you can win at Temple and that makes this an attractive job for the next guy.
Before we cannonize Al for Sainthood, though, please remember that this is the same Al Golden who was 0-14 against winning MAC teams despite having the top recruiting class in the MAC for four of his five seasons.
This is the same Al Golden who was badly outcoached by Ohio’s Frank Solich for two straight years.
This is the same Al Golden who lost to Miami (the fake one, not the real one), 23-3, in his final game at Temple. This is the same Al Golden who lost to a guy in that game who was 1-7 in the MAC the year before.
Just sayin’.
Thank you to Miami, too. I don’t think Al Golden is any better a head coach than Randy Shannon, but you will find that out soon enough. He never reminded me of Wayne Hardin or Bruce Arians on game day, let’s put it that way.
His game coaching was suspect at best.
A couple of weeks ago, I ran a poll asking Temple fans what Al Golden’s best quality was.
Only two people voted for game-day coaching.

Bruce Arians: Sure thing

My guess is Al and Kelly Golden, but we will never know.
The next Temple guy, in my humble opinion, will be Mark D’Onofrio.
I like Mark very much.
Do I think he’s the right hire?
Quite frankly, no.
When you get to this point, hiring an assistant _ any assistant, even a Temple assistant _ is a crapshoot.
I’m done with crapshoots.
Ron Dickerson was perhaps the top assistant in America when he was hired to be head coach at Temple.
How did that hire turn out?
Not good.
There’s a Peter Principle involved here.
Some great assistant coaches are not made to be head coaches.
Temple lucked out with Al Golden.
I hope it has the same luck with Mark D’Onofrio, although hiring Bruce Arians, in my mind, would be a sure thing.
More on this in the next few days.


13 thoughts on “Thank you, Al (and Miami)

  1. I am grateful for what Coach Golden did, however, I fear that he is making a big mistake, I don't think that he will understand the University of Miami's culture and the Florida recruitment circuit. However, I wish him luck. As far as Mark D'Onofrio, I think that he would be a good fit. He understands the system and probably knows the player that Temple can recruit.

  2. I was crestfallen to hear of Golden's departure on WIP this morning on my way to the train station. Hiring an assistant isn't the answer.Perhaps I can explain by saying something about myself. I am passionate about football, having played through college. I have no particular ties to Temple, except that my parents met there many years ago. I can, and indeed will, watch any game, and love it. I have been watching the resurrection of the Temple program and bought four season tickets this year. Had a blast, except for that game in the rain, with what seemed like about one hundred other fans. I'm the sort of customer/fan that Temple needs to nurture and/or hang on to. The school needs to send a message to keep fans like me. I have been watching with interest Villanova's consideration of joining the Big East, if the school green lights the move, I will probably head in that direction. It's a crowded market and fans like me have other options. Obviously, Temple cannot just rely on its alums. Temple needs to realize that the program is at a turning point. Sure, an assistant can be hired on the cheap, but, to folks like me, that will seem like a return to the bad old days. If the school is trying to build a big-time program, it will have to pay some money and make a splash with the hiring. Nothing could be simpler.

  3. I am very surprised that Miami choose Al Golden. I think he has a great personality and brings a lot of energy, but I don't think he has established himself as a winner. I cannot look past the fact that there are no signature wins. There are a few nice wins, e.g. Navy and UConn. However, no wins to shake-up the perception with our fan base, such as a win against PSU or a very winnable bowl game against UCLA last winter. There were plenty of damaging losses too including Villanova last year and the failure to beat a winning MAC team this year. Also, am I wrong to think that Temple has inherent advantages over its MAC competitors and as a result believe that winning should be expected from any coach? Unfortunately, I am not sure our team would have a winning record in a weak BCS conference like the Big East and that we can beat any team from a good BCS conference. Most troubling, our biggest problem still remains: fan enthusiasm. Although improvements have been made, there is a long way to go and I am not sold that the MAC is the long-term answer to a revved-up fan base and right now we are still lucky they will have us. We need BIG WINS! I am pleased with the turnaround and improved reputation, but I agree with Mike that it is not the worst thing to see Golden go. Hopefully, we can use our improved perception to get a coach with an even higher ceiling than Golden and take us to the next level in a few years. I am also not impressed with D'Onoforio at all and would be very disappointed with that hire. His play calling was suspect and I think it is risky to think he is up to the still enormous challenge of the Temple program.

  4. Sure a name would be nice but most important is that the new hire be able to keep this going in the right direction- the post is right about asst coaches and those that can do it. This is a very crucial time for the program now, we can not afford to get it RIGHT!!!!And if there is any hope of going back to the Big East (which is where they belong , every sport) the program can not make a bad move,

  5. The history of Temple football is that we've gotten these hirings wrong post-Arians.Jerry Berndt was 0-11 at Rice, yet we hired him. That should have been a red flag.Ron Dickerson was hailed as the greatest defensive coordinator in the country when we hired him, yet his defense gave up 55 points in his las game. Red flag.Bobby Wallace proved that he could coach in Alabama, but had no recruiting footprint or any emotional ties here. Red flag.Key thing in the next few days: Look for red flags and avoid them.

  6. I think a great hire would be Delawares head coach K.C Keller? Im sorry i think that's his name he produces champions is local enough to know the recruiting ground and recruits and produces big time NFL caliber quarterbacks

  7. How about D'Onofrio at HC, Arians at OC?Or Arians HC running the offense, but D'Onofrio runs the D with a boost in salary?

  8. Hmm.Arians from Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator to offensive coordinator of the Temple Owls ….Nah.Not happening.That's like some suggestions I heard from Penn State fans saying, "We don't want Al Golden as head coach, but let's hire him as defensive coordinator."Arians was a head coach at Temple and went 6-5 against the 10th-toughest schedule in the country.Last year, Golden went 9-3 against the 112th-best schedule in the country.Arians is a head coach.

  9. Bruce Arians would be nice, but I can't see it happening. Temple when it hired Golden, hired a young dynamic coordinator, I'd be seriously surprised if they didn't take that same route this time as well. Who that coach is? I have no clue, but an aging NFL coordinator doesn't feel like the direction my Owls would take right now. No Bowl game last Sunday, Al Golden leaves this Sunday, it has to get better next Sunday.

  10. Bruce has got plenty of energy.Fifty-something ain't old anymore.If you can do the job, you can do the job.Nobody knows Temple more than Bruce Arians. Nobody recruits any better. Nobody calls a more ballsy game. (He'll blitz these slow white quarterbacks who beat us this year on their asses.)Temple basketball didn't explode until they hired a 50-year-old guy.His name was John Chaney.He put Temple basketball on the map.If it takes a 30-year-old guy to put Temple football on the map (i.e., beating Penn State), I'll take him. But I'll take a 60-year-old if he can do the job and this guy can do the job.The risk factor in taking him would be zero.We can't afford a risk factor in the next hiring.

  11. Mark D'Onofrio all the way. That would give the program the best, consistent direction for years straight. Hiring someone else would set the program backwards. And who knows, Mark D'Onofrio could have been the brains behind it all? Most head coaches get alot of credit, but most have very very good coordinators next to them. Mark D'Onofrio could do no worse than Mr, Joke Al Golden, I mean Judas. Plus, Judas left us with some pretty good talent and a blueprint to keep us an 8-9 win team if we decide to follow that path. I would not tolerate another Bobby Wallace.

  12. There are no sure things. Also, sounds like you are under the imperession that I don't like Bruce Arians far from it, whenerever I watch a Steelers games and they show Arians I always smile as I remember his time as Temple's coach. I'm just not convinced that's the route Temple will take on this hire. Besides, wasn't there a kids not graduating problem during Arians last tenure or was that Jerry Burndt.

  13. I didn't say you didn't (double negative, but it's late) like Arians.But, believe me, I know this man Arians and I knew Golden and Arians is a FAR better coach, far better recruiter, far more loyal to Temple.He turned down the Virginia Tech job to stay at Temple, for cripes sake.He never had a wandering eye while he was here.Listen, Al was a good guy in many ways but he can't compare in ANY way with Arians.You don't forget to do what Arians knows how to do.The beauty of Temple hiring Arians is that so many of us in our 40s and 50s remember him so fondly and it's a slam dunk in our minds that he will win over the younger Temple fans in a matter of one or two games.That's how much confidence I have in him.He would re-energize our older fan base and win right away with this talent.He would create a buzz in Philly.Hire a no-name coordinator or a non-Philly guy like Bob Davie and you can expect crowds of 5,000 per game.

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