It all keeps coming back to one guy: Arians

In an NFL town, Bruce Arians (talking to Hines Ward) would bring Super Bowl winning credibility to Temple.

    What Temple’s checklist should be:

  • Proven WINNING head coach;
  • Multiple WINNING seasons (not just one);
  • Must have proven it at THIS level, not below;
  • Knows Philadelphia and suburbs and;
  • Immediately recognizable to area high school coaches;
  • Working knowledge of Temple and its challenges;
  • Would make a splash with Temple fans and alumni

A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a house.
Because I’m middle-aged, I knew it might very well be the last house I purchased and I knew I had to get this right because I would not get another chance.
I had my checklist ready.
I wanted to live in a nice neighborhood, get a single home at the end of a block, with a garage, be near public transportation and within walking distance of shopping options.
I went on ReMax and, scoured the papers, and did my research.
After seeing about 10 houses, my realtor turned down the street and up the driveway of this one house.
“Wow,” I told her.
It was in my price range and I loved it.
“You like it?” she said.
We saw about 10 more houses, and a lot of them were great, but I kept going back to this one.
When the list came down to five and four and three, I kept comparing it to the one I liked the most and those other houses just did not compare.
I’m living in that house now.
I bring that story up because my search then is a lot like Temple’s football coaching search going on right now. Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw has to get this right because he might not get another chance.
There are a lot of names floating around, but there is only one guy I’m am totally 100 percent positive who can do this job at the level I want it done.
Bruce Arians.
Why am I so sure?
He’s already done it.
Arians had two six-win seasons when Temple was playing the BYUs, the Georgias, the Florida States in addition to the Penn States, Pitts and West Virginia. That’s defending national champion BYU, by the way, which Arians played toe-to-toe and lost, 26-24, before 52,000 screaming Temple fans at Veterans Stadium.
Arians had a six-win season against the 10th-toughest schedule in the nation.

Arians chewed MAC winning teams and spit them out. He was 5-0 against MAC winning teams. Al Golden, on the other hand, was 0-14 against winning MAC teams

Arians chewed MAC winning teams and spit them out. He was 5-0 against MAC winning teams. Al Golden, on the other hand, was 0-14 against winning MAC teams.
Arians never had a $521 million stadium to play in, never had a $7 million facility to practice and never had a university with 12,000 kids living on campus (only about 1K lived there then) and the university infrastructure he has now.
When my younger friends mention that he did this 22 years ago, I reply that it’s easier to do it now than it was 22 years ago.
I mention that Temple’s two best hires were guys they hired in their 50s: John Chaney and Fran Dunphy.
Arians is a real person, like Chaney and Dunphy, not a snake-oil salesman.

If Bill Bradshaw wants crowds of 5,000 at Temple home games next season, he will go ahead and hire a guy like Frank Cignetti, Paul Guenther, Dave Wannstedt, Randy Shannon, Matt Rhule, G.A. Mangus or Bob Davie

A quarterback at Virginia Tech, Arians will develop quarterbacks at Temple and move the ball and score touchdowns. If Bill Bradshaw wants crowds of 5,000 at Temple home games next season, he will go ahead and hire a guy like Frank Cignetti, Paul Guenther,  Dave Wannstedt, Randy Shannon, Matt Rhule, G.A. Mangus or Bob Davie. If you are going to think about guys like that, then ask permission to talk to Western Michigan’s Bill Cubit. He’s a Philly guy who’s beaten MAC teams regularly and has never lost to Temple.
Why not go for the best, though?
If he wants an attacking style of football and a name Owl fans can get behind, he will hire Bruce Arians. I knew Al Golden and I know this man and he’s a better coach and a better person than Al Golden can ever hope to be.
On defense, one of my favorite Arians’ stories happened at Rutgers.
With 1 minute, 46 seconds left and Temple holding a 35-30 lead, a quarterback named Scott Erney moved the Scarlet Knights down the field against a Temple prevent defense to the Owls’ 30. When Rutgers called its last timeout, Arians got in the face of defensive coordinator Nick Rapone and told him to do something.
Rapone called “jailbreak” which was the terminology for eight-man blitz.
The result was four straight Temple sacks and the game ending with an Owl lineman named Swift Burch landing on top of Erney at the 30 _ the Rutgers’ 30.
Afterward, Arians explained the change of heart.
“If I was going to go down, I was going to go down with my guns blazing,” he said, holding the game ball.
I’ve had several ex-Temple players tell me they walked in unannounced to Arians’ office at the Steelers’ practice facility and he has two things on it _ a calendar and an old Temple helmet.
Arians would bring blazing guns, a knowledge and love for and loyalty to all things Temple, and a buzz back to our fanbase.
If we can get him, and I think we can, that’s our guy.


8 thoughts on “It all keeps coming back to one guy: Arians

  1. Mike it's hard to deny your powerfully persuasive "vote" for Arians. I was a teenager who didn't know much about college football when Arians was at Temple.Would Arians really want to come back to Temple RIGHT NOW, when his current team has a chance to compete for a Super Bowl title?I assume that recruiting is too important to leave until mid-to-late January. If Arians is willing to come back, would he really want to start immediately in light of afore mentioned commitment?This is fascinating. This is also a critical time for Temple. You are so right in stating how Temple needs to get this right. Here's hoping they do, and to seeing Temple football reach a championship level!

  2. The rumor is that Mike Tomlin wants to get his own guy at the end of the season to be coordinator. Arians was a holdover from the last staff. If Arians knows this (and I can't see how he doesn't), he would be wise to leave now and head that off, just like Al Golden would have left Temple before the Owls played in a bowl game if the Owls would have been invited. Bill Bradshaw needs to come at BA with the cash and sell him on being his own boss. It's not a hard sell.

  3. I'm with you Mike. Going to games when Bruce was coach was the most fun I've had ever had at TU games. His teams made me a fan, and I'd love to see him back.

  4. 5k is about what is at the games now, and certainly not that much more. Not playing name schools and using the lic def. does not help- 8-4 in BE and without a doubt more fans and buzz come to the program. I am here already its those not like us that this next coach has to resonate with us in keeping the program going in the right direction. Arians would be a great choice- just not sure other than hardcore CFB fans and us at TFF would care that much.

  5. to those who say "Temple will make the right hire" I say Temple has made the wrong hire three times in a span of about 20 years in football getting:1) A head coach who was 0-11 in his prior job;2) A superb assistant who didn't know his rear from a hole in a ground as a head coach;3) A hick from the sticks who had a great record as a head coach two levels below Temple's;So what's that say with talent in place to win now:1) Hire a winner at THIS level;2) Stay away from assistant coaches at all costs (it was OK with Golden because he was a program-builder)3) Don't hire any K.C. Keelers or that ilk at a level below Temple's 4) Find a guy who can win at this level and if you can find a guy who's already done it at a place like Temple, all the better.

  6. Mike,I respect your opinion and would ask if you could provide at least 2 additional candidates that you think could move the program forward in the event BA does not come here to be the head coach, for whatever reason. What is plan B/C?

  7. Michael,I'm on it.I'm going over the candidates' bios now.

  8. As for the 5K comment, those days are long gone.They've been gone for two years now.In 2009, Temple drew 27,500K for Nova, 21,800K for Kent State;In 2010, Temple drew 32K for Nova (almost no Nova fans, I will generously estimate their number to be no more than 2K, 23K for Homecoming against Bowling Greenand 16K for on a riduculoulsy bad Tuesday rainstorm night.The next coach must inspire the fans.An unproven assistant won't inspire anyone.Someone who has done it before, a Jim Leavitt or a Bruce Arians, would.

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