|This is the only (somewhat) Red Flag I care about.|
If they made a movie about the current Temple football head coaching search underway, they’d probably call it “Eight Days in December.”
Good title, a take-off from the 1962 novel thriller “Seven Days in May” by Charles W. Bailey.
Eight days because that’s how long the last coaching search took and I don’t think this one should take any longer than that.
Seven Days in May had a red flag theme, about a President (played in the movie by the late, great Henry Fonda) whose nuclear disarmament policy caused a revolt among the generals who feared a war with a red flag country (the then Soviet Union).
This one has a red flag theme, too, the “non-CEOs”, meaning players, trying to tell the CEO how to do his job.
_Mike Jensen, Philadelphia Inquirer
What’s that Dick Vermeil said when the fans booed Ron Jaworski?
“If you listen to the fans, it won’t be long before you’re sitting with them.”
Good line, Mr. Vermeil.
That also applies to the players.
Players play and athletic directors pick coaches.
If Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw listens to the players, chances are better than even he’ll be sitting with the one or two who might come back and watch the Owls in an empty stadium a couple of years from now.
I hope Bill Bradshaw, like Henry Fonda, sticks to his guns and hires the best proven head coach out there, with the best proven head-coaching record and heeds this red flag.
I also hope Matt Rhule gets a head-coaching job at a lower level (the Kent State and Ball State jobs will be available) and then proves his worth to Temple by building a proven head coaching record, like Darrell Hazell and Pete Lembo did.
If he does, I will personally climb to the top of the Bell Tower and wave the Matt Rhule Flag after Mike MacIntrye, Pete Lembo, Dave Clawson, Mario Cristobal, Ken Niumaltalolo, Bill Cubit or Tom O’Brien lead the Owls to a couple of BE titles and bolt for Tennessee. (I think there are a couple of high-character guys in that group who will stay, though.)
And it will be a Cherry Flag, not a red one.
Other red flags ignored in past Temple hirings:
JERRY BERNDT _ For some reason, Temple President Peter J. Liacouras was enamored with Berndt, who never had a real record as a winning head coach before. RED FLAG: He was 0-11 with the Owls (Rice Owls) the year before he was hired by the Temple Owls. He also got to go 1-10 with the Temple Owls, making him the only head coach in history to go a combined 1-21 for two teams named the Owls. Berndt could not recruit his way out of a paper bag.
RON DICKERSON _ Joe Paterno, no big lover of Temple football (thank God in retrospect), urged Dickerson not to take the Temple job. When Dickerson was adamant about taking it, Joe supported Dickerson, saying that “Ron is the best defensive coordinator in the country.” RED FLAG: The “best defensive coordinator in the country” allowed 55 points in his last regular-season game, a bowl loss to Clemson. Dickerson was in over his head as a CEO. He could recruit, but he couldn’t coach his way out of the same paper bag Berndt recruited from.
BOBBY WALLACE _ The man won three Division II titles, but those were Division II titles, taking the scraps of players not wanted by the big Southern schools like Auburn and Alabama. Because he was hooked into the Southern recruiting system, he found some good players for that level. Those kind of players would never work for Temple and Wallace found out that the hard way. RED FLAG: He didn’t have the level of drive or commitment needed to succeed at football’s highest level, no desire to live in the Northeast and Temple wasted eight years of their fans’ lives as a result.
In these eight most important days in Temple hiring history, going over the red flag mistakes of the past might be the best way of avoiding a big one now.