A little over a year ago, then Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw walked into a room full of Temple football players and told them their head coach at the time, Steve Addazio, was leaving for Boston College.
Partly out of courtesy, partly out of curiosity, Bradshaw asked the team what they thought he should do. The players shouted out one thing: “Hire Matt Rhule.” Bradshaw had other ideas, even mentioning to several fans that it was his desire this time to get a guy with winning head coaching experience.
As it turned out, though, what the players had to say carried an awful lot of weight when Bradshaw was weeding through the interview process. Like a couple of years before, Rhule interviewed well and was liked by more than just the players. The parents also liked him, as did some key administrators who remembered Rhule’s time as an assistant coach for both Addazio and the guy before him, Al Golden.
In the end, Rhule’s knowledge of the program and the kids and that support won Bradshaw over. That, and the fact at least one other key target was coaching his team in a bowl game and did not want to give that up to get to Temple early enough to secure a shaky recruiting class.
Rhule had a rough first year, going 2-10, but he has secured a couple of decent recruiting classes and one of the only things left for him to do is to hire a guy or two with Temple connections as a key position coach. It’s one thing to have Temple-made guys like former quarterback Adam DiMichele and former safety Kevin Kroboth as grad assistants, but it might be helpful to get a guy from Temple as a position coach as well.
I think the next step for a guy like Matt Rhule is to hire an assistant coach with Temple ties to a winning past, a guy like Paul Darragh or Todd McNair. Darragh finished the season as a 10-2 head coach at Bloomsburg University and McNair was one the offensive coordinator for powerhouse USC under Pete Carroll. McNair, a NFL running back, was also an assistant coach with the Cleveland Browns. Other coaches with Temple backgrounds include (but are not limited to) Dick Beck, the North Penn High School head coach and Rich Drayton, the Central High School head coach.
I thought about Todd the other day when he posted that he was happy with the addition of Elijah Robinson to the Temple staff. I thought, “Why not Todd?” Todd is a great guy and a great coach who has a National Championship under his belt at USC and, while at Temple, played in a game against defending national champion BYU in front of 52,945 at Veterans Stadium. (Temple lost that game, 26-24.)
Why not indeed? He would be a great role model for the present-day Temple kids.
You can never have too many good coaches on the staff, especially guys with “Temple-made” stamped on their farheads.