The least popular individual on a football team when an offense is misfiring is usually the coordinator, so that’s why there were few tears shed on Sunday afternoon by Temple football fans when the news broke that Marcus Satterfield was leaving to take the head coaching job at Tennessee Tech.
After a 7-0 start, the Owls stumbled to a 3-4 finish and the fingers pointed directly to Satterfield, whose offense produced 17 and 13 points in the last two losses. Temple looked incapable of running a hurry-up offense in the AACchampionship loss to Houston, and Satterfield’s call of throwing into the end zone on third-and-3 with Temple down 24-13 and driving at the Cougar 38-yard-line with 7:18 left was widely second-guessed. That’s because the Cougars were giving Owls wide receiver Robby Anderson a 10-yard cushion at the line of scrimmage and a simple pitch and catch could have moved the sticks.
Satterfield bore the brunt of the blame but likely would have survived, because head coach Matt Rhule is widely considered “too nice a guy” to fire assistants. The process that Rhule likes to talk about broke down on one side of the ball late in the season and needs to be fixed.
Fortunately for Rhule, convergence of both time and circumstance has made a more qualified replacement available. Just last week new Maryland head coach D.J. Durkin said offensive coordinator and interim head coach Mike Locksley will not be retained. Unlike head coaching contracts, contracts for college assistants usually are not guaranteed meaning Locksley needs a job. Rhule so happens to have one available, and he should grab Locksley before someone else does. Locksley is a big believer in the play-action passing game Temple likes to run and has put up numbers using a similar system in the past. Locksley was OC for a Maryland team that averaged 28.5 points per game in its inaugural Big 10 season (2014), the most points the school was able to produce since 2010 (32.5). Locksley is also a top recruiter, at three schools — Maryland, Illinois and Florida. While at Florida, he engineered two top 10 recruiting classes in each of his two seasons as recruiting coordinator.
Locksley has plenty of recruiting contacts in an area where Temple usually recruits heavily called the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia). The Owls could give Locksley the keys to both the offense and the DMV recruiting area and trust the process once again.
Tomorrow: A Recruiting Overview