The entire press conference, including a question and answer session.
Under the category of “Fake News” had to be all of the names floated as possible replacements for Matt Rhule over the last 10 or so days.
With few exceptions, those names almost gave me a heart attack and certainly gave me agita—not the heartburn definition, but the “more aggravation than I can stand” second definition.
Let’s count the names: K.C. Keeler, Danny Rocco, Neal Brown, Matt Canada, Tim Beck and Chris Klieman and those were just some floated by Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
With just about everyone, my initial—and only reaction—was “you’ve got to be kidding me.” Keeler was fired from Delaware and coming off a 65-7 loss to James Madison. You would be doing Sam Houston State a favor by taking that guy off its hands. Rocco was being interviewed by Delaware, which is really a step down from the same position he was already holding at Richmond. (Rocco got beat, 42-14, by Stony Brook this year.) Canada was fired at N.C. State a year ago as offensive coordinator before being rescued by his friend, Pat Narduzzi, at Pitt. Neal Brown (Troy) and Chris Klieman (North Dakota State) have zero connections to Philadelphia and no understanding of Temple. Beck is the “co-offensive coordinator” at Ohio State, so we don’t know if he was responsible for the good plays or the bad plays. Plus, you’ve got to believe Urban Meyer has the big input there.
With those backgrounds, when the news hit the radio that Geoff Collins was hired by Temple there was a huge sigh of relief. Compared to those guys, Collins sounded like the Second Coming of Vince Lombardi. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that Temple intentionally floated those horrible choices to make this one look even better but that’s probably giving Temple too much credit.
The truth is no one really knew who the targeted guy was until the morning of the announcement and that is the real credit Dr. Pat Kraft deserves.
This was a guy who came out of left field and was not even in the speculation, but a guy who fit what Temple was looking for infinitely better than some of the names floated. It makes you wonder who Narducci’s “source” was because Temple did not even consider some of those names he reported as being interviewed. Temple denies being involved with the only name that made any sense that Narducci floated, Old Dominion head coach Bobby Wilder.
Maybe it’s just as well. Temple fans dodged some pretty bad ammunition before Kraft caught Collins in his netting.
“Temple hit a home run when they hired him,” no less an authority than Matt Rhule said upon hearing the news.
I believe Matt simply because from what Collins has said, he does not appear to be the kind of guy who will be stumbling to find his way as a head coach like Rhule was here the first couple of years. Rhule sacrificed immediate wins while trying to implement a system that did not fit the talents of his players. Collins, on the other hand, is a coach who said he believes in tailoring his schemes around the talents of the players he has in the program. I believe he is a guy who says what he means and means what he says.
If so, he is just the kind of guy who will hit the ground running and a baton carrier is really the only thing this program needs right now.
Tuesday: A Coach Collins Primer