When a former Temple quarterback called me on the phone to break the news that the Owls had hired Geoff Collins back in December, the news came from somewhat out of left field.
I had heard all of the names, but Collins was not one of them.
Until, of course, the day he was hired. I was headed out the door to work when the phone rang and not paying attention to the news or sports.
“Mike, what do you think of this new guy Temple just hired?”
“What new guy?”
“Geoff Collins. It’s all over ESPN. I really like him.”
“The Florida guy?”
I knew Geoff Collins was the defensive coordinator at Florida, but that was about it. I also knew that Florida’s defense was to the SEC what Temple’s defense was to the AAC, so that was a big plus.
I did know another, more important, thing. Compared to some of the clowns Temple either released to Marc Narducci or Nardo came up with on his own, Collins, to me, was Vince Lombardi. Surely Temple could not have been serious about hiring a coach fired by Delaware (K.C. Keeler) or some of the other suspects mentioned.
Compared to those guys, Collins was solid as a rock.
Take away the worst recruiting month I’ve ever seen at Temple, Collins has not disappointed.
He has said all of the right things.
He has emphasized making a system tailored to the players he has in the program now, rather than bring a system and try to force it onto what could be ill-fitting players. I like the way that he has bonded with the players in practices. I like the way he appreciates fullback Nick Sharga, like we all have learned to do, and plans to feature him. I like the way he is letting the quarterback situation play out, rather than naming a quarterback now and regretting it later.
I also like the way former head coach Matt Rhule leaned on him to make some key decisions within the program and the way Collins has followed the program from afar for the last four years.
All of these things suggest than Collins will hit the ground running, unlike the stumbles and bumbles of the first two Rhule years.
There are two sides, in my mind, to the Geoff Collins’ coin. We glossed over the shiny side in today’s post.
Monday: The Other Side