Before the season was coming to an end, former head coach Geoff Collins, left the program to fill the vacant spot at Georgia Tech. Collins went 15-11 during his tenure while winning the Gasparilla Bowl last year.
On December 13, Temple warmly welcomed the Defensive Coordinator, Manny Diaz, from a well-renowned football team, Miami Hurricanes. A lot of Owls fans were ecstatic to bring someone with a lot of football acumen to North Philly.
But, the tables have turned when now-retired head coach, Mark Richt, has stepped down after losing in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl 35-3 to Wisconsin Badgers. Once that occurred, Diaz reconsidered returning to Coral Gables to become the new head coach after buying out 4 million dollars that Temple will receive. In addition, Temple will also receive another 2.5 million dollars from Georgia Tech after losing Collins.
As a current Temple student, yes, it was disappointing to bring in a coach who pretty much created the famous turnover chain and leaving us after 17 days. Everyone else though has to understand that Diaz has been a Miami native his whole life with his father also being the Mayor of Miami in the early 2000s.
With the decision was unprofessional from a business standpoint; I totally understood the need to go back and coach his homeland. If he didn’t do it sooner or later, he would’ve regretted it for the rest of his life. And the opportunity, of course, came at the worse time.
This was the statement that Diaz came out with once he decided to go back home.
“I hate the way this unfolded with respect to Temple. I was given a tremendous opportunity to lead the Temple program and I was actively engaged in doing just that when I woke up this morning. … I do hope that the Temple players, administration and fans appreciate the uniqueness of this situation and the overwhelming pull to stay home.”
This wasn’t the first time The U stole one of our head coaches. In 2010, former Temple Coach Al Golden – 2006-10- was the coach for the Hurricanes until Richt came in 2015.
At last, Temple now has 6.5 million to play around. At least we can do is find someone who would embody the Temple ‘Tuff’ and not get our hopes high and leave us after two or three seasons. In mind, with Temple Alumnus and recent fired Head Coach of New York Jets, Todd Bowles, should at least be in the conversation of the vacant role. At least the Athletic Director can do is to hire a coach that actually wants to be here and make the program rise out of its mediocrity.
All in all, they can even consider Interim Head Coach, Ed Foley, who is the longest-tenured member of the coaching staff for 11 seasons. Besides the loyalty he provides, he also epitomizes the Philadelphia spirit; as he also enjoys representing nearby rapper, Meek Mill, as he showed up to Christmas Eve practice wearing a “Stay Woke” shirt as it’s the title for a song in his recent album, Champions.
Besides the two strong candidates, Temple’s Athletic Department and Board of Directors need to invest some time to figure out the ideal head coach. After all, the AAC conference is known for coaches using it as leverage to eventually coach at bigger name schools or head to the NFL. Temple had three different coaches after the 2015 season -Rhule(Baylor) Collins (Georgia Tech) and now Diaz (Miami). So it’s time for the school to finally look for someone who will help incline the team and remain loyal to the program.