Written by: Christopher Kofsky
It has been 17 days since Manny Diaz was announced as Temple’s new head coach.
During his introductory press conference, Athletic Director Patrick Kraft was asked about the possibility of Diaz leaving quickly.
“If I’m hugging Coach Diaz on the stage of the Fiesta Bowl,” Kraft said. “And he tells me ‘my dream job is open,’ go get it, and we will be right back here bringing the next best coach to Temple.”
On Sunday night, Diaz took his dream job before holding a single practice as the Owls head coach. Diaz, who was the defensive coordinator at Miami before taking the Temple job in early December, is returning to the University of Miami. Diaz is taking over for former head coach, Mark Richt, who retired on Sunday.
According to reports, the Owls will receive $4 million in a buyout from Miami for Diaz, on top of $2.5 million they are receiving from Georgia Tech for the departure of Geoff Collins.
Now to ring in 2019, Temple has to look for a new head coach for the second time in a little over a month and for the third time in five years. The Owls are seeking a new head coach, preferably one with stability.
In a press release on the Diaz departure, Kraft said,
“Our student-athletes deserve excellence and stability, and we are searching for the new coach who can do both.”
Kraft also mentioned that Temple is already beginning a nationwide search.
According to the Inquirer’s Mark Narducci, who sent out a tweet Sunday night, “Temple could be moving quickly with the next coaching hire I am hearing.”
With that said, here are some candidates that I could see Temple bringing in for interviews.
Greg Schiano: Schiano knows how to win and has been around the block in college football. He’s currently the defensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He also was a head coach at Rutgers from 2001-2011, with a 68-67 record with the Scarlet Knights. Schiano is credited with turning the Rutgers program around and helping them get into the Big 10. In the 2006 season, Schiano had Rutgers ranked seventh in the AP Polls.
Schiano’s name was circulating in the prior interviews, but he never received an interview for the position.
Todd Bowles: Todd Bowles, a Temple alumnus, has been in the NFL for the last 5 seasons coaching the New York Jets. Despite a losing record in his four seasons as Jets head coach, Bowles knows how to run a defense and will fill the role as a “defensive minded” coach. Additionally, he knows the culture around Temple football.
Fran Brown: Brown was hired as co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach to Diaz’s staff. He’s coming from Matt Rhule’s staff at Baylor and was the defensive backs coach at Temple under Rhule starting in 2013 but has been part of the Owls’ coaching staff since 2011. He interviewed for the job the first time around but did not get it. Brown is backed up by many Owls players past and present including wide receiver Ventell Bryant, who tweeted,
“So can Fran Brown be Temple University’s new head coach? Asking for a couple of teammates.”
Don Brown: Brown is another defensive minded coach, who could embrace the “Temple Tuff” mentality. Brown is currently the defensive coordinator at Michigan. Michigan had the top total defense in college football this season, only giving up 262.5 yards per game. Brown has coached under Jim Harbaugh and has tons of experience being a defensive coordinator with stints at Boston College and UConn. He was also the head coach of UMass from 2004-2008 with a record of 43-19.
Ed Foley: Foley was the Owls’ interim head coach for their bowl game this season, in which they lost to Duke 56-27. His regular title for the Owls is special teams coach and tight end coach. Foley has been with Temple since 2008 and was also their interim head coach in 2016, when Rhule left for Baylor. Like Fran Brown, Foley is getting support from former Temple players, like former Owls wide receiver Rod Streater who tweeted, “Temple needs to hire my guy Coach Ed Foley.”