Written by: Sam Cohn
Temple’s athletic department officially announced Wednesday afternoon that its former men’s head basketball coach Fran Dunphy would be taking over as interim athletic director, effective July 1.
Dunphy is stepping in for Pat Kraft, who after five years at Temple signed a contract to take the AD position at Boston College.
“I’m very humbled by the President’s request that I think about this position,” Dunphy said on Thursday’s Zoom press conference call. “And I’m not a very good no-sayer. I think my tendency is to say yes to just about everything so I think over the next few months they’ll have a great opportunity to interview many, many great candidates for this position.”
Dunphy added that he’s still in the learning phases of the position. He is thrown into the position at a time when the athletic department is working out its plan to return student-athletes to campus while also navigating social injustice.
Temple basketball senior J.P. Moorman II is someone that has been vocal about the civil unrest in recent weeks. He, along with Temple basketball head coach Aaron McKie marched together in the Black Lives Matter peaceful protest almost two weeks ago. Dunphy has reached out to Moorman for some guidance and to pick his brain about the student-athlete’s perspective on what he can do to help, according to Dunphy.
“He is the future,” Dunphy said. “These guys are all the future, and we have to pay attention to what they say.”
“I want to support those student-athletes,” Dunphy added in regards to student-athletes protesting. “They’re the reason why they’re asking me to do this job and I need to support them in any way that I can.”
In conversations with McKie, his head coaching successor, the word ‘humanity’ kept coming up. Dunphy sees the current state of the world as a phenomenal opportunity to create change in so many things that are not right with the world.
Dunphy and Kraft have spoken a few times and plan to speak frequently in the coming days to help ease the transition.
It is expected the interim period will last about 90 days.
The position is still fresh for Dunphy but he’s excited about the opportunity and is thankful that Temple President Richard Englert showed his confidence in Dunphy’s ability to lead in this new interim role.