Geoff Collins Leaves the Owls for the Yellow Jackets
Written by Chris Kofsky
Two years ago on December 7th, 2016, former Temple head coach Matt Rhule left Temple to go coach the Baylor Bears. Fast forward two years after on the same exact date and it’s deja-vu for Temple Football and their fans, as head coach Geoff Collins left the program to go coach a school he’s quite familiar with, Georgia Tech. This is a job that Collins described in his press conference as “his dream job.”
Collins was born in Conyers, GA and served as the graduate assistant for Georgia Tech in 1999-2001, and was eventually promoted to tight-ends coach. He then returned to the Yellow Jackets in 2006 as the director of player personnel until 2010, when he left to work for Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.
In his two seasons at the helm for Temple, Collins had a 15-10 record. This season, the Owls are 8-4, with a 7-1 conference record, which landed them in second place in the AAC East. Collins and the Owl’s were also to earn a spot in the Walk-On’s Independence Bowl, in Shreveport , LA on December 27th. Collins will not be coaching on the sideline for the Owls for that game and Special Teams Coach Ed Foley will serve as the interim head coach. This situation for Foley, however, is quite the same as the time when Rhule left the team in 2016.
The Owls were 10-3 going fresh off a AAC title and Rhule announced he will be on his way to Baylor, before the Military Bowl against Wake Forest. They lost the game under Interim Coach Foley, 34-26.
This is unfortunately a common occurrence for the Temple Football program as coaches leave the position as a stepping stone to get a bigger job in the power five conference.
Former head coach Steve Addazio left the team in 2013 to coach Boston College and Rhule succeeded him.
Temple’s running back, Jager Gardner, sent out a tweet on Friday afternoon regarding Collins’ departure.
“In my 4 years at Temple I have had 2 head coaches and 5 position coaches. Never commit to a school because of a coach. Always commit to a school because the education, culture of the team and the development as a person.”
Now that Collins is out in Temple for the second time in four years, Temple is in the market for a new head coach in 2019.
Potential Head Coaching Candidates for Temple
Written by Gianfranco Illiano
For the fifth time in this decade, Temple University will have a new head football coach. After former Temple coach Geoff Collins left to take the Georgia Tech job, a lot of fans of the Owls are wondering who will be the next head coach.
According to Marc Narducci of The Inquirer, some potential candidates for the Temple job include big names such as Baylor assistant head coach and defensive backs coach Fran Brown, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, and Temple interim head coach Ed Foley.
Fran Brown spent six years at Temple before following former Temple head coach Matt Rhule to Baylor.
Former Owls Robby Anderson and Tavon Young, who have gone on to play in the NFL, went on Twitter to advocate for Brown to take over as the next head coach for Temple. Sharif Finch, who played at Temple from 2013 to 2017, sent out a tweet that said, “bring him [Brown] home.”
According to OwlsDaily, Fran Brown “will formally interview for the head coaching job” on Monday.
Before being hired as the defensive coordinator at Ohio State, Schiano was the head coach of Rutgers University and the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At Rutgers, he compiled a 68-67 record along with five wins in bowl games to only one loss. Despite the marginal success at Rutgers, Schiano is credited in building back up a program that hadn’t been to a bowl game since 1978 and had just four winning seasons since 1980 before he was hired in 2000.
Foley, who also has tremendous respect from the players, has been at Temple for 11 seasons. He has served on staffs of Al Golden, Addazio, and Rhule. The interim head coach was promoted to assistant head coach in 2018, while he continued to lead one of the best special teams units in the nation.
According to multiple media reports, other potential candidates include Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, Alabama co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Josh Gattis, Mississippi State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown, Boston College co-defensive coordinator Anthony Campanile, Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold, and Temple defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker.
According to the Miami Herald, Diaz interviewed for the Temple job on Monday and the university is prepared to throw big money at him and Diaz is strongly considering it.
Diaz led a Miami defense that ranks second in the country in yards allowed per game, third in pass efficiency defense, 11th in sacks, 12th in takeaways, 15th in points allowed per game, and second in total defense in 2018.
Diaz is highly regarded in Miami and it would be a big loss for the U. Diaz is credited in being a big factor in changing the culture for the University of Miami. He helped bring along the “turnover chain” that changed the mantra of the entire Miami defense. In fact, other teams around the country took initiative, and started their own versions of the “turnover chain,” including Temple’s “turnover board.”
Before getting into coaching, Gattis graduated from Wake Forest and went on to play in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears. Gattis was at Vanderbilt University and later followed Penn State head coach James Franklin to Happy Valley. In 2018, Gattis was hired as a co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach by Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Shoop is familiar with Pennsylvania, as he was born in Oakmont, a suburb right outside of Pittsburgh. He has ties to the Philadelphia area too, as he was the defensive coordinator at Villanova University in 1997. Before arriving at Mississippi State, Shoop also coached at Vanderbilt and followed PSU coach James Franklin to Penn State.
Don Brown was once a head coach for the University of Massachusetts and Northeastern University. He compiled a record of 95-45 in his nine seasons as a head coach. In 2016, he was hired by Michigan’s head coach Jim Harbaugh to serve as the defensive coordinator, which was ranked as the top defense in all of college football in 2018.
Campanile, a co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach for Boston College under former Temple coach Steve Addazio, played linebacker and safety at Rutgers University. He started his coaching career as a student assistant coach for the Scarlet Knights in 2005 and later returned to Rutgers in 2012 as a defensive assistant. He later went on to coach the wide receivers and tight ends for Rutgers until 2015.
In his fourth season as head coach for the University of Buffalo, Leipold led the Bulls to 10 wins, which is the most in the school’s history. This season, on September 8th, Leipold led a 36-29 victory against the Owls at Lincoln Financial Field. Leipold is no stranger to championships either, as he led the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to six Division III national titles from 2007 to 2014, before being hired at Buffalo.
Thacker, a graduate from Furman, has been all over the country in coaching stints with UCF, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons, and Kennesaw State. In 2017, he was hired by Collins to coach the linebackers, before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018.