Ed Foley, who was entering his 12th season as a Temple football assistant coach and was seen as one of the faces of the program, is leaving to join former Owls coach Matt Rhule at Baylor.
Reached by phone on Saturday, Foley confirmed the move, which was first reported by Owlscoop.com.
“I really didn’t want to leave,” Foley said. He added that new coach Rod Carey had removed him from the field, where he had been special-teams coordinator.
“I was going to be something like a director of player personnel,” he said.
Carey, who was unavailable for comment, was the head coach the previous six years at Northern Illinois and has filled the majority of his staff with people he worked with there.
With Foley’s departure, just two of the 10 full-time assistant coaches have not worked before with Carey. They are co-defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Francis Brown and running backs coach Gabe Infante, the former head coach at St. Joseph’s Prep.
At Baylor, Foley will have an off-the-field job, which he said is still to be determined.
“I don’t have an official title but will be working with somebody I like and trust,” Foley said about Rhule.
Foley, 51, is still at Temple and says he will be talking to the players this week. He will begin July 28 at Baylor.
Pony Stampede, a publication that covers SMU sports, reported that SMU defensive line coach Brett Diersen is leaving to become Temple’s special-teams coach. However, a Temple school official could not confirm that hiring.
Foley, a graduate of Cherry Hill East, has been Temple’s interim head coach three times after coaching changes. Twice he coached the Owls in bowl games, including this past season. Foley guided the Owls in their 56-27 Independence Bowl loss to Duke after head coach Geoff Collins resigned to take the same position at Georgia Tech.
Under Foley, Temple had one of the top special teams in the country. Current senior Isaiah Wright was named the American Athletic Conference special-teams player of the year last season.
Last year, the Owls blocked five kicks and scored six special-teams touchdowns.
Foley gained national attention when a news conference promoting the Independence Bowl went viral in December. Speaking in Shreveport, La., the site of the game, Foley showed great passion and excitement when proclaiming how happy he and Temple were to have the chance to play the game in Shreveport.
Needless to say, Foley was a popular person around Shreveport after that.