Fran Dunphy, the longtime basketball coach at Penn and then Temple, has been named the Owls’ interim athletic director. First reported by The Inquirer, Temple made the announcement official Wednesday.
Temple athletic director Patrick Kraft resigned on June 3 to take a similar position at Boston College. Kraft will be continuing as AD at Temple until the end of the month.
Dunphy will take over on July 1 but first will get some time to learn some of the nuances of the job from Kraft. The Temple administration had been hoping that the interim AD would get some time with Kraft to ease the transition.
According to one source, Dunphy is not expected to be a candidate for the athletic director’s job, but that could change. The source said that Temple hopes to have an athletic director named within 90 days.
Dunphy was Temple’s head basketball coach for 13 seasons. It was announced before the 2018-19 season that it would be Dunphy’s final season as basketball coach and then he was to be succeeded by current coach Aaron McKie, who was his assistant at the time.
Dunphy, 71, has remained at Temple, where he teaches Management, Theory and Practice: From the Locker Room to the Board Room along with associate professor Lynne Anderson, a course they’ve taught together for more than a decade.
In 17 seasons at Penn and 13 at Temple, Dunphy’s career coaching record is 580-325. He guided Penn to nine NCAA Tournament appearances and Temple to eight, including his final season in 2018-19.
“Although this is a new role for Fran Dunphy, the truth is that he’s been a leader at Temple, in Philadelphia and in the nation for decades,” Temple president Richard M. Englert said in a statement. “From the court to the classroom, to his advocacy and philanthropic efforts, Fran has time and again proven his dedication to our university and our city, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact he will undoubtedly make as acting director of athletics.”
Dunphy, also in a statement from the school, said he is moving into this role for one main reason.
“Temple called, Dick Englert called, and asked me if I would take on this role,” he said. “I said I’m happy to serve in any way. When Temple calls and asks, my tendency is to say ‘yes.’ ”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, these are unsettled times in the sports world, making the role of the athletic director or in this case, the interim AD, even more important. On Monday, Temple fall-sport athletes will report back to campus Monday for voluntary workouts. This will be a limited group, mostly football players.
Football coach Rod Carey, entering his second season, has high praise for Dunphy.
“Fran’s love for Temple is indisputable,” Carey said. “He is part of the fabric of Philadelphia and continued to be a vital part of Temple University following his time as basketball coach. I look forward to working with him in the short term to keep Temple football improving on and off the field.”
John Chaney, the legend whom Dunphy replaced as Temple’s basketball coach, and McKie also had high praise in statements released by the school.
“There is no better choice to lead Temple Athletics than Fran Dunphy,” Chaney said. “His leadership and his calm demeanor is just what the University needs at this critical time. There truly is no better person than Fran.”