Temple made it official, announcing Wednesday evening that Texas assistant Stan Drayton is the school’s new head football coach.

The 50-year-old Longhorns running backs coach will succeed three-year coach Rod Carey and be the first major hire for newly appointed athletic director Arthur Johnson, who came from Texas himself.

Johnson had been adamant that a local connection is important for Temple’s next coach, but not the only factor.

“I had a chance to get to know Stan while we worked together at the University of Texas,” Johnson said in a statement. “He is an outstanding football coach and an even better person. He knows what success looks like at the highest levels of football. He also knows what it takes to be successful in this city having spent six years of his career here and learned from two of the city’s legendary football coaches.”

“This truly is a dream come true for me,” Drayton, who will be introduced at a Thursday press conference, said in the same statement. “Philadelphia has always held a special place in my heart as my wife, Monique, and I got married while we lived here.”

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According to reports, Rutgers assistant Fran Brown, a former Temple assistant, also interviewed with top school officials for the job. According to sources, several other candidates also were interviewed, either in person or by Zoom. The news that Drayton had emerged as the candidate who was in the final stages of negotiating a contract with Temple was first reported by The Inquirer.

Drayton’s 27 years of coaching experience include roles as Penn’s assistant running backs coach (1995) and the running backs coach at Villanova (1996-2000). He’s credited with bringing Eagles great Brian Westbrook to the Wildcats in 1997.

During a stint at Ohio State from 2011-14, he helped coach NFL running backs Ezekiel Elliot and Carlos Hyde. At Texas, he coached Bijan Robinson during Robinson’s breakout season, when he tallied 703 rushing yards on 86 carries en route to a single-season program record 8.2 yards per carry. Drayton also has been touted as a strong recruiter.

Robinson was the nation’s best running back in the 2020 high school class when he committed to Drayton and Texas. The coach also successfully recruited current New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward.

Drayton would be the first Black football coach at Temple since Ron Dickerson (1993-97) and only the second in program history. He will be the Owls’ 29th head football coach.

During two stints at Florida, 2005-07 and 2010, Drayton played a role in landing longtime NFL centers Mike and Maurkice Pouncey and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, before he transferred to Auburn.

Drayton was on the staff for national championship teams at Florida (2006) and Ohio State (2014).