On Dec. 6, 2005, former Virginia defensive coordinator Al Golden was introduced as the head football coach at Temple at the university's Liacouras Center.
Yesterday, exactly four years to the day, Golden was back at the same location to learn the Owls' bowl destination. With about 300 boosters, alumni, fans and friends of the program on hand, Temple learned that it would play either Army (5-6) or UCLA (6-6) in the EagleBank Bowl Dec. 29 at Washington's RFK Stadium.
If Army defeats Navy on Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field, the Black Knights will get the berth. Army needs the win to be 6-6 and, thus, bowl-eligible. If Navy wins, the spot will belong to UCLA.
ESPN will televise the game.
Temple (9-3) will be making its first postseason appearance since 1979 after registering the program's first winning season since 1990.
"Four years ago, we stood right here and had a dream and a vision," Golden said. "A lot of people said, 'OK, show me.' And I was OK with that - because that's Philly style. But I'm happy for the kids, Temple University, and our administration.
"I think the EagleBank Bowl is the best place for us. We have to learn how to do this, and when you go close to home, you eliminate a lot of excuses. I think this is the best scenario for our football program to have a well-attended game."
Temple finished 7-1 in the Mid-American Conference after losing to host Ohio in the last regular-season game of the season. The Owls shared the league's East Division title, but the Bobcats (9-4, 7-1) earned a berth in the championship game against Central Michigan by virtue of their win over Temple. The Chippewas claimed the crown with a 20-10 victory Friday in Detroit.
Before falling to Ohio, Temple had gone on a nine-game winning streak that set a single-season school record. And when the all-MAC teams were announced last week, the Owls dominated.
In addition to placing a league-high 15 players on the three squads - including eight on the first team - Golden was named coach of the year. Running back Bernard Pierce was picked as the freshman of the year and defensive end Adrian Robinson was chosen as the defensive player of the year.
Pierce, who missed the last two games of the regular season with a shoulder injury, is practicing and is expected to be ready to play in Temple's bowl game.
With a win in the EagleBank Bowl, Temple would tie the school record for victories in a season that was set by the 1979 team. That year, the Owls finished 10-2 after defeating California in the Garden State Bowl.
"This is great," said Temple safety Dominique Harris, a native of Washington. "Everybody at home can come see me play my last college game. I had no idea about an EagleBank Bowl, but I'm happy."