FOR THE SECOND time in 2 years, Temple will have to hire a football coach.
In December 2010 Al Golden left North Broad Street after five culture-altering seasons to go to Miami.
On Tuesday his replacement, former Florida assistant Steve Addazio, left after two seasons to take the job at Boston College.
He replaces Frank Spaziani, who was fired after four seasons and 16 overall with the Eagles. He went 22-29, 2-10 this season, 1-7 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"[Addazio's] a proven winner with an extensive history of success," said Boston College athletic director Brad Bates.
The 53-year-old Addazio, a Connecticut native, inherited a veteran team coming off an 8-4 season and in 2011 went 9-4, including a bowl victory, Temple's first postseason win in 32 years. This fall the Owls were 4-7 (2-5 Big East) in their first year back in the BCS conference since they were asked to leave following the 2004 season.
It was his first head-coaching job after spending 16 seasons as an FBS assistant with four programs. He was part of two national champions at Florida working under Urban Meyer.
There were rumors that he looked into leaving Temple before he ever coached a game here, after the UConn job became available. Last offseason his name came up with the vacancies at Illinois and Rutgers.
"I understand [Addazio's] rationale for leaving," said Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw. "It's solid. For a million years, nobody wanted our coaches because we were so bad. So that's not a negative. If Wisconsin can lose their coach . . . You only hire someone based on performance. That's my take on it.
"This will be the third one for me. The interest is [already] off the charts. Al Golden came here on faith. Now we have something to sell. We're in a different place. So the pool will reflect that."
The last time he did this, it took him 8 days.
"As John Wooden said, 'Be quick but don't hurry,' " Bradshaw said.
The Big East, of course, will look much different very soon. Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers and Louisville are all leaving. West Virginia and TCU all already gone. And Cincinnati and UConn are reportedly looking for new homes. The latest replacements were Tulane and East Carolina. So what's left is basically Conference-USA. Which might explain why, when the new seven-game, four-team playoff format is implemented in a few years, the Big East will be the only one of the six power conferences that doesn't retain its automatic berth in a BCS bowl.
Still, the fact remains that Temple is a much more attractive position than it was before Golden arrived. He totally changed the mind-set. And the facilities have since undergone a major upgrade. So the program's no longer irrelevant. Addazio, who had to replace 13 starters this season, played a bunch of young guys. Somebody will inherit that. The only question now is who.
The Owls already have received 17 verbal commitments for the recruiting class of 2013. It figures that at least some of them might have to be re-recruited.
It remains to be seen how many people from the staff Addazio takes with him. Associate head coach Kevin Rogers and offensive coordinator Ryan Day both came here last offseason from, ironically, BC. Defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, who has been in the business since 1975, has been here two seasons. This was his 11th stop.
Bradshaw is right. There should be no shortage of candidates. Because it's a Division I-A job, and there are only so many of them to go around. Most of the building has been done. Now it's a matter of keeping the graph headed in an upward direction.
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley finished runner-up the last time there was an opening. The word is he'd still be interested, after spending a season out of the profession. The question is, is the feeling still mutual? There are a lot of folks at Penn State who felt the way Bradley handled himself through that whole mess up there was nothing short of exemplary.
There are a great many Temple people who believe Matt Rhule would be the right fit. He spent five seasons on Golden's staff and another under Addazio before leaving to become an assistant line coach with the New York Giants. He was the recruiting coordinator, and Addazio credited him with keeping things together during the transition period. Several sources familiar with the situation said he's also very interested. And like Bradley, he's not the kind of guy who would be looking to leave for something bigger/better the moment he had any success. He has Philly roots. And that's never a bad thing. You don't want to necessarily become known as the place where people come mainly for the short haul.
"I would love to get a Fran Dunphy or John Chaney for football," Bradshaw said.
Another name to possibly keep in mind is Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson, the former Villanova OC from the Wildcats' unbeaten 1997 season. He took Fordham to the FCS playoffs, put the team in place at Richmond that won a national title the year after he left to become an OC at Tennessee and just took the Falcons to an 8-4 season and a second-place finish behind nationally ranked Kent State in the MAC East (two of their losses were to Florida and Virginia Tech). Many consider him to be an up-and-comer.
It should be another interesting search.