Coaching changes are never easy, especially when a team is attempting to make school history, but Temple's football players insist they won't been deterred by the resignation of Matt Rhule as head coach and the appointment of Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.
Rhule was hired as Baylor's head coach Dec. 6 and Collins was named his replacement a week later.
Collins won't coach in Florida's bowl game, Jan. 2 against Iowa in the Outback Bowl, but he also won't guide the Owls. Interim head coach Ed Foley will be in charge of Temple through the Military Bowl on Dec. 27.
Two of Temple's assistants, Francis Brown (defensive backs) and Mike Siravo (linebackers), have been hired by Rhule at Baylor. Defensive coordinator Phil Snow is reported to have a standing offer to join Rhule there.
Still, the Owls are proceeding with preparations in as normal a fashion as possible for the bowl game against Wake Forest in Annapolis, Md. All of the Temple assistants, including Brown and Siravo, are expected to coach the Owls against the Demon Deacons.
With that as a backdrop, No. 24 Temple (10-3) can set a single-season school record for wins with a victory over Wake Forest (6-6). So it's been business as usual, or at least as close to usual as it can be.
"It has been crazy and now it is starting to settle down," said junior safety Sean Chandler, a second-team all-American Athletic Conference choice and a Camden High graduate. "We know we have a good coach who just came in and next year we will play ball for him."
But right now, this year is all that matters, especially to the seniors.
"For me, [the transition] hasn't been that hard because I am an older guy," said redshirt senior defensive end Haason Reddick, a unanimous first-team all-AAC choice. "I pretty much know what to do, but for the younger guys it may be a little more difficult."
One of those younger guys is Isaiah Wright, a running back/receiver who has earned the most playing time among the non-redshirt freshmen.
"The [coaching] loss has had some type of impact, but this is football and you have to stay focused and continue the process," Wright said.
Snow talked to the media Tuesday after practice but declined to discuss his immediate future. He is the mastermind behind a unit that is eighth nationally in scoring defense at 17.2 points per game.
"We all came back to coach this game because they want to win the 11th game," Snow said. "They asked us to come back and coach the defense, so that is what we are doing."
It's believed that Rhule wanted the assistants, even ones he has hired, to coach in the bowl game for Temple.
"We are all in this together," said Snow, who went to Temple four years ago with Rhule, his eighth college coaching stop. "[The players] have been loyal to us and vice versa and it has been a great group and we're looking forward to the game."