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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Addazio’

No. 94: Temple

Less than eight years ago, Temple came within one vote  of dropping football altogether. The following season, in 2005, Temple suffered its first winless season in a half-century. A year after that, Temple hired Al Golden. Four years later, Temple posted its first winning season in 19 years. Two years after that, Temple hired Steve Addazio. A year later, Temple rejoined the Big East. It’s an amazing, rags-to-riches tale that has gone largely unnoticed amid the other cautionary and cynical tales of conference realignment: Temple, through years of sweat and toil, regained a place at the table. Yes, it’s the Big East, but it’s a step up — a step back up, rather. All’s well that ends well, even if the story includes near-elimination, some of the worst football you can possibly imagine and the fairly horrific idea that Temple might be biting off a bit more than it can chew. For now, at least. The Owls have the pieces to compete in the Big East; however, I’d be remiss not to mention that despite the program’s recent climb, neither Golden nor Addazio beat a single MAC team with a winning record.

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    Temple’s In; Big East and MAC Reshuffle

    It’s amazing what seven years, conference expansion and flexible travel plans can do to a once-mangled relationship. It wasn’t so long ago that Temple was being shown the door: The Big East was tired of carrying the Owls’ poor support, poor results and poor commitment to football, so it gave Temple the boot from the league altogether. Less than a decade later, the Owls are back to save the Big East’s bacon – with a smirk, perhaps, and definitely with a knowing glance. The non-football sports will join the league a year down the road; Temple will join the Big East for football immediately, helping the league offset West Virginia’s departure while it prepares for another influx of new arrivals for the 2013 season.

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      The Year in Review: Temple (9-4, 5-3)

      The bottom didn’t drop out on Dec. 13, when Al Golden left for Miami, and the earth didn’t spin off its axis 10 days later, when Temple hired former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio as his replacement. The Owls didn’t drop off the map: the Owls took a sizable step forward, in fact, and this year’s team may very well have been the program’s best in more than three decades. And few saw it coming. Most saw a year of growing pains, especially along the sidelines, and fewer still – based on the negative fervor surrounding Addazio’s stint in Gainesville – saw Temple again reaching its Golden-level heights.

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        New Mexico Bowl: Temple-Wyoming

        It’s the most wonderful time of the year — sing that part. For me, it’s not necessarily wonderful because it’s bowl season, but rather because the writing’s on the wall: every game counts, and not in the B.C.S. sense of the phrase but because of the fact that there are only 35 games left in the 2011 season. Once the final whistle blows between Alabama and L.S.U., that much-beloved rematch, we’ll be left with just days, weeks and months of… nothing. Dead air; silence; no football.

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          Temple Settles Into a Successful Debut

          He was being assaulted by negativity from both sides. Florida’s fan base bid Steve Addazio adieu with a good riddance, happily ridding itself of the fall guy for the Gators’ offensive ineptitude in 2010. Temple had reason to be excited over Addazio, considering his strong B.C.S. conference background and ties in the Northeast, but the first-year coach — before he even coached a game — paled in comparison to his predecessor, Miami-bound Al Golden. One of the lone beacons of optimism was Addazio himself, who wasn’t going to allow any negativity to damper the excitement over a job nearly 20 years in the making.

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            Meyer Tackles His New Staff at Ohio St.

            Urban Meyer’s first order of business as Ohio State’s coach will be taking advantage of the current N.C.A.A. contact period, which allows Meyer, the second the ink dries, to reach out to any recruit interested in signing with the Buckeyes in February. Here’s guessing there’ll be a long list of interested parties. At the same time, Meyer will attack a far more vital task: compiling his debut staff. This undertaking reminds me of Meyer’s first staff at Florida, which Meyer called yesterday “the best staff in college football history.”

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              Midseason Grades for the New Guys

              There are 24 first-year head coaches doing work on the F.B.S. level, not counting the three interim coaches keeping seats warm at Arizona, New Mexico and North Carolina. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where that trio — Tim Kish, George Barlow and Everett Withers — become full-time replacements in 2012, though the way Withers has kept U.N.C. afloat through the first half of the regular season certainly bodes well for his future coaching opportunities, whether with the Tar Heels or otherwise. So how are the new faces doing at their new stops? Let’s hand out some midseason grades for the new hires, and include the grade each coach received over the winter’s hiring recap.

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                No. 75: Temple

                It was just a matter of time. Temple was a launching pad, not a destination for Al Golden, and the question wasn’t whether he’d leave for greener pastures, wasn’t whether when he’d leave for greener pastures, but rather which program would be the lucky beneficiary of his coaching talents. He was sought after as early as in 2007, after Temple posted its first four-win mark since 2002. U.C.L.A. made an inquiry, though it never moved beyond mere fascination. After last season, after winning 17 games over two years, Golden’s stock was probably as high as it was going to get at Temple. So Miami (Fla.) called, as did a few others, and Golden struck while the iron was hot. Temple moves on, replacing the architect behind its revival with the architect behind Florida’s rapid offensive demise over the last two seasons.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.