Temple Has a Coaching Vacancy: Who Should Fill It?
Temple has reportedly parted ways with head coach Rod Carey after three seasons. He posted a 12-20 overall mark during his time there, but was just 4-15 in his final two seasons with a 2-12 mark in AAC play during that time. Fan reaction seems overwhelmingly positive to the move based on a quick look online. Some of the criticism includes poor recruiting in Temple's traditional stomping grounds as well as a poor culture around the program. That includes multiple transfers from big-time programs leaving the team during this past season amid controversy.
Temple fans react to Rod Carey's imminent departure: pic.twitter.com/TCBhLlTwa1— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) November 29, 2021
So who can fix all of that? We've got three names to fix what has until recently been a solid G5 job for up-and-coming coaches.
Chris Partridge - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties, Ole Miss
Partridge has been on Lane Kiffin's staff at Ole Miss for two seasons and has helped them turn in a 15-7 overall record. The 41-year-old New Jersey native spent five seasons at Michigan in various roles where he was named National Recruiter of the Year by Scout in 2016 and by 247Sports in 2017. This season he's only credited with three commitments so far, but two of them are 4-star pledges headed to Ole Miss.
His head coaching experience comes from five seasons at Paramus Catholic High School from 2010 to 2014. He built a program out of almost nothing there taking a team ranked 4,250th nationally to being the No. 1 team in the state and No. 4 nationally by USA Today.
Partridge has great experience at big-time programs, including working under Don Brown to coach multiple top five defenses at Michigan. He's shown an ability to recruit well, and has great connections in nearby, talent-rich New Jersey. He checks a lot of boxes for an Owls program that needs to reestablish recruiting relationships in the region.
This seems like the kind of hire Temple used to make before panicking in the aftermath of the Geoff Collins/Manny Diaz/Rod Carey transition. Plus he has the firey speech part of the job down.
Fran Brown - Secondary, Rutgers
Brown was on staff at Temple for the 2019 season and was heavily pushed by the players at the time to get the head coaching gig when it came open. Some of those same guys are lobbying for him again.
Early support from former players for Fran Brown to be Temple’s next head coach.— Ray Dunne (@RayDunneBTB) November 29, 2021
It’s not surprising. He was reportedly an incredibly popular as a choice in the locker room in the last coaching search. pic.twitter.com/DhsxO3q0BR
After beginning his coaching career at Paul VI High School, Brown worked a season as director of internal operations for Temple. He then served as a graduate assistant there before moving up to serve as defensive backs coach from 2013-2015. He added the associate head coach title in 2016 before a stint at Baylor with Matt Rhule. Brown was the first defensive coach hired to join Greg Schiano in his second stint at Rutgers and helped the defense create 19 turnovers in 2020. That's the most for the program since 2012.
The Camden, New Jersey native has the closest ties to Temple from the names on this list. Having backing from some notable program alumni is a nice bonus and he's been a top recruiter in the American Athletic Conference before. It would be a shock if he doesn't at least get a phone call and an interview for a job he seems tailor made for. If Temple wants someone who will stick around for more than a couple of seasons, this might be the guy.
Brennan Marion - Wide Receivers, Pittsburgh
The current Panthers assistant was a three-sport standout at Greensburg-Salem High School outside of Pittsburgh. His only partial scholarship offer was from Temple, but he elected to go the junior college route before eventually ending up at Tulsa.
He's coached high school ball from California to Pennsylvania where he led Waynesboro Area Senior High School to its first division title in 22 years in 2014. He's since worked in college at several stops including Howard, William & Mary, and Hawai'i. Marion has drawn plenty of attention for his "Go-Go" offensive scheme as a coordinator and has earned invites to the NFL Quarterback Coaching Summit and American Football Coaches Association’s (AFCA) 35 Under 35 Leadership Institute.
Again, his recruiting connections seem like a great fit given his extensive work in the Mid-Atlantic region. Pennsylvania and Virginia have enough talent to yield the kind of under-the-radar players that Temple has thrived with during their successful run over the last decade. He's a talented, rising coach who fits the bill in many ways.