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Temple Football’s Next Coach: A Look at AD Arthur Johnson’s Texas Connections

Temple FootballPhoto: Temple Football/@Temple_FB


By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

All is quiet on the Temple football coaching search front.  Insanely quiet especially considering the chaos of the coaching carousel around landscape of college football.

Despite the silence, there are rumblings among insiders that athletic director Arthur Johnson could be dipping into his past, particularly his time in Texas, for the next Temple football head coach.  Johnson was in the Longhorn’s athletic department from 2014 until he took the job at Temple.  That’s seven-years worth of connections, including three former Power 5 head coaches, with one of the most well-known brands in college athletics.

Here are some names that could fit the “Texas to Temple” connection:

 

(Note: In no particular order)

Drayton

Photo: Stan Drayton/@StanDraytonUT

Stan Drayton

Drayton is the current offensive run game coordinator/running backs coach for the Longhorns.  He has been a fixture in college and professional football coaching circles since 1993.  He’s been credited with fine tuning the run game of players like Ezekiel Elliott and Jordan Howard. 

Why He’s a Fit for Temple: Drayton spent considerable time in the Northeast, he played and coached at Allegheny and he was on the staff’s at UPenn (1995) and Villanova (1996-2000).  He is credited for bringing Brian Westbrook to Villanova.  Drayton has spent time in winning programs in the NFL and college.  He has a knack for developing talent especially at the running back position.  Drayton is 50 years-old and he could be running out of time to take a head coaching position.  Now could be the time if Drayton wants to make the jump in the ranks.

Why He’s Not a Fit for Temple: Drayton has no head coaching or coordinator experience on his extensive resume.  Would Drayton be ready to take on the extensive rebuild that is needed on North Broad Street?  As mentioned above, Drayton is 50 years-old, is he ready for the demands of being a head coach or is he content being one of the best position coaches in the country?

HermanPhoto: Tom Herman/@CoachTomHerman

Tom Herman

Herman is the former head coach at University of Houston (2015-2016) and Texas (2017-2020) and currently serves as an offensive analyst for the Chicago Bears.  He led Houston to the 2015 AAC Championship and earned AAC Coach of the Year honors in the process.  Herman has a 50-22 overall record as a head coach including 5-0 in bowl games.

Why He’s a Fit for Temple: Herman is a proven commodity as a head coach, he’s never had a losing record as the man in charge of a program.  He is familiar with The American from his two-years in charge at Houston.  He also has experience in an urban setting, Houston is similar to Temple in that respect.  Herman spent 2012-2014 with Ohio State, where he won a Broyles Award as the top assistant in college football, and has an understanding of how to run a successful program.  Herman could be a reclamation project of sorts after being ousted from Texas despite never having a losing season and winning every bowl game he played in.

Why He’s Not a Fit for Temple: Herman has spent all of his coaching career in the Midwest or the South, would Herman be able to connect with the coaches, parents, and players along the I-95 Corridor that Temple needs to recruit for success?  Herman was making $5 million a year as the head coach at Texas, would he be willing to come to Temple for considerably less money?  Another factor in the Herman equation would be his success.  Temple needs a head coach that is willing to stay and build the foundation of a program.  They need a coach that is willing to invest 5-years into the program and the surrounding community.  While the track record is small, that has not been Herman’s MO.

 

Kyle Flood

Flood is the current offensive coordinator for the Longhorns and is a massive Counting Crows fan.  He has been a coach at the college or professional level since 1995 and was the former head coach at Rutgers. 

Why He’s a Fit for Temple: Flood checks all of the boxes that Temple is looking for in a head football coach.  He an assistant coach under Greg Schiano from 2005-2011 when the former took the head coaching job in Tampa Bay.  Flood was promoted to head coach at Rutgers in 2012 and helped usher the Scarlet Knights into the Big Ten.  He was 27-24 as the head coach of the Scarlet Knights including a bowl victory.  Flood has been a fixture in the Northeast recruiting during his college career, he is well liked by players and coaches, and is considered one of the best offensive line coaches in the nation.

Why He’s Not a Fit for Temple: Flood’s tenure at Rutgers ended in controversy and chaos.  There were curfew violations and run-ins with the law while Flood was the coach at Rutgers.  In September 2015, six Rutgers players were charged by New Brunswick (NJ) police with a variety of offenses including felony assault, robbery, conspiracy, and weapons charges from an alleged August ’15 home invasion attempt.  Five of the six players were ultimately expelled from the team and University.  Flood’s biggest misstep came when he improperly contacted a faculty member regarding a grade for a player that was suspended for academic reasons. 

Charlie Strong

Strong is currently the assistant head coach/linebacker coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Like Herman and Flood, Strong has prior Power 5 coaching experience on his resume.  He was head coach at University of Louisville (2010-2013), University of Texas (2014-2016), and University of Southern Florida (2017-2019).

Why He’s a Fit for Temple: Strong has been a fixture in the college coaching ranks since 1983 when he started as a graduate assistant at Florida.  He led Louisville to two Big East Championships and two BCS bowl game appearances.  His signature win at Louisville was 33-23 win over Florida in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.  Strong won the Big East coach of the year award twice, 2010 and 2012, and was also part of championship staffs at Florida (2006, 2008) and Alabama (2020).  Strong’s time at Texas and USF wasn’t as successful as his time in Louisville but he does hold a winning record as a head coach, 74-53.  From a recruiting perspective, Strong understands the challenges that a school like Temple presents.  Louisville and USF (Tampa) are similar in make up to Temple as far as being an urban university. The bulk of his head coaching career was spent in the Big East/AAC, he knows the lay of the land when it comes to the conference.  

Why He’s Not a Fit for Temple: Strong has only had three winning seasons in his last six as a head coach.  He was tabbed to rebuild the USF program and the program regressed into what it is today.  Outside of three seasons, 2012, 2013, and 2017, his teams have not won more than seven games in a season.  Strong is also older, 61-years old.  Does he have it in him to put effort into another reclamation project? 

Comments

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James

What about K.C. Keeler of Sam Houston State? He has Philly ties. Has won National titles at two locations with a lot less resources at his disposal. He’s a future hall of fame coach.

Michael J Lipinski

Keeler would be a good fit but I'm not too sure he wants to leave Sam Houston with them making the jump to 1A. He's up there in age and has, once again, built a winning program. Nice guy too.

Baylor Proud

What about Jeff Nixon? From Rhule tree. Was at Temple a few years back. Was Baylor OC and has coached with Eagles, Niners and currently with Ruhle at Carolina.

LoveBurntOrange

Just my opinion based on limited knowledge of these coaches as a Texas fan, I doubt Flood leaves Texas for that job. As Texas' OC he'll probably hold out for a much better offer which he will get if they get things rolling at Texas. He may be able to replace Traylor who coached at Texas, but is now at UTSA, once he gets a better job which should happen shortly. In any case, UTSA is a much better option to be at than Temple and recently they have been hiring quite a few coaches who coached at Texas, so Flood could definitely get a look it Traylor bolts. Doubt Herman takes that job either. Herman has learned to be picky about jobs from Urban Meyer. He's not just going to take a HC spot just because it's open. It needs to be at the right place, have supportive administration, good resources, be easy to recruit to, and etc. He would be better off as a coordinator at a place like Florida or etc which will surely get him much better options for another HC opportunity if he does well - like what has happened with Kiffin and Sarkisian. Stan Drayton may take the job. Depends on how much they can pay as he's making a lot at TX, and I think he has a daughter who is a gymnast who trains with Simone Biles in Houston. Think it just depends on how bad he wants to be a HC. Also, Strong is not very good as a HC. He was horrible at Texas and was handed a stud team at USF and turned it into crap. Looks like Bridgewater made him. Don't know about the guy at A&M, but I know Texas fans would like him gone because he's a good recruiter. Without considering the A&M guy, I would say Drayton seems like the most likely option out of all them.

Mike Stepinski

The author really said UTSA is a better job than Temple. Instantly lost the little credibility he had. Philly Market, Top 25 players drafted five years in a row, and ranked in the Top 25 4 seasons ago.

Michael J Lipinski

I don’t even mention UT-San Antonio…if I didn’t they’d be a better fit right now for a lot of coaches. Administration who is willing to spend, a fan base that supports them, and one of the best single state recruiting grounds.

Anthony

Do you think a name like Deon Sanders would be interested? Attracting top players wouldn’t be an issue and he has had success at Jackson State. Not to mention all the publicity it would bring the Temple program!

Bob

What about Fran Brown. 🤷🏻‍♂️

peter classetti

See if Brian Dawkins is interested- you never know. He likes challenges and he's the kind of "tough" that Temple needs.
He probably doesn't care so much about salary as the opportunity to build a solid, and reliably highly competitive team. He'd also draw very good assistants to work with him.

LoveBurntOrange

Looks like I may be correct in my prediction re: Drayton. Him taking this job has become somewhat of a hot topic again on TX fansites. If that is the case, I will be rooting for him at Temple.

BTW @Mike Stepinski, yes, UTSA is a a far superior job. UTSA has upgraded their facilities, is in a high school football crazy city and state which produces tons of recruits every year, has a supportive administration who wants to win, a good fanbase, the cost of living is much better in San Antonio, and just being a coach at a school like that will get a successful HC there looks from other big time D1 schools in Texas i.e. Herman being hired by Texas from Houston. This is also how Art Briles, Kevin Sumlin, and etc got big time D1 HC jobs. If Sarkisian doesn't work out at Texas and Traylor continues to have success at UTSA, I guarantee you he will at least get a call from Texas. In fact, rumor is Texas Tech wanted him, but he turned them down. If he had been coaching at school like that in any other state, he probably doesn't even get a look from a school like Tech.

Temple having players drafted is a testament of good coaching and development, but it doesn't make it a better job than UTSA.

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