Why Al Golden Didn't Take the East Carolina Job

Mike Gibson@paprepsCorrespondent IJanuary 19, 2010

I don't mention Temple basketball coach Fran Dunphy to many people because I'm not that much of a hoops fan, but I admire the man a lot.

The thing I admire most about him is that he already is a Hall of Fame coach in my mind, but he doesn't drag Temple's good name needlessly through speculation every time a big-time opening comes up.

Fran Dunphy is a Philly guy through and through, and even if he wins the national championship with the Owls, he will likely remain the Temple head coach.

Temple will be his last head coaching job.

There is much to admire about that.

You can throw a Brinks' truck worth of money at him, and he will likely wave the Brinks' truck by so he can get to his Suburu parked in the Liacouras Center lot. Philly and family mean that much to him.

Temple fans are comforted by that and they don't take it for granted. They trust Fran Dunphy. They have plenty of reasons to do so.

I must admit that I get uneasy with this yearly speculation that comes up surrounding Temple's other high-profile coach, Al Golden.

Word comes tonight from multiple reliable sources that Al Golden has withdrawn his name for consideration for the East Carolina head football coaching job, reportedly telling Terry Holland to politely take his job and shove it.

Politely, of course. (Rick Stockstill will likely get that job now.)

It's all part of The Plan.

I have to trust Al today because the one thing he said when he took the Temple job was that he had a plan to turn Temple's football fortunes around and that it wouldn't take long for Temple fans to discern that plan.

You've got to give the guy credit. He had a plan, and it didn't take any of us long to realize that it would work.

He is an East Coast recruiter without peer who has high schools from Boston to Washington, D.C. locked up. He can walk into any one of them today and be welcomed with open arms.

He would have to change his whole recruiting footprint if he went outside that corridor. Cincinnati, Tennessee and East Carolina are far outside that footprint. His alma mater, Penn State, is not.

I have a feeling he's got a similar plan for his own career.

My guess is that he's had his eyes on the Penn State job all along.

Think about it.

What better way to get the attention of the people he wants to nudge than to have Temple—TEMPLE—beat Penn State in State College next year?

Golden told selected boosters at the bowl party that the Owls were "loaded" next year.
Loaded, with emphasis on loaded with talent.

Penn State people may not realize it, but Temple was a quarterback away from being in the game until the end with the Nittany Lions this season. I'm not talking about a Colt McCoy here. I'm talking about an Adam DiMichele, a guy who is capable of making 20 to 30 positive plays on his own.

Temple might have that guy next year.

With one swift Temple over Penn State blow, he would unsettle the Penn State fan base and hasten the departure of the legendary Joe Paterno and sell himself as his successor in the same day.

He would not get that chance at Cincy or at Tennessee or at East Carolina.

ESPN.com reported him as the leading candidate at Cincy before he withdrew his name from consideration for that job. My guess is that Golden, not Cincy, made that decision. Same with Tennessee.

Do you really, honestly, think Louisiana Tech's Derek Dooley is a better coach than Al Golden? The same Dooley who had a losing record in the past three years?

I didn't think you did.

If Al Golden wanted that job, he probably could have gotten it.

He didn't want Cincy. He didn't want Tennessee. He didn't want East Carolina.

He wants Temple.

It's all part of The Plan.

Hopefully, The Plan evolves into Al Golden seeing Temple the way Fran Dunphy sees Temple but that's up to Al to decide.

With no attractive jobs left, he'll have another year to think about it. What the Temple administration does behind the scenes and what he Owls do on the field will determine the future now.


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