From 2004 to 2006 Temple's combined record was 3-31. After 4-8 and 5-7 seasons in 2007 and 2008 Al Golden and his Owls posted a 9-4 record (7-1 in conference) and got a bowl invitation. In 2010 the Owls had similar success at 8-4 but did not receive a bowl invitation and their head coach accepted a job with the Miami Hurricanes. After bringing Temple from the unspeakable horrors of earlier this decade to a respectable 8 or 9 win team for consecutive seasons it was now time for the Temple Owls to find another Head Coach who could maintain the momentum that Al Golden had started.
The Temple Owls made the decision to offer the Head Coaching position to embattled Florida Gators Offensive Coordinator Steve Adazzio. For those that follow college football in the south this was a very surprising choice as Adazzio has been getting killed by Florida Gators faithful for the better part of his stint as OC.
Adazzio has been a College Football coach since 1995. He served as OC to Gerry DiNardo at Indiana in 2004 (finished 101st in Total Offense, 76th in Points Per Game, 81st in Passing Yards Per Game and 62nd in Rushing Yards Per Game). After that season he joined Urban Meyer's staff and became Offensive Coordinator after Dan Mullen left to take the Mississippi State job. While at Florida Adazzio played a major role in keeping the Gators together while Urban Meyer dealt with his health problems last year and was named the 2010 National Recruiter of the Year.
In some ways Adazzio looks like he could be a very good fit for Temple. Adazzio has been recruiting the Northeast for the last 15 years and is a native of Connecticut so he knows that area. In my opinion, Adazzio will only be successful if he builds a quality staff around him and builds an infrastructure that allows for promotion from within (let's be honest Temple is not a job people ascend to it's a job they ascend from).
I talked to 4 different College Football Fanatics to get their views of the Steve Adazzio hire. I turned to two guys from our very own site and then I turned to guys who follow Temple and Florida football to get their opinions on this hire:
The Bull Gator from TheBullGator.com:
The first thing you’re probably going to hear from most Florida fans when it comes to Steve Addazio and the Temple job is “WHAT?!?” It’s an understandable reaction, but might actually be a wrong one. Addazio is always going to be in that Ron Zook gray area for Gator fans. Great recruiter who most players loved, but a coach who couldn’t get it done on the field. With the talent Florida had, how much the offense struggled was frustrating to say the least. And it wasn't just a little struggle here and there, it was a lot all of the time. So to see the man who didn’t do well as an offensive coordinator suddenly become a head coach…well…it’s odd to say the least.
But Addazio can do well as a head coach and he can probably do well at Temple. First of all, the pressure is off. The scrutiny he faced at Florida was immeasurable. At Temple he’ll be allowed to ease into the roll and will be given more time in a job where the expectations aren’t as high. He also won’t have to run the offense. He can be involved in it, but if he hires an offensive coordinator, he won’t have to run an offense that he might not have been comfortable with like he did at Florida. This is actually the type of job Addazio needs. He was a great offensive line coach and one that probably would have gotten a head coaching job sometime soon anyway. Then he was promoted to offensive coordinator and 2009 and 2010 happened. Although he didn’t perform well in the OC role, those two seasons shouldn’t be entirely put on his shoulders. I’m not sure how well he’ll do at Temple, but this might not be as bad of a hire as many thought early on. That said, as a Gator fan, I’m glad the offense is headed in a different direction in 2011.
He recruits the Northeast well and will probably be able to entice some less-renowned Florida kids to head up to Temple, so he'll probably maintain the on-field talent at the same level Al Golden had it. But it's really difficult to ignore the way he systematically destroyed the Florida offense over the past two years. At UF, he had elite talent and the best facilities and assistant coaches money can buy at his disposal, yet he colossally underachieved. He may be a great recruiter and a great position coach, but he clearly struggled with the additional responsibilities of being an offensive coordinator. So now he's getting more responsibility but with less talent, lesser assistants, and much worse facilities...I'm not optimistic about his chances for success. Granted, expectations at Temple aren't the same as those at Florida, so maybe he'll do well enough to meet them, but he's not the guy to take them to "the next level" (whatever that means at Temple).
I hope Temple enjoyed the brief run of (relative) success that Al Golden brought them, because the odds of it continuing under Addazzio are pretty damn remote. Maybe that's an unfair assumption since (to my knowledge) he's never been a head coach, but it's hard to have much confidence in a coach who underperformed so dramatically as an offensive coordinator with talent on par with what he had at Florida (like, say, Tim Tebow - only one of the best college players ever). Maybe he'll hire some brilliant minds to be coordinators and he'll be able to sit back and direct things ably from a managerial position... but probably not. Welcome back to irrelevance, Temple.
Initially, negative. Having met the guy, positive. I heard Tom Bradley came across, to be kind, as drab in the interview session and this guy was an absolute dynamo. Does dynamo translate into on-field results? We'll see, but it can't hurt recruiting. My only reservation is that he's never been a game-day head coach. If Villanova gives this team even a close game next year, he probably never will be one. That's how early we'll find out.