Perhaps this is perfect timing. Todd Bowles, a Temple Owls standout and member of the school’s Hall of Fame was fired as head coach of the New York Jets the same day the college lost its newly hired head coach Manny Diaz to the same position at the University of Miami.
Talk about coincidences. You’d think the two have to be on each others radar–if they haven’t already spoke.
On December 12, Diaz was hired to replace Geoff Collins at the Owls head coach. Diaz left his job as Defensive Coordinator for the Hurricanes to take the position at Temple. However, on Sunday, Miami head coach Mark Richt resigned after the team’s 35-3 loss to Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Miami reached out to Diaz, offered him the job, and Diaz informed the Owls he’d be returning to the Canes just 17 days after accepting their offer. Suddenly, Temple was back in the hunt for a new head coach.
Bowles is Free
Sunday was a heck of a day.
After the Jets concluded an abysmal 4-12 season under Bowles, CEO Christopher Johnson decided not to wait until Black Monday to relieve Bowles of his coaching duties. “I would like to thank Coach Bowles for his dedication to the New York Jets for the last four years,” Johnson said in a statement. “After carefully evaluating the situation, I have concluded that this is the right direction for the organization to take. I would like to wish Todd, Taneka and their family only the best.”
Bowles’ career with the Jets started strong. The 55-year-old Elizabeth, New Jersey native guided the Jets to a 10-6 record. Unfortunately, things went downhill fast from there. The Jets went 5-11 in 2016 and 2017 before this season’s disappointing finish.
With Bowles dismissed on the same day as the Owls coaching spot reopens, the speculation and perceived fit is an obvious one.
Is it a Good Fit?
There’s every reason to believe Bowles has a solid reputation with the school. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his contributions as a player back in 2001. Also, Temple was likely drawn to Diaz because of his defensive-minded approach. Bowles brings the same kind of presence and expertise.
After a seven-year playing career in the NFL, Bowles began coaching in 1997 at Morehouse as a defensive coordinator and secondary coach. With more than 21 years of experience on the college and pro level, Bowles is seemingly very qualified.
The question is if Bowles is interested in heading to the college game and if he really wants to coach at his alma mater. The NFL is obviously a challenging platform, but coaching at a school like Temple is no piece of cake. While success isn’t measured by national championships with the Owls, conference championships and bowl appearances are gold.
Temple isn’t exactly a major attraction for the nation’s top talent, but it is competitive enough in recruiting to contend regularly in the American Athletic Conference. This would seemingly be a match made in Owl heaven, but sometimes things make too much sense to come to fruition.