On Dec. 15, 2021, Temple University ushered in a new era by hiring former University of Texas running backs coach Stan Drayton as its new head football coach.
“He knows what success looks like at the highest levels of football,” said Arthur Johnson, Temple’s athletic director and vice president at Drayton’s introductory press conference on Dec.16, 2021..
Drayton has slowly filled out his coaching staff since he was hired, but he’ll need lots of support to bring the program back to a competitive level.
“Everything we do from a systematic standpoint will support who we are as a university and as Temple TUFF,” Drayton said at his press conference. “And we will try to impose our will that way.”
Temple has filled more than a dozen football staff positions since firing former head coach Rod Carey on Nov. 29, 2021.
Here’s a look at the new coaches and administrators who have joined Drayton’s staff.
The key hire on offense is former University of Colorado quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf, who will be Temple’s offensive coordinator. Langsdorf has 12 years of offensive coordinator experience and has spent 15 years coaching inside the Power 5.
With more than 24 years of experience coaching college and professional football, Langsdorf is known for developing quarterbacks, coaching NFL quarterback Eli Manning with the New York Giants and grooming NFL quarterback Matt Moore at Oregon State University.
Temple also hired former Georgia Tech tight ends and special teams coach Chris Wiesehan. Wiesehan will serve as the offensive line coach, a position he held during four seasons with the Owls’ on former head coaches Matt Rhule’s and Geoff Collins’ staffs.
During his first tenure with the Owls, Wiesehan coached more than eight NFL talents, including Pro Bowl Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Dion Dawkins.
Many believed Wiesehan was a recent candidate for the head coaching position at Temple, so he’s a big hire for the Owls, who had one of the oldest offensive lines in college football last season.
Drayton moved Preston Brown, the former director of player personnel, to running backs coach. Brown saw success as head coach for Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, New Jersey, up until July 2021, when Carey hired him.
Brown’s position group will be the basis for the rest of the offense.
“We’ll build our offense around that,” Drayton said. “We’re going to find coaches who can really develop the run game.”
Former Rutgers University special teams coordinator Adam Scheier was also hired as the team’s new tight ends and special teams coach, while wide receivers coach Thad Ward was the only positional coach retained from Carey’s staff.
Former University of Kansas defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot will take the same position for Temple on Drayton’s staff. Eliot has served as a defensive coordinator for more than six years, and as a collegiate coach for more than 20 years.
He’s developed NFL talents in players like Isaiah Oliver from Colorado and outside linebackers Josh Allen and Bud Dupree from Kentucky.
“We’re going to be an attacking-style defense,” Drayton said in his introductory press conference.
Eliot’s defense is 3-4 focused, utilizing four linebackers and three down linemen unlike the nickel and dime packages former Temple defensive coordinator Jeff Knowles used last season.
Former Villanova University defensive coordinator Ola Adams was hired as the safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator. The Wildcats ranked in the top 10 in FCS football for fewest offensive yards allowed last season, and Adams brings a local Mid-Atlantic recruiting branch to Temple.
The tandem will take over one of the nation’s best pass defenses – as well as one of the shakiest run defenses – in the American Athletic Conference.
More moves on the defensive side include the hiring of former Colorado State University defensive line coach Antoine Smith, who will assume the same role with the Owls. Former Kansas defensive analyst Chris Woods will coach linebackers and former University of Florida cornerbacks coach Jules Montinar will take the same position with the Owls.
The strength and conditioning department saw an overhaul with three new faces spearheading the group.
Chris Fenelon will serve as the head strength and conditioning coach. Fenelon previously worked as the assistant strength coach at Ohio State University after stints at Iowa State University and with the New York Jets.
“I’m excited to bring Temple back,” Fenelon wrote in a press release. “I’m fired up to follow coach Drayton’s leadership.”
Fenelon is joined by two other experienced coaches: Andrew Broocks and Bruce Johnson.
Broocks, who most recently served as a strength coach in the United States Army, has coached at more than four other Division I programs, including three years at Iowa State.
Johnson returns to college football after spending time as founder and director of performance for Helix Elite Performance, an athletic performance training company working with professional and amateur athletes. Prior to Helix Elite Performance, Johnson coached many premier athletes from track and field to football, bringing a diverse portfolio of work to Temple.
Temple also made hires in the administrative departments, bringing in former coaches and staffers to serve as oversight for the program.
Everett Withers was named chief of staff while Tory Teykl was named director of football operations.
Withers, who has more than 30 years of coaching experience from head coach to graduate assistant at the Division I level, brings knowledge and connections to Temple’s front office under Drayton.
Teykl also has a wealth of experience, having served nine years as a football operator for the University of Houston, Texas and Kansas. She brings a sports management background with a focus on daily operations and communications.
“I’m extremely excited to get back to this league,” Teykl wrote in a press release. “I’m extremely excited and humbled for this opportunity to come to work here with (Drayton).”
Other administrative hires include former Florida International Director of Recruitment J.T. Hill to serve as director of player personnel. Hill previously worked with the Miami Dolphins and at the University of Alabama.