Fisher looks to change culture and bring energy to Temple

Temple Athletic Director Arthur Johnson and chairman of the Board of Trustees Mitchell Morgan formally introduced Adam Fisher as the new men’s basketball coach.

A successful recruiter at Miami and Penn State, Fisher looks to bring a new culture to Temple. | NATE PULLANO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Adam Fisher was formally introduced as Temple’s new men’s basketball coach by Vice President and Athletic Director Arthur Johnson and chairman of the Board of Trustees Mitchell Morgan Wednesday afternoon in the Fox-Gittis Room at The Liacouras Center. 

“The tradition and pride of being one of the top 10 programs of all time was a huge factor for me to be here,” Fisher said. “I wanted to be here. We are going to bring energy and excitement to everything we do.”

Fisher was officially hired as Temple’s 19th head basketball coach on March 29. Fisher, who was an assistant coach at Miami from 2015-2021, spent the last two seasons as the associate head coach at Penn State, helping lead the Nittany Lions to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2011. 

After former head coach Aaron McKie stepped down on March 13, Johnson and the department began a nationwide search for a coach that could lead the Owls back to a nationally recognized level.

“I reached out to people in the basketball world and I talked about things I was looking for,” Johnson said. “Number one, I was looking for a good person.  A good person that will make sure [players] will go to class and follow the rules. I wanted a proven evaluator, a great recruiter and a developer of talent.”

Johnson said he heard great things about Fisher from everyone he reached out to, including Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga. Johnson spoke to Larrañaga the day before the Hurricane’s Elite 8 game against Texas on March 26, he said.

Prior to serving Penn State and Miami, Fisher served as a graduate assistant at Villanova from 2007-2009 and the director of basketball operations at Boston University from 2009-2011. 

Fisher promised to heavily recruit high school players from Philadelphia and the surrounding area while working to retain former Temple players who are in the transfer portal like guards Damian Dunn, Khalif Battle and Hysier Miller and forwards Zach Hicks and Jamille Ryenolds.

“We are going to recruit our tails off in the city,” Fisher said. ‘We are gonna be out there, we are going to be relentless. We are going to identify talent early, and then we gotta get them to campus. We need them here.”

With Dunn and Battle, the Owls’ two highest scoring players from last season, opting to enter the transfer portal and their return to Temple unlikely, Fisher admitted that the Owls will need to change their style of play.

Last season, Penn State led the Big 10 Conference in three-point field goals with 385 made threes, 100 more than Michigan State who was second in the conference.

“We’re gonna shoot a lot of threes,” Fisher said. “This year at Penn State we set the record at Penn State for most threes and a Big 10 record and we are about to do that in the AAC.”

Fisher promised that he would get Temple — who has not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 2019 and has struggled with attendance in recent seasons — back to the tournament and sell out The Liacouras Center. 

“We are gonna work hard, we’re gonna have fun and we are gonna be disciplined,” Fisher said. “We are going to play meaningful games in March. If you give me that, I will do everything I can to make sure you hear your name on Selection Sunday.”

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