Coming out of high school in 2004, the state of Pennsylvania was well aware of Adam DiMichele, the three-sport phenom from Sto-Rox High School, who had earned first-team All-State honors in baseball, basketball and football.
With a world of opportunities in front of him at collegiate ranks, DiMichele wasn’t sure which path to take.
As a quarterback, DiMichele lit up the high school scene with an aerial attack that broke state passing records that had been held by the likes of NFL Hall of Famers, Joe Montana, Dan Marino and Joe Namath.
After signing a letter of intent to play football at Penn State University as a defensive back, DiMichele backed out of his commitment and elected to attend Okaloosa-Walton College in Niceville, Florida.
Not to put on shoulder pads, place the helmet on his head and strap up his chinstrap, but to instead play baseball as an outfielder and pitcher.
After two years at Okaloosa-Walton, DiMichele realized the bundle of talent he had on the gridiron and transferred to Temple in 2006.
His career under center took off. DiMichele was named team captain for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, and his performance at quarterback helped turn to football program around.
DiMichele finished his Temple career with 5,024 passing yards and propelled himself to fourth on Temple’s passing touchdown leaders after tossing 45.
The man that took DiMichele under his wing was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at the time, Matt Rhule.
“When you’re away from school, I tell these young kids now, one of the coaches sort of becomes your “father-like figure” and he was my father-like figure,” DiMichele said. “He was the guy that I could go to, I can talk to. I’m a huge fan of Rhule. I’m a full time supporter. I love his family. I love what he stands for.”
After professional stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Calgary Stampeders, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Erie Explosion and Philadelphia Soul, DiMichele is back at Temple as a 28-year old graduate offensive assistant after gladly accepting the position from Rhule.
“I’ve gotten a wonderful opportunity from coach Rhule to come back and be a graduate assistant,” DiMichele said. “He was here as my offensive coordinator, my quarterbacks coach for two years. It’s a great opportunity to come and learn from some of the best. We have a bright young staff.
“For me, I’m 28 and I’m still able to communicate,” DiMichele added. “We still fool around a little bit. These guys are up at hours I’ve never stayed up until. I’m trying to stay in their back pocket. It’s great, though. Philadelphia is my second home and I love Temple. I love the people here, the city and I feel right at home.”
As soon as former coach Steve Addazio departed Temple for Boston College, DiMichele let it be known that Rhule, an assistant offensive line coach with the New York Giants, was the perfect candidate to fill the job opening.
DiMichele reiterated what his mentor has said previously: Rhule is here for the long haul.
“He’s is going to be here for the long haul,” DiMichele said. “He has plans in place that if I told you the plans, you wouldn’t believe them. Guys that are here or are listening now, they wouldn’t have a clue what’s going on. He has so many plans in that head of his, that it’s unbelievable.”
After struggling to find stability at the head coaching position over the last decade, it appears the nameplate outside of the coaches’ office at the Edberg-Olson practice facility will read “Matt Rhule” for quite some time.