Hall of Fame coach Wayne Hardin dies at 91

Hardin coached the Owls from 1970-82, leading the program to its first bowl win and 10-win season.

Former coach Wayne Hardin died Wednesday at the age of 91 after suffering a massive stroke on Tuesday, according to a university release.

Hardin coached the Owls from 1970-82 and is the program’s all-time wins leader. He led the 1979 squad to the program’s first bowl win and its first 10-win season, a mark that wasn’t matched until the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Hardin posted an 80-52-3 record at Temple and 118-74-5 record overall.

Hardin, a 1994 Temple Hall of Fame inductee and 2013 College Football Hall of Fame honoree, remained involved with the program after his retirement. He attended the team’s alumni festivities on Saturday and was on the field for the coin toss before Temple’s American Athletic Conference title win against Navy, where he coached from 1959-64.

“Wayne Hardin is synonymous with Temple Football,” Athletic Director Patrick Kraft said in a university release. “He was a giant of a man, who touched so many lives not only as a Hall of Fame coach but as an ambassador for the University. His love for life was only surpassed by his love for his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.”

Hardin coached several future professionals at both Temple and Navy, including Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach. At Temple, he coached Joe Klecko, who made four Pro Bowls with the New York Jets and quarterback Steve Joachim, who won the 1974 Maxwell Award — given to the best all-around player each year.

Hardin is one of three former Owls to earn induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

“It was an absolute honor having him at Alumni Day this past Saturday with his former players who were able to show how much love and respect they have for their legendary coach,” coach Geoff Collins said. “He will be greatly missed within this community and all across college football.”

Evan Easterling can be reached at evan.easterling@temple.edu or on Twitter @Evan_Easterling. Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews and @TTN_Sports.

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