Report: Interviews for Temple football coaching vacancy to begin this weekend

The university is in the midst of a national search to replace Manny Diaz, who returned to the University of Miami after 18 days as Temple’s coach

Coach Manny Diaz (center) is welcomed at his introductory press conference on Dec. 13 at the Liacouras Center, by President Richard Englert (left) and Athletic Director Patrick Kraft (right). Diaz will leave Temple to return to Miami as its coach, according to reports on Sunday. | MICHAEL ZINGRONE/ THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University is conducting its second football coaching search of the offseason.

The first search ended with Temple hiring former University of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as the 28th coach in program history. Just 18 days later, Mark Richt retired following three seasons with the Hurricanes and Miami bought Diaz out of his contract with Temple and hired him to be its coach.

Temple has about three to four candidates to replace Diaz and is expected to start interviews Friday and continue them through the weekend, the Inquirer reported. A coach will be in place by Jan. 14, when the spring semester begins, at the latest, the Inquirer reported on Jan. 2.

In a press release on Dec. 30, Kraft said he wants a coach who can deliver both excellence and stability. The Owls’ next coach will be the university’s fifth hire since 2010.

During the first coaching search, the Owls reportedly targeted candidates with defensive backgrounds. Including Diaz, Temple interviewed at least five defensive-focused candidates during the first interview process, FootballScoop reported.

The other four Power Five defensive coordinators who reportedly interviewed during the first cycle are the University of Michigan’s Don Brown, the University of Texas’ Todd Orlando, Texas A&M University’s Mike Elko and Ohio State University’s Greg Schiano.

After both Collins and Diaz’s departures, former and current players have advocated for Fran Brown to become the Owls’ next coach.

Diaz hired Brown as the Owls’ co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Brown served as an assistant from 2011-16 at Temple before following former Owls coach Matt Rhule to Baylor University. Brown interviewed for the head coaching position during the first search and is a candidate for the second search, the Inquirer reported.

During his first stint at Temple, Brown recruited junior wide receiver Isaiah Wright and former safety Sean Chandler, according to Wright scored rushing, receiving and special teams touchdowns during the 2018 season, while Chandler earned a spot on the New York Giants’ roster after signing with the team as an undrafted rookie in 2018.

During his short tenure, Diaz received 17 commitments from recruits during the early signing period from Dec. 19 to 21. An NCAA-imposed recruiting dead period for Football Bowl Subdivision coaches lasts until Thursday. They can’t visit schools or have face-to-face contact with players or their parents, but they can call them. Temple can add more players during the regular period, which starts Feb. 6.

As Collins has started shaping his staff at Georgia Tech, he has brought several former Temple coaches with him to Atlanta.

The departees from the Owls’ 2018 staff are offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker, defensive line coach Jim Panagos, offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan, outside linebackers coach Larry Knight, defensive backs coach Nathan Burton, director of operations Scott Wallace and assistant strength and conditioning Ryan Horton.

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