Top 10 sports stories of 2019

The Temple News covered a coaching search for Temple football, the departure of former basketball coach Fran Dunphy and the struggle to fill seats at sporting events.

Coach Fran Dunphy gives instructions to his team following a timeout during Temple’s 81-70 loss to Belmont University in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

1. Temple introduces Rod Carey as football coach

By Evan Easterling

Coach Rod Carey addresses reporters during his introductory press conference on Friday at the Liacouras Center. | LUKE SMITH / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Following Geoff Collins’ departure for Georgia Tech in December 2018, Temple hired Manny Diaz to replace him. Diaz left Temple 18 days later and took the head coach position at the University of Miami. Temple received more applications in the second search, ultimately hiring Rod Carey from Northern Illinois University. Carey just finished the first season of a six-year contract. He went 8-5 overall and 5-3 in The American Athletic Conference games.

2. With attendance down nationwide, Temple Athletics works to fill seats

By Evan Easterling, Mike Zingrone and Sam Neumann

Then-graduate defensive tackle Michael Dogbe strip sacks Cincinnati then-freshman quarterback Desmond Ridder during the Owls’ 24-17 win on Oct. 20, 2018 at Lincoln Financial Field. | GENEVA HEFFERNAN / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple Athletics is finding it difficult to fill the stadiums at its ticketed sporting events. While football ticket sales have gone up, men’s and women’s basketball haven’t seen the same growth. Temple football played in front of sellout crowds twice in 2015, against Penn State and Notre Dame, and the Athletics Department has received feedback that lesser opponents lead to lower interest in attending.

3. Dunphy ‘at peace’ after coaching final Temple men’s basketball game

By Evan Easterling

Coach Fran Dunphy gives instructions to his team following a timeout during Temple’s 81-70 loss to Belmont University in the First Four of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

In Spring 2018, Temple men’s basketball coach Fran Dunphy’s future became a topic of interest. With only one appearance in the NCAA Tournament in five seasons, some Temple fans wanted Dunphy fired. At the end of March 2018, Temple announced that Dunphy’s 13th season would be his last and assistant coach Aaron McKie would take over.

Dunphy’s final game as head coach was a First Four loss, his eighth time coaching in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the loss, Dunphy expressed gratitude and fulfillment with his career.

4. Aaron McKie prepares for his first game as coach

By Jay Neemeyer

Temple men’s basketball coach Aaron McKie instructs his players during practice at the Liacouras Center on Oct. 29. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Aaron McKie joined the Temple men’s basketball coaching staff in 2014, 20 years after his collegiate time as an Owl ended. He was an assistant for five years and was named the successor to Fran Dunphy in Spring 2018. McKie called the position his “dream job” and reflected on how Dunphy and John Chaney have guided him.

5. Temple field hockey captains describe frustration, confusion following Kent State call-off decision

By Jay Neemeyer

Temple field hockey coach Susan Ciufo watches from the sideline during the team’s home opener against Merrimack on Aug. 30. Ciufo and her team were not allowed to finish their game against University of Maine on Saturday at Kent State. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

On Sep. 7, Temple field hockey played a morning game against the University of Maine at Kent State University. The scoreless game was about to begin its second sudden-victory overtime when Kent State officials called the game off. Maine field hockey’s Twitter account stated that there was a fireworks display, scheduled for the Golden Flashes’ football game, at the adjacent stadium, which needed to begin setup. The game’s cancellation caused controversy, but players said they were hopeful that the game would be considered a tie for NCAA rankings purposes.

6. Pierre-Louis brothers bring defensive skill to Temple basketball

By Alex McGinley

Junior guard Nate Pierre-Louis (left) wraps his arm around his brother, freshman guard Josh Pierre-Louis, during practice at the Liacouras Center on Oct. 29. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Josh Pierre-Louis originally planned to play at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. When the coach who had recruited him was fired, he reopened his recruitment. Two weeks later, he announced his commitment to Temple.

His decision made program history: he would join his older brother Nate Pierre-Louis and the two would become the first brother pair to play on the same roster. The brothers reflected on what it meant to them to be teammates for the first time since high school.

7. Rower pursues photography out of the water

By Jay Neemeyer

Jacob Bucko, a junior communication studies major and a men’s crew team member, holds his camera on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near Broad Street on Oct. 7. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

8. Temple Swedish tackle has solidified himself as starter

Dante Collinelli

Sophomore offensive lineman Isaac Moore (right) celebrates with redshirt-junior long snapper Travis Malinowski after the Owls’ win over Maryland at Lincoln Financial Field on Sept. 14, 2019. | JUSTIN OAKES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

When coach Rod Carey saw that sophomore offensive lineman Isaac Moore was from Orebro, Sweden, he was surprised. Moore is one of two offensive linemen from Sweden on the team. Temple has the only two football-playing Swedes in the American Athletic Conference. 

Moore said that American college football players are much faster than the men he played against in Sweden.

9. Skilled Temple freshman golfer ‘upbeat’ on the course

By Winston Harris

Freshman golfer Danny Nguyen hits the ball at the first tee during the City 6 golf tournament at Huntingdon Valley Country Club on Nov. 9. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Danny Nguyen has an impressive golfing history prior to becoming a collegiate athlete. Nguyen played with the Vietnam National Team only a few years after beginning to play at 11-years-old. While still a teenager, he moved to Florida to attend a preparatory school with a prestigious boys’ golf program.

After a visit during his senior year, he decided he wanted to play golf at Temple. During the fall, he appeared in more tournaments than several senior players.

10. Virtual Reality helps Temple Lacrosse improve on-field vision

By Jay Neemeyer

Sophomore goalkeeper Olivia Martin wears an Oculus Go virtual reality headset in the locker room at the Temple Sports Complex on Feb. 28. | HEATHER WENTZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Coach Bonnie Rosen is open to blending technology with physical coaching. In Fall 2018, she added Virtual Reality training to the team’s offseason schedule. Her aim is to improve the players’ peripheral vision and reaction times even off the field. 

Players can also review game film, see the areas they need to improve and scout upcoming opponents with the technology.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.