Top 10 Sports stories of 2021

Temple University had 12 different sports and 16 teams to manage in Spring 2021, but with emphasis on COVID-19 vaccines and implementing new testing policies, Temple Athletics returned to a normal fall season in Fall 2021.

Temple University men's basketball head coach Aaron McKie signals to his players during the Owls' game against the University of Houston at the Liacouras Center on Jan. 23. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

1. John Chaney: Temple University’s Greatest Coach

By Dante Collinelli 

On Jan. 29, former Temple men’s basketball head coach John Chaney died at age 89 due to a short illness. Chaney coached the Owls from 1982 to 2006, bringing Temple to the NCAA Tournament 17 times. He retired with a coaching record of 516-253 and a winning percentage of .671.  

2. Temple Athletics’ spring sports motto is ‘be flexible’

Temple women’s volleyball head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam huddles the team together before a break during practice at McGonigle Hall on Sept. 4, 2019.| MASON ROMERO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

By Isabella DiAmore

To start off the Spring 2021 semester, Temple University Athletics balanced fall and spring sports beginning their respective regular seasons after the fall season was postponed due to the spread of COVID-19. In total, they managed 12 different sports and 16 teams. Their biggest hurdle was instituting testing policies, scheduling games at different times and making sure each sport had an athletic trainer.  

3. Stan Drayton named football head coach

Stan Drayton, newly-appointed head coach of Temple University football, holds a jersey with his last name on it in the Fox-Gittis room at the Liacouras Center on Dec. 16. | ZAMANI FEELINGS/TEMPLE ATHLETICS / COURTESY

By Isabella DiAmore and Nick Gangewere

Stan Drayton, Texas’ former running backs coach, was named Temple football’s head coach on Dec. 15. Temple fired head football coach Rod Carey on Nov. 29 after three seasons with the team and a 12-20 record as head coach. Before coaching at Texas, Drayton was the running backs coach for the NFL’s Chicago Bears from 2015-16. 

4. Temple men’s basketball grapples with frequent schedule changes

Temple University men’s basketball players and staff sit on the side of the court during the Owls’ game against Tulane University at the Liacouras Center on Jan. 31. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

By Adam Aaronson

Before Temple men’s basketball season even started, the team faced obstacles sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The most prevalent problem was the constant adjustments to the Owls’ schedule, with seven games postponed and one canceled. Temple never gained strong footing as a team and finished the season 5-11. 

5. Back in the stands: Temple athletes’ families return to outdoor games

Fans watch the Temple University women’s field hockey game against Providence College at Howarth Field on March 27. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

​​By Isabella DiAmore

Beginning March 10, a limited number of fans were permitted to attend outdoor sporting events at the Temple Sports Complex if they received complimentary tickets from coaches and student-athletes. Temple gave each student-athlete two tickets, while coaches were given four tickets. This was the first time fans were allowed back at games since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

6. Temple names Arthur Johnson as athletics director

Temple University has announced Arthur Johnson, a former member of the athletics senior leadership team at the University of Texas, as Vice President and Director of Athletics at Temple in a media conference in the Fox Gittis room inside the Liacouras Center on Oct. 7. | AMBER RITSON / THE TEMPLE NEWS

By Nick Gangewere

Arthur Johnson, a former University of Texas veteran administrator, was named Temple’s new vice president and athletic director on Oct. 7. Johnson served in the role of senior associate athletics director for administration and operations at Texas since 2014. 

7. Temple University supports student-athletes through NIL

Arashma Parks, a sophomore forward, waits for a ball to shoot during practice at the Liacouras Center on Nov. 4. | AMBER RITSON / TEMPLE NEWS

By Nick Gangewere

On July 1, all three divisions of the NCAA adopted an interim policy allowing college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. Temple Athletics has operated NIL by using outside vendors to educate athletes and staff alike about creating their own brand, as well as helping oversee the NIL deals by keeping track of each student-athletes’ involvement. 

8. Temple Athletics emphasizes COVID-19 vaccines

Kevin Addison, associate director for athletic training, talks with tennis head coach Steve Mauro during the men’s tennis match against Fairleigh Dickinson University at the TU Pavilion on March 11. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / FILE

By Isabella DiAmore

After Temple required all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, student-athletes who were unvaccinated had to adjust to a new routine which included weekly testing requirements. All student-athletes and coaches were required to get vaccinated unless they received a medical or religious exemption. 

9. Temple crew awaits for their boathouse return

Temple University’s crew boathouse experienced water damage due to a storm from Sept. 1. | TEMPLE ATHLETICS / COURTESY

By Chris Duong

After four feet of water flooded their boathouse during Tropical Storm Ida on Sept. 1, Temple crew needed to repair hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to their dock, boat launches and boat shells, which kept the team from practicing. 

10. Owls’ volleyball coach let go for the 2022 season

In a press release, Temple University has announced that volleyball head coach Baker Ganesharatnam’s contract will not be renewed for the 2022 season. This announcement comes after the Owls’ volleyball season comes to an end 7-24 record. | AMBER RITSON / TEMPLE NEWS

By Valerie Pendrak

Temple announced on Nov. 29 they would not renew women’s volleyball head coach Bakeer Ganesharatnam’s contract for the 2022 season. Ganesharatnam coached 11 seasons with the Owls and recorded an overall record of 173-144. The Owls finished the 2021 season with a 7-24 record. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.