With a new job and loads of confidence, Eric Mobley is ready to go.
After coming off a successful four-season run that included 16 conference championships with the Division III College of New Jersey, Mobley was named the coach of both the men’s and women’s track and field teams.
“I’m looking to bring that same success and attitude,” Mobley said. “We were able to dominate our conference and do very well at the national level.”
While Mobley may be the new coach, this is not his first coaching gig at Temple, as he was an assistant coach during the 2002-2004 seasons. In addition, Mobley was an assistant for La Salle and Akron before stepping foot on Temple’s campus.
Having prior experience with the university was helpful when he applied for the coaching position. On top of being able to work in the city where he grew up, Mobley also brought new ideas on how to help athletes academically and athletically.
“It’s close to home and I’m a Philly guy,” he said.
To help the team improve, Mobley plans to bring in a winning culture and a new sense of team unity, which was what he had at The College of New Jersey.
He credits that kind of atmosphere as a key reason for the teams’ success.
“It was a family-type atmosphere,” Mobley said. “Just like any family, you have differences, but when it was time to come together, everybody had each other’s backs.”
Moving from Division III to Division I was not that difficult for the Owls’ new coach, since the differences between the two levels mostly involve the amount of paperwork, scholarship opportunities given to students and the level of athletic talent.
“Not everyone can be a Division I athlete,” Mobley said.
There is also the difference in philosophies that Division I and Division III schools have regarding athletic programs. Division III schools emphasize participation, while Division I schools are more result and competition oriented.
“I had seven years of Division I coaching experience prior to being a Division III head coach,” Mobley said. “So it’s not that big of a transition.”
Mobley has met with the majority of the members on the teams and has seen some of their potential by watching a few meets.
“I have inherited a very solid team. There is a lot of potential to do some really good things at the [Atlantic Ten Conference] level and at the NCAA regional level,” he said.
Throughout his career, Mobley has produced 61 all-American athletes. While he has seen some Temple athletes that have the talent to possibly succeed at the national level, it is still a daunting task to become an all-American athlete at the Division I level.
For Mobley, “being a Division I all-American is tough.”
“You have to be in the top eight out of every Division I program in the country,” he added.
Mobley is confident that his teams can turn their talent and potential into actual results, not only in the A-10, but in the national competitions as well.
He is looking to turn these teams into serious contenders for the A-10 title and a shot at national success.
“Our goal is to make a push at the regional and national level,” Mobley said. “This is going to be one of the better programs in the country. You just have to give us some time.”
Brian Dzenis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.