Temple fires coach Rod Carey after 3 seasons

·2 min read

Temple has fired head coach Rod Carey.

Carey completed his third season with the school with a 38-14 loss to Navy on Saturday, a loss that gave the Owls a 3-9 record for the season. Temple opened the season 3-2 but then lost seven straight to close out the year. During that seven-game losing streak, the Owls were outscored 299-59.

"It's never an easy decision to replace a head coach," Temple athletic director Arthur Johnson said. "The past two seasons have not been easy with the challenges of the pandemic. I want to thank Rod for staying committed to our student-athletes and wish him and his family well in their next chapter."

Carey amassed a 12-20 record over his three seasons at Temple. The Owls went 8-5 in his first season, but the team went a combined 4-15 with a 2-13 mark in AAC play over the past two seasons. Several of Temple’s top players have transferred to Power Five programs in recent seasons, including Quincy Roche (Miami), Arnold Ebiketie (Penn State) and Anthony Russo (Michigan State). Temple’s 2020 season was also derailed by COVID-19 issues.

"I'm thankful to Temple University and the Temple community for my time here," Carey said. "I wish all the student-athletes nothing but success in their lives moving forward. There is a great nucleus of young players here and I'm anxious to watch them play. I will certainly be an Owls fan going forward."

Temple head coach Rod Carey looks on during the second half of an NCAA college football against Houston, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Philadelphia. Houston won 37-8. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Temple head coach Rod Carey looks on during the second half against Houston on Nov. 13, 2021, in Philadelphia. Houston won 37-8. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

Carey wasn’t Temple’s initial choice when he was hired in January 2019. The university first hired Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. However, Diaz went back to Miami as head coach only a few weeks later when Mark Richt retired.

From there, Temple pivoted and hired Carey, who had spent the previous six seasons as the head coach at Northern Illinois. Carey had a 52-30 record at NIU, including two MAC titles. But he could not replicate that success at Temple.

Temple posted back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016 under Matt Rhule, but things started to trend downward for the program when Rhule left for Baylor. Rhule has since become the head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

The Owls had winning seasons in 2017 and 2018 under Geoff Collins, but he left after just two seasons for the Georgia Tech job.

Temple brought in Johnson, a longtime Texas administrator, as its new athletic director in October. Now he will be tasked with his first major hire to get the football program back on track. 

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