This post was first published a few days after Al Golden's first sit-down interview as a Temple head coach and it was Channel 3 Sports Director Beasley Reece who pulled off the coup. ... in the middle of this recruiting stretch drive, it bears repeating today ...
By Mike Gibson
A former big-time college and later NFL player, Beasley Reece has seen his share of pitches from the best recruiters.
So Reece, the sports director at KYW-TV Channel 3, knew what questions to ask and what answers a prospective recruit would want to hear during a Christmas Night interview with new Temple football coach Al Golden.
Reece asked, then listened.
When it was over, he took a deep breath and said
That spoke volumes.
What he did next in front of millions of potential viewers spoke even more.
"Coach, you sold me," Reece said, reaching out to shake Golden's hand. "Where do I sign?"
Golden broke out into a big smile.
"We'd love to have you."
One member of the crusty, mostly anti-Temple-football, Philadelphia media.
Selling the kids should be easy by comparison.
There are plenty of good reasons for a potential football recruit to attend Temple.
Here are just 10:
10. Facilities. Without question, the top facilities
for a prospective football athlete in the Mid-American Conference. A chance to play
in the best stadium in America, the $521 million
Lincoln Financial Field. A chance to practice in a
relatively new Edberg-Olson Complex, a $7 million
facility that includes weight rooms, locker rooms,
football offices and a brand new $500,000 spongy sprinturf field.
9. City. Philadelphia has been called the “next great
American city” by National Geographic Magazine. That
is particularly true for college-age kids. The city is
alive with nightlife, particularly in hotbed areas
like South Street and Manyunk. Philadelphia, along
with other great college towns like San Diego, Calif.,
and Austin, Texas, is so hot that it was chosen as a
Mecca for a Real World series on MTV. The young, hip producers MTV employs are paid a lot of money to pick the right towns for this series and they don't make mistakes. As Paris Hilton
would say, that’s hot. So is Philly.
8. Campus. Over a $1 billion in investment in
buildings and infrastructure on the main Temple campus in the last 10 years alone. Peter J. Liacouras’ dream of a “Temple Town” is becoming a reality. There’s the
elegant Conwell Inn on campus, offering the amenities of a great hotel. There’s a terrific campus bar and restaurant in the Draught Horse. There’s an understated bar in Max's on Liacouras Walk. And there are 10,000 students living on campus, making it
come alive at night with excitement.
7. Academics. Temple has a solid reputation
academically and from that standpoint alone is the most prestigious university in the Mid-American Conference. Its Fox Business School is ranked in the top 10 in the nation in several categories and its School of Communications and Theater is ranked in the
top 10 in America. Temple is the 6th largest educator
of professionals in the United States. Its School of
Dentistry is considered the best in the East. U.S. News and World Report in its December, 2005 issue rated Temple University as the "most desirable destination school" among any urban school in the nation, beating out such high-profile schools as Boston College, UCLA and USC. It said Temple's location so close to downtown Philadelphia was one of its greatest appeals to "regular" students. It cited 2004 figures showing Temple had the most applications of any school in the nation from suburban students seeking a city experience. According, the report added, Temple had a higher rate of applications to available spots than any non-Ivy League school in the nation. Heady stuff, no pun intended.
6. Networking. With over 250,000 mostly professional
alumni living within short driving distance of the
school, there are numerous opportunities to network
with alumni already working in the student’s chosen
5. Fourth-largest media market offers a successful
Temple team opportunity for national recognition. A
winning Temple football team could easily become the
national “feel good” story of the year, much like the
recent “feel good” story that St. Joseph’s University
basketball has become. Chance for local media recognition.
4. Youthful, enthused, coaching staff. It is a coaching staff that relates well and communicates well with kids, excited about its new journey from the bottom of the world to the top.
3. Beautiful women and girls. Lots of them at any school with over 30,000 full-time students, especially at Temple, where 55 percent of the student, err, body is women. They could have gone anywhere; they chose Temple. Great college town experience, somewhat like Boston. Plenty of women not only at Temple, but at Penn, Drexel, Villanova, St. Joseph's, LaSalle and Phladelphia University.
2. Television coverage. Most of the games will be on
TV and many of the MAC games will be on ESPN. Believe it or not, notwithstanding the last 15 years, Temple football has had a great tradition with long stretches of success and any current recruits would be the foundation for restoring that greatness. There is a fan base of 250,000 current Temple University alumni living in the metropolitian area, plus 30,000 full-time students dying for a reason to support their football team again. Winning would give them that reason. Watch how fast the Linc fills up if it happens. You can book it.
1. Transportation hub. A short drive from anywhere on the population-rich East Coast. Easy to get to by train, bus or plane. Easy for family and friends to watch any Owl home game. Philadelphia is a great
place to visit, an easy place to get to and there is
no more fan-friendly stadium than Lincoln Financial
Temple. It just makes more and more sense to become an Owl.