Big East Spring Football Primer: Temple Owls

Matt Brown of the Temple Owls is tackled by Demetrius Hartsfield of the Maryland Terrapins during their Sept. 24, 2011 game at at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md. (Rob Carr/Getty Images).

The Temple Owls are gearing up again for a Big East schedule. Having been a football-only member from 1991-2004, the football program is set to begin anew in the conference this fall (the remaining sports teams, playing now in the Atlantic-10, will join the Big East in 2013).

Since its departure from the Big East, the Owls football team played as an independent for two seasons before joining the Mid-American Conference. Temple finished the 2011 MAC season with a 9-4 record under first-year head coach Steve Addazio, including a 37-15 New Mexico Bowl victory over the Wyoming Cowboys.

Currently, Temple plays its home games at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Temple was founded in 1884 (in northern Philadelphia) and fielded its first football team 10 years later. The famous Glenn "Pop" Warner ended his head coaching career going 31-18-2 from 1933-38. Among Temple alumni who played in the NFL are Joe Klecko, Tre Johnson and Raheem Brock.

Temple has some notable prospects hoping to be selected in the NFL draft later this month: RB Bernard Pierce, TE Evan Rodriguez, LB Tahir Whitehead and DE Morkeith Brown. The latter had an unusual path to Temple.

Steve Addazio took the reins from Al Golden at the start of last season. Previously Addazio had been the offensive coordinator for the Florida Gators. A Connecticut native, he has a long coaching history in the high school and college ranks.

Super scout Tom Lemming is familiar with Addazio as a coach and an exceptional recruiter:

"He should have been a head coach long before he got to Temple," Lemming said. "Wherever he was, he was one of the premier recruiters at that school. He's taken Temple and embraced it and hit the ground running. He knew exactly what to do. He's a motivator, a personality, and a very hard worker."

As it readies for Big East play, Temple recently added a new associate head coach and quarterbacks coach, Kevin Rogers. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:

[Rogers] coached Marvin Graves and Donovan McNabb at Syracuse, and as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame in 1999, his offense set a school single-season passing mark. But his coaching success isn't limited to the college ranks. Rogers coached Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson during five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks.

"He is without a doubt one of the best offensive football minds in professional and collegiate football," Temple coach Steve Addazio said of his friend. "His track record ... speaks for itself.

He'll work with QB Chris Coyer, who assumed the starting role last year as a sophomore. Former Penn State quarterback Kevin Newsome will transfer to Temple in the fall and could challenge Coyer for the starting role.

Heading into the spring the Owls will be happy to get back the services of center Sean Boyle who has missed two season with multiple shoulder surgeries.

Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias for news and commentary on Temple and the rest of Big East Conference football teams year round.

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