Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bradshaw's retiring a sad day for Temple football

"Now, Steve, you aren't going to leave me after a couple of years, are you?"

The Catholic Church requires three documented Miracles in order for to qualify for Sainthood.
By those standards, Bill Bradshaw is a Temple football Saint.
TFF and Bradshaw through the years:
A compilation of stories on Temple Football Forever mentioning Bill Bradshaw through the years.
That's why the news of Bradshaw retiring today (effective June 30) is truly a sad day for the program.
When the 2005 Temple president, David Adamany, formed a committee to "determine the future of Temple football" it was with one goal in mind:
To kill the program.
In December of that year, Adamany put the committee together and said "once their report is completed, it will be made public."
Bill puts the myth
of Temple making up
attendance figures to rest.

That report was never made public because the outcome was not the one Adamany wanted or expected.
The Board of Trustees, led by then Chairman Howard Gittis, voted to keep football and strengthen it.
Behind the scene, Bradshaw worked the room for the "pro-football" people.
By the time the vote was in, he was exhausted.
"I didn't know what the outcome would be, but football was saved by one vote," Bradshaw said.
Miracle No. 1?
Then football was saved again by one trip Bradshaw made to talk to Virginia defensive coordinator Al Golden.
Bradshaw brought with him a yellow legal pad.
When he got out of the meeting, he had four words written on the notepad:
"This is our guy."
Even though the university went through the motions of forming a "football selection committee" Bradshaw steered the committee toward Golden, who was just what Temple needed at the time. A young, energetic football surgeon who would spend 80 hours a week, sleeping at 10th and Diamond if necessary, to resuscitate a dying patient.
"I'm going to build a house of brick, not straw," said Golden, and he did.
Miracle No. 2?
Getting Temple into the MAC for football was no miracle because the Owls were also being courted by Conference USA at the time, but getting the Owls out certainly qualifies.
When no power conference wanted Temple, Bradshaw pulled the Big East rabbit out of his hat by working the phones and commissioners on TU's behalf. The signature moment that forced the Big East's hand might have been a Sunday trip Bradshaw and  then president Ann Weaver Hart made to the Conference USA convention in Dallas.
Thinking Temple might take the largest available football market to CUSA, the Big East moved fast to lock up the Owls within a week after that reported meeting.
Interesting tweet from Florida's Sharrif Floyd, a No. 1 draft choice.
Sometimes you've got to force the other guy's hand and Bradshaw, a good poker player, knew how to do that.
What happened to the Big East after Temple signed up was beyond Bradshaw's control.
Miracle No. 3?
When Steve Addazio left after two short years after saying Temple was "my dream job" and that "I could see myself staying here the rest of my career" the program faced another crisis.
Hire another name from a big-time program and risk losing him after a year or right a ship that faced the possibility of losing a head coach every year.
Bradshaw thought about it, listened to the players and parents and decided that stability was needed above all at this point and hired Golden disciple Matt Rhule.
Miracle No. 4?
Only if Rhule is able to produce on-field results like Golden was and the early indications are all positive.
There's still time before the Canonization but, in my mind, Bill Bradshaw is a Saint and, thankfully, a living one.

Bill Bradshaw and Temple football 

Negotiated move into MAC
Gave TU opportunity to compete for automatic bowl bids
Hired Al Golden
First bowl appearance by Owls in 30 years, MAC East co-champs (2009), bowl eligible 3 straight years
Hired Steve Addazio
First bowl win in over 30 years
Move to Big East, expanded football facility with $10 million addition
Gave Temple an upgrade in number and quality of possible bowl bids, solidified future recruiting
Hired Matt Rhule
Stabilized a program hemorrhaging head coaches