Florida coordinator considered for Temple football job

Steve Addazio has helped Florida win two national titles.
Steve Addazio has helped Florida win two national titles.
Posted: December 21, 2010

University of Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio was in town Monday to talk to Temple about replacing Al Golden as football coach, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Golden, who guided Temple to an 8-4 finish this season, accepted the job at Miami last week.

Addazio, 51, worked at Florida under Urban Meyer, who will coach his last game for the Gators in the Jan. 1 Outback Bowl against Joe Paterno and Penn State. A spokesman for the Florida athletic department said Addazio was expected to work the bowl game.

While the search goes on for the next Temple coach, the Owls have lost at least one promising recruit to Golden and his Hurricanes: Olsen Pierre, a 6-foot-61/2, 280-pound defensive end who had nine sacks for Fork Union Military Academy (Va.) in the fall.

Golden called Pierre two days after taking over at Miami. Pierre visited Miami last weekend, and it was all over.

As to what might have changed Pierre's mind, John Schuman, his coach at Fork Union, said, "The bright lights, the Atlantic Coast Conference, South Beach. And he liked Al and the way he presented himself. He went down to Miami and said, 'This is it.' "

Pierre's four Fork Union teammates who gave oral commitments to Temple - defensive tackle Hershey Walton, wide receiver Antonio Belt, linebacker Nate Smith, and all-purpose back Desmond Coble - will remain future Owls, according to Schuman.

Addazio, a native of Farmington, Conn., was part of the staff at Florida during the program's glory years under Meyer. Addazio was offensive line and tight ends coach when the Gators won the national championship in 2006. When the team won the title again in '08, Addazio was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

Florida's new coach, Will Muschamp, has said he wants to hire an offensive coordinator with college and professional experience. Addazio has made college stops at Syracuse (1995-98), Notre Dame (1999-2001), and Indiana (2002-04), but he has not coached at the professional level.

Two other offensive coordinators have been mentioned in connection with the Temple job. They are Matt Rhule, who called the plays for Golden over the last three seasons, and Frank Cignetti Jr. of Pittsburgh. The Panthers also have a new head coach in Michael Haywood, and Cignetti is not guaranteed to return after the resignation of Dave Wannstedt. Cignetti's brother, Curt Cignetti, is the wide receivers coach at Alabama and was believed to be a finalist for the Kent State job, which went to Ohio State assistant Darrell Hazell on Monday.

A spokesman at Pitt said that as of Monday, no decision had been made regarding who will coach the Panthers when they play Kentucky in the Compass Bowl on Jan. 8 in Birmingham, Ala. Cignetti could get the call if Wannstedt decides not to lead Pitt in that game.

Temple also is believed to have interest in Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit, a Sharon Hill native whose squad went 6-6, and along with the Owls, was one of two bowl-eligible teams that were snubbed this year. New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell's name also has come up.

Schuman, Pierre's Fork Union coach, first saw Pierre at a combine at Temple while Golden was coach. The native of Rahway, N.J., also was recruited out of high school by Connecticut, Rutgers, and Boston College. But he didn't qualify academically and attended Fork Union, where he has shored up his grades enough to enroll at Miami in January.

At Fork Union, Pierre also heard from Syracuse, Louisville, Tennessee, and Baylor, among others.

National signing day is Feb. 2.


Contact staff writer Kevin Tatum at 215-854-2583 or ktatum@phillynews.com.

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