The progress Temple has made in 10 years under athletic director Bill Bradshaw can be traced to the day he introduced his previous head football coach, on Dec. 23, 2010.
"My message is make it a destination to be at Temple. Don't be passing through," Steve Addazio said then. "I've been a lot of places and had some opportunities before that weren't right. But now I'm honestly living my dream."
With Addazio, like most in the Big East, moving to the ACC as Boston College's new head coach, can Bradshaw continue a string of successful hires?
One can hardly fault Addazio for the jump, as the highly energetic Connecticut native seems a natural fit for re-storing some pride into an Eagles program that fell on hard times under Frank Spaziani.
Addazio got that chance after a 9-4 debut season with the Owls in 2011, culminating with its first bowl win in 32 years. And he got it after the program's steady rise earned it a spot in the Big East, where Temple surpassed any and all expectations by winning two conference games after a quick turnaround, a quirky schedule and a roster comprised of MAC-recruited players.
The hire of Al Golden five years earlier helped set the foundation for this program's rise, something Addazio carried. Now Bradshaw is tasked with finding someone with the same amount of energy, and an up-and-comer who is ready to sustain this growing team's success, make it a contender in the ever-changing Big East and maybe even make Temple a destination, or at least more of one than it is now.
"Steve Addazio has done a tremendous job with Temple Football in his two years at the University, and we wish him nothing but the best," Bradshaw said Tuesday in a released statement. "Temple Football has never been stronger, and I am confident we will be able to attract a high-level pool of candidates for the position and the program will continue its upward momentum.”
Temple announced that a national search for Addazio's replacement will begin immediately. That newcomer could be in for a rude awakening come Game 1 of the new era, as the Owls kick off next season at Notre Dame, which could be the defending national champions.