Addazio: Temple can be Boise State of East Coast

Temple football coach Steve Addazio said the Owls "can be the Boise [State] of the East Coast." (Alejandro A. Alvarez/Staff file photo)

Steve Addazio came across just the way Temple followers expected he would.

The Owls first-year coach appeared confident and eager to start the season during Wednesday’s interview on ESPN’s College Football Live.

ESPN’s Anish Shroff asked the former Florida offensive coordinator several questions during a pre-recorded segment that lasted about four minutes. Addazio talked about the state of Temple’s program, expectations, advice from former Florida coach Urban Meyer and recruiting.

Here’s a portion of the interview:

Shroff: This Temple job is much different when taking it now opposed to the job description when it was open about five years ago.

Addazio:  There’s no question. [Former Temple coach] Al Golden just did a great job at Temple and resurrected the program. Of course, it had a great history before. Coach [Wayne] Hardin had some great years there. But Al did a great job bringing it back and getting us really jump-started in the [Mid-American] Conference.

Shroff: When you interviewed there and talked to folks there, what where the expectations?

Addazio: Well, the expectations are to continue the program to grow, to win the East [Division], to win a MAC [title], to win a bowl game. And uh, we really feel like Temple can be the Boise [State] of the East Coast. We really feel like that [Temple] is just a phenomenal place, a great sports town.

Shroff: When you were going through the process and interviewing with Temple, what was the best piece of advice [Meyer] gave you?

Addazio: Be yourself. Be true to yourself.  I’m a passionate guy and you know don’t change. Be who you are. And be real. And that’s something I really focus on.

Shroff: What’s the best piece of advice he gave you after you took the job?

Addazio: Balance. Maintain a balance.  That’s what I’ve done. I try to really enjoy it.

Shroff: Recruiting was your forte. It has been. You have been known as a great recruiter. How is recruiting different now that you’re not recruiting kids who probably will end up in the NFL? How is different at Temple than it was at Florida?

Addazio:  Really no different. In fact, we just had a first-round draft pick in Muhammad Wilkerson.  We had a second-round pick in Jaiquawn Jarrett. And we probably have four other guys that are going to be free agents in the NFL. We are at a point right now where we are in there recruiting great players. And it’s all about relationships, building relationships and keeping strong bonds with high school coaches. So it has been fantastic.

Shroff: Philadelphia is great sports city. How do you get Temple to be more prominent in the fabric there?

Addazio: I just think it’s continue to bring good football into Philly. Philly is the best sports town in America. And it’s a great city. They have a passion for football. We need to be a part of the culture. You know, Friday night it’s high school football. Sunday it’s the Eagles. And Saturday it is going to be Temple.

I must admit, after hearing his interview, yours truly is eager to see what Addazio does this season. Being the Boise State of the East Coast will be a tough task. But I love his confidence.

-       Keith Pompey