Former Owls star Rick Brunson to join staff as assistant

The men’s basketball team will bring back former Owls standout Rick Brunson as an assistant coach, per a report Wednesday.

Brunson starred with the Owls under former coach John Chaney in the 1990s and later played professionally for nine different NBA clubs in a nine-year span. He has coached as an assistant on both the college and NBA level, most recently with the Charlotte Bobcats for the 2012-13 season.

As per formal procedure, the job opening was posted on both the NCAA’s career website and Temple’s Human Resources site Tuesday, and should be officially filled within the next month.

NCAA rules limit teams to a maximum of three assistant coaches. As Brunson is set to take an on-bench assistant coaching position, one of the three current assistants will be reassigned.

Brunson expressed interest in the Owls’ head coaching job in the wake of Chaney’s retirement in 2006, fresh off his NBA career.

Brunson’s son, Jalen Brunson, will be a senior at Stevenson High this fall as the nation’s No. 1 point guard in the class of 2015. The 6-foot-1, lefty point man is rated as a five-star recruit by ESPN, and is a top Temple target while also considering Villanova, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.

He was part of a Team USA squad that swiped the Gold Medal at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Americas Under-18 tournament on Tuesday night, averaging 12 points and 5.6 assists in five games.

Alum named to new Athletics posititon

After a stint of nearly three years as the Business Manager for Temple Athletics, the department recently promoted the Temple alum (’08) to Associate Athletics Director for Finance and Administration.

A sport and recreation management major in his time at Temple, Theiss will serve as the Chief Financial Officer of the department, responsible in part for managing the university’s $44 million athletic budget as well as overseeing the athletics business office.

“Tim is an extremely hard worker, and has proven invaluable during his time here at Temple,” Vice President and Athletic Director Kevin Clark said in a statement. “His knowledge of the field, and of the inner-workings of Temple Athletics make him the perfect fit for the position.”

Before hiring on with the department in 2011, Theiss had held positions in the ticket and business offices at Rutgers and Villanova from his graduation in 2008.

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity,” Theiss said, per press release, “and I’m excited to continue working for my alma mater.”

Five Owls featured in Women’s National Championship, Janney coached Eagles to title

Team USA Eagles, led by Owls coach Amanda Janney in her first year as a United States High Performance head coach, took the title at the 2014 Women’s National Championship in Lancaster via a 2-1 shootout win against USA Freedom.

Featuring five players from Temple’s 2013 roster, the championship doubled as a tryout for the 2014-15 U.S. Women’s National Team.

Rising redshirt junior Haley Mitchell was in goal for USA White, along with rising senior Lizzy Millen netminding for USA Freedom.

Forwards Amber Youtz (rising senior) and Katie Foran (rising sophomore) played for USA Courage, while graduate defender Molly Doyle also played for USA Freedom.

Graduate assistant coach Danica Deckard also competed for USA Blue, and Kelly Driscoll served as assistant coach under Janney for the Eagles.

Temple has 12 players on high performance teams this summer, with Doyle, Foran,  Millen, Alyssa Delp, Amanda Fuertsch, Paige Gross, Nicole Kroener, Ali Meszaros, Taylor Shronk and Rachel Steinman on the Pennsylvania High Performance Training Squad. Youtz and Mitchell are on the New Jersey Sqaud.

“We’re proud of our players for making the commitment to compete at the next level,” Janney said in a press release. “The high number of Temple players who made [High Performance] teams speaks volumes to this team’s dedication to improve. We want our players to dream about making the USA National team, and HP gives them the opportunity to tryout each year.”

The squad will be returning to Lancaster in the coming months to open up Temple’s 2014 campaign with the Conference Cup Tournament at the end of August.

-Nick Tricome

Men’s soccer releases 2014 schedule

Temple men’s soccer released their schedule for the 2014 fall season on Saturday.

The Owls will begin their season August 19 against Lafayette College at Ambler Sports Complex, a team they did not face last season.

 The opener kicks off a four-game homestand for the Owls, concluding with a match versus Sacramento State on August 31.  Temple finished with a home record of 7-1-2 last season.
After their opening homestand, the Owls will hit the road for four straight matches, starting with one at Penn State on September 5.  Temple finished with an away record of 3-3-2 last year.
The Owls will also face three teams from the Philadelphia Soccer Six this season: Penn and Drexel at home, and La Salle on the road.  Temple earned the title of Philadelphia Soccer Six Team of the Year last year, due in part to a 10-4-4 record, a surprise considering they were picked to finish last in the American Athletic Conference in a preseason poll.
Temple will face seven opponents from last year’s NCAA tournament, including in-state teams Penn State, Penn, and Drexel.  Their conference schedule begins September 27 at home against Cincinnati and continues through the end of the season, excluding a road match against Yale on October 14.

-Steve Bohnel

Player coaches make big impact at football camp

Following an NCAA rule change, student-athletes were permitted to participate in university-affiliated camps for the first time this summer. When asked what the biggest contribution the player coaches were responsible for at their youth football camp on June 22, starting quarterback P.J. Walker made it plain and simple.


“We call it the juice, we bring the energy to the camp. We’ve got guys jumping around like it’s an intense scrimmage. We had guys talking trash at lunch and had a great one-on-one drill because of it,” Walker said.

With a turnout of roughly 200 kids, the camp presented a bevy of players, from 11 year-old Bryant Rhule to heavily recruited upperclassmen.

With camps being held on the same day by numerous local schools including the University of Pittsburgh, Rutgers University and Penn State, getting quantity as well as quality can be a competition.

“There are a lot of one-day camps now, you have to really have a good camp the kids want to come to,” Head Coach Matt Rhule said.

The competition among the players was much greater than the fight for attendance however, most notably when the camp converged into one-on-one drills.

With a dozen player coaches giving pointers and loudly cheering on their respective positions, wide receivers ran routes against defensive backs, as the camp’s quarterbacks alongside Walker tried to find the openings.

The effort in the drill was attributed to the intensity of the player coaches by linebacker Tyler Matakevich.

“We just brought the energy, we tried to get on the guys a little bit,” Matakevich said. “Everyone is here trying to showcase their talent.”

Cornerback Anthony Robey, who attended a Temple football camp during his high school years, got to attend this camp as a redshirt senior player alongside a few of his hometown coaches.

“It was one of the most memorable, fun camps I had been to at the time.” Robey said, “it was really something to be here with some of my old coaches. It’s a nice feeling seeing them come back and acknowledging you. Now, just as they tried to help me get better in high school, I’m trying to help these kids get better as well.”

E.J. Smith can be reached at or on Twitter @ejsmitty17

University to use new property for athletic fields

Shortly after being closed by the School Reform Commission, the former William Penn High School was sold to Temple University for the SRC’s asking price of $15 million. Part of the property, located on N. Broad Street, will be demolished and converted partly into an athletic facility and recreation space.

According to a university statement, the field space will be designated for the soccer and lacrosse teams, a welcome change for the soccer team, which currently travels to the Ambler campus for home games. The remaining space will be used for university intramural and club sports.

The school building itself will remain and be changed into a job-training academy organized by laborer’s union and buying partners the Laborer’s District Council Education and Training/Apprenticeship Fund.

The 4-1 SRC approval of the sale closed any community hope that William Penn would be reopened after being “temporarily” closed in 2009. At the time of closing, then superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman told community members the school would reinvent itself into a career and technical academy for William Penn students in the time of five years.

-E.J. Smith

Television designations and times set for football team

The American Athletic Conference has announced the beginning of the conferences’ television start times and which channel certain games will be aired on during the 2014 season.

The Owls’ game against Houston on October 7 is slated to start at 9 p.m. and aired on ESPNU. Additionally, Temple’s November 7 home game against Memphis will be aired at 7:30 p.m., also on ESPNU.

Against Memphis, the Owls will look to have a similar performance to last year, where they notched their lone conference win in a 41-21 blowout on the road.

The Owls will also play Delaware State on September 20, which will be aired on ESPN3.

In addition to Temple’s televised games, the American boasts six games set to be aired on ABC and/or ESPN including Central Florida’s matchup against conference foe Houston on ESPN and Connecticut’s early September game against non-conference opponent Boise State.

-E.J. Smith

Midfielder Tiernan invited to US National Team Tryout

After a strong sophomore season, Nicole Tiernan has a shot at making the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Tiernan received an invitation, along with 83 other players, to a three-day tryout at Georgetown University from June 13 to 15. Roughly 36 to 40 players will be selected to the squad from there.

The speedy midfielder ranked second on the Owls in scoring, recording 29 goals and four assists in 2014, along with 13 caused turnovers. She was also named to the All-Big East Second Team at the end of the season.

After selections are made, the team will train in preparation for the 2017 Federation of International Lacrosse Women’s World Cup in Surrey, England, where a roster of 18 players will represent the U.S.

“I am so excited for Nicole to have this opportunity,” coach Bonnie Rosen said in a press release. “She is just beginning to realize how great of a lacrosse player she can be and I am thrilled that she will get the chance this weekend to compete against, play with, and learn from the best players in the country.

“I am so proud of Nicole for being willing to go after this dream and I, along with all of her coaches and teammates, wish her the best of luck this weekend,” Rosen added.

The National Team is led by Georgetown head coach Georgetown Ricky Fried, as it looks to go for a third consecutive World Cup title.

This is the first time the team has held tryouts via invite-only.

-Nick Tricome

Temple boathouse lease nearing approval

A little more than five months passed since the crew and rowing teams were set to get the ax this summer along with five additional university varsity sports, the two squads are close to settling into a new home.

The City Planning Commission unanimously approved a February plan to invest $5.5 million for renovations on the East Park Canoe House on Tuesday, and have the Temple crew and rowing teams lease out the site, per an NBC 10 report.

Philadelphia is infusing $2.5 million into the renovation, while Temple trustee and new Philadelphia Inquirer owner Gerry Lenfest donated the remaining $3 million.

February’s unprecedented reversal of the decision to cut the crew and rowing teams turned around a series of trying events for both squads, which included the city’s decision to condemn the Canoe House in 2008 and culminated in December’s initial decision to cut both programs.

Tuesday’s approval brought the process one step closer to finalization, as the plan will go to City Council for final approval.

Temple hosts second annual Harrow Cup

Temple field hockey coach Amanda Janney reflected on last year’s inaugural Harrow Cup as a “great weekend of hockey.”

The 2014 version featured more of the same in what turned out to be a comfortable, sunny weekend at Geasey Field that attracted numerous alumni.

The Mambas, featuring several Temple names, won the post-collegiate tournament and the $10,000 prize to go with it.

Assistant coach and Old Dominion alum Kelly Driscoll captained the Mambas and played in goal, with the team also including Janney, a Wake Forest alum, graduate assistant coach and Ohio State alum Danica Deckard, Alli Lokey (‘08) and newly-dubbed alumni Molly Doyle and Mandi Shearer (‘14).

Other Temple alumni in the tournament included Haley Dervinis for the Titans (’04), Bridget Settles for the Tembos (’12) and Caryn Lambright for the Tomahawks (’12), along with current athletic advisor and University of Iowa alum Sarah Pergine for the Vipers.

Temple hosted the event for the second straight year, with Driscoll and the Mambas posting a repeat performance.

The mission of the Harrow Cup is to promote post-collegiate field hockey and offer an opportunity for alumni to keep playing.

It’s not official if Temple will continue hosting the tournament, but Janney said she certainly hopes so.

-Nick Tricome