Men’s Crew looks to compete at IRA National Championship this weekend

The men’s crew team is set to compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship this weekend on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, New Jersey.

The Owls will enter two boats in this year’s competition after the Varsity Lightweight 4 and Varsity Heavyweight 4 both qualified.

The Varsity Lightweight 4 received an automatic bid into the event and the No. 1 seed in their race after winning the grand finals at the Dad Vail Regatta on May 9.

The Varsity Heavyweight 4, which placed sixth in the quarterfinals at the Dad Vail Regatta, did not receive an automatic bid and had to apply to compete at the IRA National Championship.

The boat was voted in by the IRA committee, but the Owls will use a different lineup at this weekend’s event from the one that competed for the team throughout the season.

After two weeks of competition to determine the fastest rowers, the new Owls competing for the Varsity Heavyweight 4 this weekend will be sophomore coxswain Dante Romeo, junior stroke man Tom Robbins, junior Charles Anderson in seat-3, freshman Collin McKinney in seat-2 and junior bowman Ryan Dartnell.

“We took the best guys out of the second Varsity 8 and all the guys out of the Varsity 8 and lump them altogether into one selection group and try to find the best four guys,” Perkins said.

At the IRA National Championship, Temple will face-off against qualifying crews from teams around the country, such as Drexel University, Yale University, Oklahoma City University, Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the 2014 IRA National Champions — the University of Washington.

Despite the Varsity Lightweight 4 boat’s success this season, White said it will not be easy for the team to secure a victory.

“Hopefully, the Lightweight can win but it is going to be tough,” White said.

The IRA begins Thursday, but the Varsity Heavyweight 4 does not begin competition until Friday. The Lightweight 4 begins competition on Saturday.

Danielle Nelson can be reached at or on twitter @Dan_Nels.

Kraft promoted to Athletic Director

President Theobald announced Monday that Pat Kraft, who currently serves as deputy director of athletics, will replace Kevin Clark as Athletic Director.

Clark was repositioned earlier Monday to the newly-created position of executive vice president and chief operations officer.

Kraft, who has worked as deputy director of athletics since 2013, was the sports administrator of the football team. Kraft was also responsible for oversight of  communications, marketing and other units in the department.

-Michael Guise

Former football player Adrian Robinson dies Saturday

Update No. 2:

Statement from coach Matt Rhule:

“The Temple football program lost a friend, a brother, and a wonderful young man today. Adrian Robinson was one of the greatest competitors I ever had the pleasure of coaching and I know he was an even better teammate. I first met Adrian as an 18 year old high school senior. I was so proud to see him back at Temple this spring finishing his degree and being a loving father to his new daughter.  He will always be a part of me and will always be a part of this program. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Robinson family – his parents Terry and Adrian Sr., brother Averee and sister Aija, and his daughter Avery Marie.”
Statement from Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin Clark:
”The entire Temple University community is mourning the tragic passing of one of our former all-time great football players, Adrian Robinson. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this incredibly tough time.”

UPDATE: Robinson’s agency, Symmetry, confirmed the news on Sunday morning on Facebook

“It deeply saddens all of us to share with you that Adrian Robinson Jr. passed away last night at the age of 25. Adrian was a beloved father, son, brother, friend and teammate. We ask that you please respect his family’s privacy during this difficult time, and especially keep his daughter Avery Marie in your prayers. Thank you for all of your support and consideration.”

According to a report from, former football player Adrian Robinson died Saturday night at the age of 25.

The former defensive end was a 2011 team captain who appeared in every game during his collegiate career.

During his final year as an Owl in 2011, Robinson accumulated 52 total tackles and a team-high 13.5 tackles for loss as the Owls went 9-4, including a 37-15 win over the University of Wyoming in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Robinson’s brother, Averee Robinson, is a junior defensive lineman with 20 career tackles and 2.5 sacks. He also has 2.5 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries.

Robinson, who started 38 career games and was a 2011 and 2009 first-team All-MAC honoree, totaled 156 career tackles, 24 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss. He was also named 2009 MAC Defensive MVP by Sporting News.

Robinson was a graduate of Harrisburg High School and was one of five Owls to appear in the 2008 Big 33 game, an all-star football game that featured the top high-school football players from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native had five stints in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, San Diego Chargers and most recently the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2014.

Michael Guise can be reached at or on Twitter @Michael_Guise

Brandon Matthews tied for fifth after first day of NCAA Regionls

Junior Brandon Matthews is tied for fifth place after shooting an even-par 70 on Thursday during the first day of competition at the NCAA Regionals in New Haven, Connecticut.

After scoring par on the first six holes, Matthews bogeyed three of the next five holes. The Dupont, Pennsylvania native then birdied three of the final seven holes to finish the day at even par.

“I feel really good because I’m hitting the ball really nice,” Matthews said. “I fine-tuned it yesterday and the swing felt really good.”

Matthews, who is tied with six other players at even par, is six shots behind the current leader —  South Florida sophomore Rigel Fernandes, who shot a six-under 64 on Thursday.

Matthews said he needs to improve on his short game in order to improve his score.

“Hopefully that just takes effect tomorrow,” Matthews said.  “We just want to see some more birdies roll in.  I’m in a good spot.”

Former Owls running back Kenny Harper signs with Giants

According to reports, former Temple running back Kenny Harper has signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants.

Harper, who was not selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, was a tryout at the Giants’ rookie minicamp from Thursday to Sunday and was one of three rookies from the camp to sign.

Last season, the Gainesville, Florida native tallied 307 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

Harper, who was also a team captain, rushed for a career-high 116 yards in a 16-13 loss to the University of Memphis and was the only Owl with at least one rushing and one receiving touchdown during the 2014 season.

For his career, Harper — who appeared in all 48 games during his four seasons — ran for 1,113 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. Harper also caught 66 passes for 528 yards and four touchdowns.

Matthews named to all-conference team

Junior Brandon Matthews’ list of achievements grew on Friday when he was named to the 2015 American Athletic Conference Men’s Golf All-Conference team for the second consecutive year.

In 11 of 12 tournaments this year, Matthews placed among the Top 10 individual finishers.  He also set a school record for season stroke average at 71.0, and tied program records for total victories (eight) and consecutive wins (three) during the spring portion of the schedule.

Matthews was also named the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference’s Golfer of the Month for April this past Wednesday.

On Monday, Matthews will compete in the U.S. Open qualifier at the Trump National Golf Club in Pine Hill, New Jersey before heading north to play in the NCAA Regional in New Haven, Connecticut at The Course at Yale next weekend.