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  • Rock Hoffman



College Football Editor

For Stan Drayton, it is a dream come true as he got the job he always wanted – head football coach at Temple University. He was introduced at a press conference on Thursday morning at the Liacouras Center.

New Temple University head coach Stan Drayton (Temple University photo)

"You're about to see your head ball coach express some emotion," he said, his voice cracking, to the Temple players in attendance.

After regaining his composure and wiping his eyes, Drayton continued to address his new charges.

"Men, it's been a long journey for me to chase something I've always wanted to do. I've always wanted to lead men on a large scale. Just a football positional coach wasn't good enough for me and I don't want you to settle for mediocracy in anything you decide to do in life. I want you to go for the top. That's what this program is going to be about. That's what it's been about for me in this journey to get to this head coaching job that I have here now. I'm going to try to instill that same fire that I had to get to this point, in you. You guys hear me back there?"

Since 1993, Drayton, 50, made 14 different stops in college and pro football as he climbed the coaching ladder but the years he spent in the Philadelphia area, at Penn in 1995 and Villanova from 1996 to 1999 were very influential.

"People don't know,20 years ago I was heavily involved in this community," he said. "This community is very personal to my wife and I, we got married while we were here, we started our careers here. We were immersed in [the] North Philly community. It really left an impression on us as a couple and a lot of what we do in raising our kids is a direct result of what we learned right here in Philadelphia."

He immediately embraced the Temple TUFF slogan.

"This program will be built on discipline and toughness and not just any kind of toughness, [I'm] talking Temple TUFF," he said, as he tapped the lectern for emphasis. "You turn the film on and Temple TUFF shows up in your actions. You look at grade reports and Temple TUFF shows up in your execution of getting degrees. Temple TUFF shows up in a whole lot of different ways. When they see the Cherry and White, they're going to understand what Temple TUFF is all about. We gotta get that back."

To help get it back, Drayton reached out to the men who gave Temple its best decade in history, the former players. Many of them supported former Owls' assistant and current Rutgers assistant coach Fran Brown for the head coaching job.

"To the former letter winners," he said, "I need you. The brotherhood that we're creating now is a brotherhood that's already in existence, you created that. There's an open-door policy for all of you to come back and help me raise these young men, help them transition into life as you did."

This isn't the first time Drayton interviewed for the job. He said he went for it before Matt Rhule was hired before the 2013 season.

"Temple became very important to me while at Villanova and Penn," said Drayton, a native of Cleveland. "It was something about being at Penn and Villanova and me being from the inner-city, I just felt like the ruggedness is right here at Temple. This is kind of me right here and I've always felt that level of respect for Temple. I've always wanted this position so to have it right now is an unbelievable blessing."

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