Temple Owls

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Temple Owls
University Temple University
Conference The American
Big East Conference
Eastern Intercollegiate Gymnastics League
NCAA Division I
Athletic director Patrick Kraft
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Varsity teams 19
Football stadium Lincoln Financial Field
Basketball arena Liacouras Center
Mascot Hooter T. Owl, Stella (Live Mascot)
Nickname The Owls
Fight song T for Temple U and Fight! Temple Fight!
Colors Cherry and White[1]
Website www.owlsports.com

The Temple Owls are the athletic teams representing Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school's sports teams are called the Owls. The current athletic director is Patrick Kraft.

The owl has been the symbol and mascot for Temple University since its founding in the 1880s. Temple was the first school in the United States to adopt the owl as its symbol or mascot. The owl, a nocturnal hunter, was initially adopted as a symbol because Temple University began as a night school for young people of limited means. Russell Conwell, Temple's founder, encouraged these students with the remark: "The owl of the night makes the eagle of the day."


The Owls are primarily members of the American Athletic Conference (The American). Since their football team participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The football program was a member of the Big East Conference until its expulsion after the 2004 season due to a variety of program shortcomings. Temple played a limited MAC schedule in 2005 and 2006 before becoming an affiliated football-only member and playing a full 8-game league schedule in 2007. The school's men's basketball team is part of the Big Five, the traditional designation for the rivalries between the Owls and their Philadelphia rivals: Penn, Saint Joseph's, Villanova, and La Salle. Temple considers the rivalry with St. Joe's to be the most intense, especially in basketball. St. Joe's, however, considers this rivalry to be secondary to their rivalry with Villanova.

The landscape of Temple sports has changed recently, thanks to a major realignment of Division I conferences. Temple football returned to the Big East in 2012, and then became a full member of the renamed American Athletic Conference in July 2013, after being a full member (non-football) of the A-10 since the early '80s.


Temple University was among the first institutions in the United States to sponsor extracurricular athletic activities for its students. Both the football and basketball programs were inaugurated in 1894 under the direction of Coach Charles M. Williams.


NCAA team championships[edit]

Temple has won four team national championships.[2]

Other national team championships[edit]

Olympic competitors[edit]

Stella, the Temple mascot

• 1904 St. Louis Olympics: a Philadelphia-based team (Turngemeinde gymnastics club) captured the first-ever gold medal in team competition for the United States.
• 1932 Los Angeles Olympics: Bill Hermann Jr. (Philadelphia), wins bronze medal for tumbling.
• 1948 London Olympics: Temple University gymnasts Marian Barone and Clara Schroth-Lomady help the United States win its first medal for women in team competition with the bronze. Schroth is also noted for holding two U.S. national gymnastics records – the most titles with 39 and the most consecutive championships with 11 straight on the balance beam between 1941-52.
• 1952 Helsinki Olympics: Bob Stout (Philadelphia, Pa.) becomes the first gymnast ever to complete a back somersault with full twist when he landed the move during the floor exercises.
• 1984 Los Angeles Olympics: Temple men's assistant rowing coach, Mike Teti (Upper Darby Pa.), named Olympic alternate and was on the cover of Sports Illustrated during the athletes parade in the Opening Ceremony.
• 1988 Seoul Korea: Men's rowing assistant Mike Teti was a member of the bronze winning U.S. Men's Eight rowing team.
• 1992 Barcelona Olympics: Mike Moore (Philadelphia, Pa.) was the coxswain for the U.S. rowing team's Men's Eight. Temple men’s gymnastics coach Fred Turoff is an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic Team.
• 1996 Atlanta Olympics: Scott Brodie (St. Catharines, Canada) was a member of the Canadian Men's Eight that placed fourth.
• 2000 Sydney Olympics: Igor Francetic (Zagreb, Croatia) was a member of the bronze medal winning Croatian Eight rowing team; Long time Temple men's rowing coach, Dr. Gavin White (Elkins Park, Pa.), named U.S. Olympic Assistant Coach.
• 2004 Athens Olympics: Jason Read (Ringoes, N.J.) was a member of the U.S. Men's Eight that won gold and set a world record in rowing; Temple women's basketball coach, Dawn Staley, was the United States team captain and flag bearer and a member of the women's basketball team that won gold; Miles Avery (Philadelphia native and Temple graduate) is an assistant coach on the Olympic Team and personal coach of All-Around Champion Paul Hamm. Juan Ignacio Sanchez(Bahia Blanca, Argentina) Temple's graduate was a member of the Argentina's Basketball national team that won the gold medal.
• 2008 Beijing: Marcus McElhenney (Havertown, Pa.) coxed the U.S. Men's Eight to a bronze medal in rowing; Jason Read was also a member of the team and contributed to the Wall Street Journal's Beijing coverage of the Games; Temple gymnast, Sean Golden, competed in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.


Liacouras Center, home of Temple Owls basketball and volleyball teams since 1997.

In 1938, the Owls, who finished with a 23-2 record, won the inaugural National Invitation Tournament by routing Colorado 60-36 in the championship final. Because the NCAA Tournament was not held until the following year, Temple's NIT championship earned the Owls national title recognition. The team was also retroactively named the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Premo-Porretta Power Poll.[3][4]

During the 1950s, the Temple basketball team made two NCAA Final Four appearances (1956, 1958) under legendary Head Coach Harry Litwack. Litwack would be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame after concluding a 21-year coaching career that included 373 wins. Head Coach John Chaney, also a Hall of Famer, won a total of 724 career games and took Temple to the NCAA tournament 17 times. His 1987-88 Owls team entered the NCAA tournament ranked #1 in the country, and he has reached the Elite Eight on five different occasions. He was consensus national coach of the year in 1988. Former NBA players Eddie Jones of the Miami Heat, Aaron McKie of the Los Angeles Lakers, Rick Brunson of the New York Knicks, and Mardy Collins, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers, are also part of Temple's basketball heritage.[citation needed]

On March 13, 2006, Hall of Fame head coach John Chaney retired.

On April 10, 2006, University of Pennsylvania head coach and La Salle University alumnus Fran Dunphy was named the new Temple's Men's Head Basketball coach. Dunphy had coached the Quakers for 17 straight seasons prior to the move. Dunphy and his Owls won the Atlantic-10 tournament in 2008 beating St. Joseph's University. The Owls were rewarded with a 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament and paired against 5th-seeded Michigan State, losing that game 72-61. In 2009, the Owls won their second consecutive Atlantic-10 tournament against Duquesne, for their conference leading 13th title.

Entering the 2009–10 season, Temple Men's Basketball program ranked sixth in NCAA All-Time wins with 1711.


Temple beats Penn State for first time since 1941
Main article: Temple Owls football

The Owls football team participates in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision, but because the A-10 supported football only at the Football Championship Subdivision level (1997–2006), they maintained separate league affiliation for football. They were a member of the Big East Conference until their expulsion after the 2004 season due to a variety of program shortcomings; they played a limited Mid-American Conference schedule in 2005 and 2006 before becoming a completely affiliated football-only member and playing a full 8-game MAC league schedule in 2007. In December 2005, Al Golden, the defensive coordinator for the University of Virginia, was named head coach, replaced Bobby Wallace. He would accumulate a 27-34 record before moving to the Miami (FL). With the improvement to Temple's football program, the school was invited to rejoin the Big East Conference as an associate member for football for 2012 and as a full member for all sports in 2013. By the time Temple returned to full membership, the Big East had split along football lines into a new, non-football Big East Conference and the football-sponsoring American Athletic Conference, with Temple joining The American. On December 23, 2010, Steve Addazio, then offensive coordinator at the University of Florida, was named head coach to continue and build upon the foundation Golden had left.

2015 was a breakout year for the program. The Owls won 10 out of 12 regular season games, including victories over Penn State, Cininnati and a 4-point loss in the waning minutes to Notre Dame, with an AAC Championship game-clinching victory over bowl-bound UConn in the final game of the season. For the first time in generations, the Temple Owls were ranked in the AP, Coaches and College Football Playoff polls for half the season.


Main article: Temple Owls baseball

Temple's baseball program was in existence from 1927-2014, and played in two College World Series. Its winningest coach, James "Skip" Wilson, guided the Owls to 901 career wins. Temple played its home games at Skip Wilson Field in Ambler, a Philadelphia-suburb, from 2004-2014 season. After the 2014 season, the program was cut to comply with Title IX.[5]


Temple plays every year at the Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC). The CRC is the highest profile college rugby tournament in the country, and is played every year at PPL Park in Philadelphia, and is broadcast live on NBC. Temple is one of the local favorites at the CRC, and is considered to have "the best fans, as they put in time and effort and noise to cheer for their teams."[6] One opposing coach stated that the Temple fans at PPL Park were "the greatest fan advantage I've ever seen."[7]

Temple Rugby has been one of the most successful sports at Temple University since its inception in 1980.[8] Temple has won the Mayer's Cup and Liberty Cup multiple times. Temple has qualified for the EPRU championships three years in a row, and in 2003 won the Division II EPRU championships. Temple played in the Division II title game in 2010, but lost to Claremont 25-19. Temple's success resulted in its promotion in 2010 to the Division I level.[8] Temple now plays in the Keystone Conference against local rivals such as St. Joseph's University.[9] In their first season in Division 1, Temple posted a 12-2 record,[10] and advanced to the 2011 Division I National Collegiate Rugby Championship playoffs, where they reached the round of 16 before losing to top seeded Bowling Green.[11] Temple rugby is funded by the University, alumni, and student fundraising.[12]

Other men's sports[edit]

Hooter, the Temple mascot

Under Fred Turoff, the men's gymnastics team has won 18 ECAC/EIGL championships, and produced five individual NCAA national champions. Recently Darin Gerlach won an individual event national championship in 1998.[13]

Additional men's program include soccer, golf and track and field. The soccer program, also established in 1926, produced five Olympians en route to surpassing the 500-win milestone in the fall of 1996.

The Temple golf program, inaugurated in 1931, has participated in 20 NCAA championship tournaments, produced 22 All-American citations and won 15 conference championships.

In track and field, Eulace Peacock remains a giant in the history of the sport. In the mid-1930s, Peacock brought national attention to himself and the Temple program with a string of sprinting victories over famed Ohio State and Olympic Games star Jesse Owens.

Women's sports[edit]

As early as 1923, the University's women began participating on club sport teams. In fact, that year, Coach Blanche Voorhees guided an Owl basketball team to a perfect 12-0 record and also started a field hockey program. Additional sports for women followed: swimming in 1926, tennis in 1939, fencing in 1946, softball in 1949, lacrosse in 1957, and finally volleyball, track and field and gymnastics in 1975.

The modern era took root in 1974, when Temple named physical education instructor Veronica "Ronnie" Maurek to the dual role of head basketball and softball coach. When Maurek chose to coach only softball three years later, the University went outside the physical education department for the first time to hire its first modern-day full-time women's basketball coach, Andy McGovern. McGovern produced the Owls' first winning season of the modern era with a 14-10 mark in the 1979-80 season. Prior to the 1980-81 season, Temple named Linda MacDonald as its second full-time head coach and began the process of national recruiting and scheduling. By the 1988-89 season, MacDonald had produced the Owls' first team to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. In the 1983-84 campaign, Marilyn Stephens was named to the Kodak All-America team.

Under the direction of Tina Sloan-Green, and beginning in 1975, the Temple lacrosse program captured three national championships and has had individuals earn 43 All-American certificates. The tradition of excellence is carried on by current head coach Kim Ciarrocca, who was a member of the Owls' 1988 national championship club and guided her 1997 team into the NCAA Final Four.

Temple field hockey teams have finished among the NCAA's top 20 no less than 13 times in the last 15 seasons, while producing 24 All-Americans. Jane Catanzaro, a four-time All-American between 1987 and 1990, won the prestigious Honda Award in the 1990-91 academic year, for outstanding achievement and excellence in intercollegiate athletics.

Temple's fencing team operates under head coach Nikki Franke. Between 1983 and 1995, Owl fencers competed in the NCAA championships every year and never finished lower than fifth[citation needed]. In 1992, Coach Franke's squad was crowned the NCAA champion in foil competition. Franke has been honored as national Coach of the Year on four occasions.[citation needed]

In 2005, by winning 25 straight games, a #15 national ranking and a trip to the NCAA Second Round for just the second time in school history, Temple Women's Basketball also upholds the reputation of Temple athletics. Women's Basketball coach Dawn Staley was the 2004 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, has won 74 games in her first four seasons, captured Temple’s only two conference championships and earned three postseason bids. In the summer of 2004 she captured her third Olympic Gold Medal, playing for Team USA in the 2004 Games in Athens, Greece and was selected as the United States flag bearer for the opening ceremonies.

The Temple volleyball team is also a women's sport at the University, led by one of the "architects of the game," Bob Bertucci.

Program cuts[edit]

In 2013, Temple announced the school would eliminate the following seven athletic teams: Softball, baseball, women's rowing, men's rowing (a non-NCAA sport), men's gymnastics, and both men's indoor and outdoor track and field. The school said they no longer chose to field 24 teams and cited Title IX, facility needs, and student welfare. Several months after that announcement, the city of Philadelphia agreed to pay for the renovation of Temple's former boathouse, leading Temple to immediately reinstate rowing as a varsity sport for both sexes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Temple University Logo Usage Guide" (PDF). 2015-07-30. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  2. ^ http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/champs_records_book/Overall.pdf
  3. ^ "NCAA Division I Men's Basketball – NCAA Division I Champions". Rauzulu's Street. 2004. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ ESPN, ed. (2009). ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia: The Complete History of the Men's Game. New York, NY: ESPN Books. p. 546. ISBN 978-0-345-51392-2. 
  5. ^ "Temple University Facilities". Temple Official Athletic Site. Temple University. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  6. ^ Rugby Mag, There was a College 7s Tournament, June 7, 2011, http://rugbymag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1163:there-was-a-college-7s-tournament-&catid=96:goff-on-rugby&Itemid=292
  7. ^ The Times Herald, Rugby Notes: Life University has something to prove, June 2, 2012, http://www.timesherald.com/article/20120601/SPORTS02/120609941/rugby-notes-life-university-hws-something-to-prove&pager=full_story
  8. ^ a b Temple University Rugby Football Club, http://astro.temple.edu/~tua41616/rugbywebsite/history.html
  9. ^ Rugby Mag, Conference Renamed, Adds Two Members, May 23, 2012, http://www.rugbymag.com/men's-di-college/4655-conference-renamed-adds-two-members.html
  10. ^ Philly.com, Temple's rugby squad looking for RESPECT, June 4, 2011, http://articles.philly.com/2011-06-04/sports/29620894_1_rugby-owls-josias-sterling
  11. ^ Rugby Mag, Lunch Pail Rugby from Temple, May 28, 2011, http://rugbymag.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1038:lunch-pail-rugby-from-temple&catid=73:collegiate-sevens&Itemid=91
  12. ^ TEMPLE UNIVERSITY RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB, http://astro.temple.edu/~tua41616/rugbywebsite/index.html
  13. ^ (PDF) http://owlsports.com/documents/2014/1/24/Final_MGYM-2_MG_2014_Layout_1.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help)