A move to Temple would make sense for Jim Knowles in a couple ways, revolving around the fact that he is a graduate of Cornell and served as the school’s head coach for six seasons (from 2004 to 2009). Knowles is also a native of Philadelphia.
The Owls have struggled mightily in the past two seasons, compiling a combined 4-13 record under third-year head coach Rod Carey. Any momentum that was built under Matt Rhule and Geoff Collins (who moved on rather quickly) in the past decade now seems to be gone. Temple could also use a stable leader who understands the Northeast as the American Athletic Conference undergoes significant membership changes in the next few years.
Other schools are making changes in head coaches after just three seasons (or not even that long, as is the case with Texas Tech’s now-former boss Matt Wells). It’s not unthinkable that Temple would move on from Carey and look to someone like Knowles.
The Blue Devils are no match on the football gridiron for the counterparts on the hardwood. Duke has gone 10-24 during the past three seasons.
That being said, Duke has some rare stability at the head coaching position with Dave Cutcliffe. He’s been in charge since 2008 and has experienced some modest success, having reached six bowl games in that span. The Blue Devils have also cracked the Top 25 in four different seasons under Cutcliffe.
The most obvious tie for Knowles to Durham, N.C. is that he spent eight years as an assistant coach there before coming to Stillwater.
The long tenure, personal ties, and overall body of work didn’t save Gary Patterson at TCU after 21 years as head coach when the Horned Frogs began to slide in the past 3-4 years. If the same logic applies to Duke’s football program, the Blue Devils would make a leadership change soon.
There’s a chance that university brass is only concerned with its men’s and women’s basketball programs in terms of national prominence — and if that’s the case, Cutcliffe won’t be going anywhere.