Football’s Wallace won’t seek to return
Head football coach Bobby Wallace announced on Oct. 10 that he will not seek renewal of his contract at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Wallace has a 19-66 record in eight seasons directing the Owls and a 101-102-1 overall mark in 18 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
“I believe it is in the best interest of Temple football that the 2005 season be my last as head coach,” Wallace said. “I chose to make this announcement at this point so that [Athletics Director] Bill [Bradshaw] and University administration would have the time and opportunity to find the finest individual possible to lead the program. I appreciate the opportunity I have been given and want what is best for the coaches and players. Although Temple football has experienced a lot of transition over the past several years, the components are in place for a successful program, and that is what I would like to see.”
“Bobby Wallace leaves Temple with my admiration and thanks,” President David Adamany said. “He sustained Temple’s football program during a period when we lost conference affiliation and then joined a new conference, when fine new practice facilities were built, and when we negotiated to play home games at Lincoln Financial Field, the finest venue for college ball in the United States. Most important to me has been Coach Wallace’s mentoring of students and his commitment to high academic and personal behavior standards for student athletes. Those who dwell on the Owls’ disappointing won-loss record in recent years miss the fundamental nature of college football and the basic decency and strength that Coach Wallace has brought to Temple athletics.”
“During the past eight years, Bobby Wallace embraced the most challenging head coaching position in Division I-A football,” Bradshaw said. “Nevertheless, he always represented Temple University with exceptional poise, dignity and class, qualities we will pursue during our search for a new coach. Bobby’s decision to announce his intentions, at this time, reflects his genuine concern for the future of Temple football.”
Wallace was named Temple’s 23rd head football coach in December 1997 after spending the previous 10 seasons (1988–1997) as head coach at the University of North Alabama. He directed the Lions to three consecutive Division II national championships (1994–96) and six playoff appearances while accumulating an 82-36-1 record at UNA.
In Wallace’s first season at the Temple helm, he directed the Cherry & White to one of the greatest upsets in college football history when 0-6 Temple defeated No. 10-ranked Virginia Tech, 28-24, in Blacksburg to provide Temple its first-ever Big East Conference road win. Two weeks later, the Owls trailed 20-0 at Pittsburgh before earning a 34-33 victory to expel the conference road jinx for a second time.
In 1999, Temple earned come-from-behind conference wins at home over Boston College and Rutgers. The 2000 season brought a 4-7 mark, the best record on North Broad Street in 10 years and included a 3-1 tally in non-conference games. In 2001, the team posted a 4-7 record once again, with all of its losses to programs that concluded their respective seasons bowl eligible. Temple finished 4-8 and ranked 18th nationally in total defense in 2002 to become one of just eight Division I-A programs to finish in the top 20 in total defense in both 2001 and 2002. In 2003, the Owls finished with a 1-11 record and suffered three overtime losses. Last season, Temple posted a 2-9 record in its final season as a member of the Big East and Wallace earned his 100th career win in a 38-7 defeat of Florida A&M.
Wallace is in his 30th season coaching collegiate football. He began his career as a graduate assistant at Mississippi State in 1976. He also served as an assistant at East Carolina,Wyoming, Auburn, Mississippi State and Illinois.
Temple is an affiliate member of the Mid-American Conference in 2005 and 2006, playing with independent status, before joining the MAC as a full member in 2007.
A national search for Wallace’s replacement will begin immediately.