Temple defensive end Sean Daniels said Steve Addazio's speech to the team on Tuesday night letting them know he was going to become the head coach at Boston College was true to the former Temple coach's personality.
"He was pretty straightforward, that's the way he is," said Daniels. "He told us he had accepted the job at Boston College, he didn't really state why he was leaving. He basically said this would be a team he would remember forever because it was his first head coaching job, that he appreciated that we bought what he was selling and that we trusted him."
Daniels said he walked into the 5 o'clock team meeting with no indication what was about to happen. The junior said the players were caught off guard by the announcement.
"I had no idea," said Daniels. "Nobody saw it coming. But this is a business and it happens. It's never an easy thing when a program is affected."
Daniels knows that as well as anybody. Two years ago, he sat in the same complex and listened as then-coach Al Golden told the team he was becoming the head coach at the University of Miami (Fla.).
Golden had been at Temple for five years, built the program up from the ashes. Addazio spent just two at Temple, leading the Owls to a 9-4 record and New Mexico Bowl bid before going 4-7 this season as he helped bring Temple into the Big East Conference.
Addazio raved about the potential of the Temple program during his tenure and appeared to relish the young nucleus set to bring the Owls into the future.
But the Big East has been changing in the last few weeks and its status as a power conference is in doubt, while BC is in the ACC – but has struggled mightily in the league.
Addazio is also a Connecticut native, so the return to the New England area is a homecoming – though he also spent stints at Syracuse, Notre Dame, Indiana and finally as the offensive coordinator and associate head coach at Florida before coming to Temple.
Daniels said he held no grudges against Addazio for leaving two years into his tenure.
"Most of the guys know where he was coming from," said Daniels. "It's a better opportunity for him and his family, just like when Coach Golden left. Boston College is a prestigious school.
"Personally, when I was two years younger it was like ‘Wow, the head coach just left.' I didn't know what to do. More or less, two years later, we just gotta keep going. I thanked him, and he thanked us.
"All we can do as (2013) seniors is look back at what the seniors from two years ago did, led us to a bowl game. We're just treating everything the same. We're going to show up tomorrow and get our work done."
Daniels said Addazio was the only coach in the meeting and that he had no idea whether his assistants would be going with him or staying on at Temple. He also didn't know who was in charge now that Addazio had stepped down. Athletic director Bill Bradshaw did not address the team.
Bradshaw released a statement praising Addazio's brief tenure and promised a national search for his successor.
"Temple football has never been stronger, and I am confident we will be able to attract a high-level pool of candidates for the position and the program will continue its upward momentum," said Bradshaw.
Bradshaw admitted he knew Golden was a "term-hire" when he was named coach and would eventually leave for a more high-profile job. In his annual interview with owlsdaily.com this past June, Bradshaw was asked if he considered Addazio a term-hire as well.
"Not as much, no, I wouldn't say that, one because Steve loves Temple, wants to be here, he's at a different place in his life, the program's in a different place, the type of financial commitment Temple will have in the Big East is different now," said Bradshaw. "I think this job is a much better job than when Al took it. Temple is a destination, it's a long-term commitment."
But six months later, Bradshaw is beginning another search for a head football coach.