|Athletics director||Bill Bradshaw|
|Football stadium||Lincoln Financial Field|
|Basketball arena||Liacouras Center|
|Baseball stadium||Skip Wilson Field|
|Mascot||Hooter the Owl|
|Fight song||T for Temple U and Fight! Temple Fight!|
|Colors||Red and Black
Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a long-running athletic program. The school's sports teams are called the Owls, originating from the university's early days as a night school. The current athletic director is Bill Bradshaw.
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. 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 Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10), with the exception of football, where they are an affiliate of the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Since their football team participates in the NCAA's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, and the now-defunct A-10 Football Conference (1997–2006) played at the Division I-AA level, they must maintain separate league affiliation for that sport. 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.
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 back in 1894 under the direction of Coach Charles M. Williams.
• 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, Philadelphian Bill Hermann Jr., 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, Philadelphia native and Temple University product Bob Stout becomes the first gymnast ever to complete a back somersault with a full twist when he landed the move during the floor exercises. • 1992, Barcelona Olympics, Temple men’s coach Fred Turoff is an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic Team. • 2000, Sydney Olympics, Kristen Maloney, who competed with the Parkettes program based in Allentown, participates and has a move named after her on the uneven bars, “the Maloney,” which is listed in the International Code of Points. • 2004, Athens Olympics, Miles Avery (Philadelphia native and Temple graduate) is an assistant coach on the Olympic Team and personal coach of All-Around Champion Paul Hamm. • 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, Sean Golden, Camden, N.J., and Kevin Tan, Penn State, will compete in the Trials. The women’s participants will be named shortly.
That Owls team, which 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. 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 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 of the Los Angeles Clippers are also part of Temple's basketball heritage.
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 2009-2010 season, Temple Men's Basketball program ranked sixth in NCAA All-Time wins with 1711.
The Owls football team participates in the NCAA's Division I-A; because the A-10 supported football only at the Division I-AA level (1997–2006), they must maintain 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 MAC 8-game league schedule in 2007. In December 2005, Al Golden, the defensive coordinator for the University of Virginia, was named the new head coach; he replaced Bobby Wallace.
Temple's baseball program has played in two College World Series and its coach, James "Skip" Wilson, has guided the Owls to 901 career wins, including a recent trip to the Atlantic 10 championship. Temple has played its home games at Skip Wilson Field in Ambler, a Philadelphia-suburb, since the 2004 season.
Under Fred Turoff, the men's gymnastics team has won 12 ECAC/EIGL championships. Recently Darin Gerlach won an individual event national championship in 1998.
Coach Gavin White's Temple crews of the past 17 years have won with regularity at Philadelphia's Dad Vail Regatta, in addition to several other events.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.