The Temple Owls and FIU Panthers invaded the bay on Thursday for the official team press conference for the Gasparilla Bowl. The event consisted of two first-year head coaches who successfully led their teams to a bowl game this year.
Temple head coach Geoff Collins took over the Owls after Matt Rhule left for the coaching job at Baylor. In his first year, Collins led the team to a 6-6 record after a thrilling win over Tulsa in the regular season finale.
FIU head coach Butch Davis has a similar story. Davis was named the Panthers coach on Nov. 15, 2016. In his first year, he led the Panthers to an 8-4 record and saw 11 players earn All-Conference honors.
“We’re very excited to be headed to the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl,” FIU Head Football Coach Butch Davis said to FIU athletics. “Our guys have worked really hard this year, and I’m proud that we’ll end this season in a bowl. We look forward to playing Temple. They’ve had a good season. It should be a great game in St. Pete.”
Both first-year coaches weren’t on the coaching carousel talk much this year, but if they both have another successful year with their teams next year, they will surely be thrown on the ride.
The Gasparilla Bowl will take place on December 21 at 8 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.