The Temple Owls have made national news by being the first NCAA program to hire a "Specialist With Advanced Graphics" or for short: a S.W.A.G. Coordinator. It's a creative title that has caught national attention, but will it be an effective recruiting tactic?
Many teams in the country have graphic specialists, but first-year coach Geoff Collins has passed the swag to Dave Gerson, who has spent six years with the university. Here is a description of his role from the official release by Temple.
"In that role Gerson will develop and showcase an array of graphic designs for social media usage. He will personally assist Collins in showcasing Temple Football to fans and recruits."
Collins has a history of different recruiting tactics, including his infamous handwritten photo of a can of "SWAG" he sent to a recruit while defensive coordinator at Mississippi State. He visited recruits in a helicopter just months after accepting the job at Temple. This is another recruiting tool that he Collins is hopeful to draw prospects to North Broad.
But will it work? That remains to be seen.
While the Owls are the first to officially give the title of S.W.A.G. Coordinator, they are not the only team in the country using social media and graphic designs to lure recruits. Just about every program in the country has someone in the athletic department capable of this technology.
Gerson has been at the university for six seasons, but Temple has failed to land a recruiting class higher than 58th in that time. Collins' first class was ranked 118th nationally and last in the American Athletic Conference.
These graphics will catch some eyes, but will it be a deciding factor to land more recruits? Coaches have traditionally used the same deciding factors to draw players: playing time, program tradition and the coaching staff. Matt Rhule's departure is in large part why Temple had one of the worst recruiting classes in the country. With that said, the second year is when you truly gauge a coach's recruiting tactics.
The Owls have been on the rise over the past decade and Collins is hoping to keep that going. Temple is looking for its third consecutive 10-win season, but turnover at head coach and quarterback will make it difficult to defend their AAC Championship. Whether he can draw the talent to Philadelphia to do so is up in the air.
Collins is thinking out of the box, drawing national attention with the official title. While this makes news now, we will not know how effective the S.W.A.G. is until the 2018 National Signing Day.