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Adam Fisher, Temple Men's Basketball Head Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2023 8:53 pm

Adam Fisher, Temple Men's Basketball Head Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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March 31, 2023 8:53 pm

Adam Fisher joined Zach to discuss why he took the Temple job and the impact that Jim Larranaga had on his career. 

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

You're listening to the Zach Gelb Show. Alrighty, Temple, my alma mater, has a new head basketball coach. That's Adam Fisher, who's done a sensational job at Penn State and also Miami. And Coach Adam Fisher's kind enough to join us right now. Coach, first off, congratulations.

Appreciate the time. How are you? Hey Zach, thanks for having me. I am doing great. I'm doing great. We're just so excited to be a part of the Temple family. It's been unbelievable these last couple days. Is that at all a weird adjustment now when people refer to you as the head coach? Yes, I got to get used to it. You know, my wife is still the head coach of our household, so that won't change.

But yeah, when people say that I'm down in Houston right now at the Final Four, I'm like, whoa, yeah, it is different. But really excited, really excited. Well, smart man. Happy life. You know what that means. You have to have a happy wife. There's no doubt about that.

How do you process it? Like, when you have a few days to think about it, I know this has been a lifelong dream for you. When you're a head coach now of a university, especially like Temple, with their rich basketball tradition, just what goes through your mind? Well, I mean, first as a kid growing up in Bucks County to become the head coach at Temple, it's like, as I was driving there, I'm like pinching myself like this is unbelievable. You know, one of the winningest programs in all college basketball history, the tradition, the unbelievable coaches that have been before me, the players, and that's what it is for me.

It's a players program. I want all the former basketball players to come back, share their story, and tell the current guys and future guys the pride it is to wear that jersey and what it means to them. I think that's how you continue the excellent tradition that's there. In terms of processing, I'm like hour by hour. I make sure my phone is charged a lot right now between talking to players, parents, recruits. It's been an unbelievable experience, and just to have 700 texts one night was a little overwhelming for me. I didn't even know I knew that many people, but it's just great. The support has been unbelievable from the Philadelphia community and the Temple family. Was there one text over another that was just a really special one that meant a lot to you or one conversation that you've had? You know, I've tried to avoid conversations, actually.

I've been doing it around 1 to 3 a.m. so people don't respond. No, you know, I think Coach Laronega, that's why we're here in Houston to support him. Between him and getting a text from Jay Wright, I think those were those two are really special in the basketball world, but just even from all my families from Bucks County, just how happy, you know, my parents, my wife's families from there, the outpouring support from all our cousins and uncle and my brother, like that's been really special. Coach Adam Fisher here with Dust. Now when you take over a program, you have so many kids that are in a transfer portal, so I don't know what your first team meeting was like, but let's just, I guess, make this question easier for you. If I ask you, let's say I'm a player, transfer portal or recruit, why should I commit to Temple?

Why should I commit to playing for Coach Adam Fisher? What do you say? You know, first off, the tradition just speaks for itself. Like, it's unbelievable. We have the city of Philadelphia.

I mean, what a better place to be. You know, it's unbelievable there and, you know, I've had great success everywhere I've been and we're going to play, you know, I use the term, we're going to be locked in, but we'll be loose. Our guys are going to have fun.

At Penn State this year, we set the Big Ten and Penn State record for most made threes. We're going to let it fly in the Lea Cora Center, so I want guys that are skilled, that want to be at Temple. That's the most important thing for me. I need guys that want to be there and that want to win and are going to be willing to do whatever it takes. It doesn't matter. No egos. We just want to win and the goal is to play meaningful games in March.

That's the key. Well, Coach, talking about March, I want to get back to March and make March mean something again rather quickly. How quick can we expect this turnaround to see the Owls back in the tourney? You know, I wish I'd give you a timeline exactly, but we want it quicker, right?

Quicker rather than later. At Penn State, we had a very similar situation with transfer portal and roster and it took two years to get there. We were able to do some great pieces and build around, so, you know, we're going to attack it strong.

We're going to go right away. I'd love for a lot of the guys on the roster to stay. I think there's so many great players right now on our team and then if we could add a few key pieces, I think we could do something really special and the transfer portal has been able to do that, you know, speeds up some things. If you get the right kids and we need the right kids, the kids that we want to represent the university. We want to be out in the community, so I need the best people.

That's what I look for. You have the best people. You can put together the best team. It's a critical time for a program that's had a lot of success.

We all know what John Chaney did and what Fran Dumphy did as well. Why are you ready for this moment? Why are you the right guy for the job? You know, I have such great respect for the two names you just mentioned and I also want to add Aaron McKee. I think he brought in some unbelievable players. He's a legend to me. Great respect for him and his staff.

I think I'm the right guy because I'm ready for this. I've done every position in college basketball from being a manager to an assistant coach, video coordinator, you name it. So I think knowing every aspect of the program by doing each role has helped me and this place means something to me. You know, I joked when I was at University of Miami, I'm from Philly and people are like, oh yeah, cool, cool. Then I went to a state college and I'm like, I'm from Philly.

They're like, no, you're from the suburbs. It's a little different. I get it. But this place means something to me. I got married in Philadelphia.

There's great meaning for me. I want to bring the pride to the city and have our guys see it and have the community proud of our team. Now you never know how people transition from going from being assistant to being a head coach.

How do you kind of smooth that transition? I think it starts with hiring a great staff. I got to have great people around me that I trust, that I know are going to be great for our student athletes. They have to have the best experience. This is about the players. You need great players in your program.

So I think it starts by having a great staff that helps with the transition, people you trust. And you know, I want to thank Arthur. Arthur has been absolutely phenomenal, our athletic director at Temple. He's been so helpful in these two days and I want to do this with him. He's going to help us build that together. So I want to make sure I give a great thanks to him and the whole search committee that was on the, as I went through this process. They were all, you could hear the passion they had for Temple and after each person I spoke to, I got more excited, more excited that this is the job I want.

This is where I want to be. What was Wednesday like for you? Because as a fan, as a talk show host, you see that it's going to Charlton Young. Then maybe he got it off or maybe he didn't. Maybe turned it down.

Maybe never got it. And the next thing you see these tweets and I was someone, coach, I'm not just saying this because you're on the line. I was advocating for you to get the job. And the next thing you know, it's Adam Fisher's on campus and then Adam Fisher is the basketball coach. So what was the truth on what the heck happened on Wednesday? I received a call Wednesday morning to come to campus. My wife and I got there probably a little bit before 11 o'clock in the morning at 10 30. We met with Arthur. We had a great conversation. I stayed on campus all day until we could get the players together for a team meeting.

So I was in a room from about 10 30 till about 5 15. So while I was there, I saw all the same tweets that everybody else saw. And I'm writing the notes for my first team meeting and I'm seeing the tweets and I kept going because I knew what was really going on and I knew what was happening and it's for the players. We didn't want anything to leak out because I wanted the players on the team to hear it from us first. That's who we do this for.

You know, we don't have jobs without those guys, the student athletes. And so for me, it was a crazy day and I was so excited and then got back in the car. We left and realized that we didn't have any temple gear to wear to the Final Four. So my wife and I stopped at Rally House. We bought a bunch of temple gear. We stopped at Wawa and we drove back to Buck County. We'd meet my family there and kissed our little daughter, Livy. And then we went back to the airport at 7 a.m. to fly to Houston the next morning.

So it was a whirlwind of a day but we were just so happy to be a part of the temple family. Did you go snacks? Did you go a hoagie at Wawa?

What was the order? No, you got to go hoagie. You got to go hoagie. So we had to go hoagie. My wife had to get the mac and cheese.

You got to get a pretzel even though you probably don't need it at that time. But we are thrilled that Wawa is back right near us. So hopefully we can talk to them maybe at NIL deal too.

That'd be great. Wawa for our program. When did you know that you were getting the job? I knew I was getting the job Wednesday morning.

Gotcha. Wrapping up with Adam Fisher, before we let you run, you play a role in this Final Four because of the job that you did at Miami. You got to learn under Jim Lyre Naig. I remember when your cousins, Josh Fisher and then Max Wachman, as I was a fraternity brother there, they were like, oh our cousin is going to be a big coach. And I was like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm sure, whatever. And then I see on the staff of Lara Nega. So what did you learn from Coach L?

I learned everything. He is the greatest teacher, the greatest mentor to learn under a Hall of Fame coach like him is just unbelievable. So when they won, I was not planning to come to the Final Four, especially with everything that happened this week. But we wanted to be here to support him, his wife, Mrs. Lara Nega, and that family. That's family for us.

We were there eight years. Several of the players, we have great ties and their families. So a chance to be here to support them was what my wife and I wanted to do.

But Coach L prepares you to become a head coach. He gives you so much responsibility. He's family to me.

So when I was able to tell somebody, after we told our family, he was the first person my wife and I told. That's how important he is to us. And there's some of the national media that were baffled by your hire.

And I was like, how could you be baffled by this hire? The guy is exactly what Temple needed. And a big reason because of that is the recruiting you did to get Isaiah Wong to Miami.

Take me through that process. You know, Isaiah Wong is just a phenomenal young man, his mother, Michelle, just great people. We identified early. We thought he was somebody that was going to be really special. You know, here he is, ACC Player of the Year, leading his team to a Final Four. We couldn't be happier for him. We had a vision for him. He trusted Coach Larry Nagin, myself and his staff. And to see him, I saw him last night at the hotel. He gave me about the biggest hug, almost knocked me over.

And that meant the world to us. I'll ask you a few more, Adam Fisher, before we let you run. Michael Shrewsbury, we all saw the job he did at Penn State. Remarkable what you guys accomplished this year. What does Notre Dame get in a Michael Shrewsbury?

A home run hire. Probably the best I've seen up close, X's and O's, but an even better person. Him and his wife, Molly, and therefore kids are just unbelievable. And he helped prepare me to become a head coach. I really believe my two years with him, I learned so much. We are so happy for them.

You know, it hit the edge of the world. You know, the NBA background that he has. Everything he does is first class.

Everything. And we are so grateful for our two years. I told him to keep my number in his favorites. I'll probably be calling him daily for questions and different things. And he's the best. Just a great, great coach, but even better person. What did you take away from your time at NOVA with Jay Wright?

You know, I was just a sponge then. You know, you're watching Coach Wright, who again to me is one of the greatest of all time in our profession. I just became a sponge and watched him build a program the way he motivates guys. And he just gets the best out of everybody in his program. And the way he coaches, the energy he brings, the pride he had in representing his school. That's what I want to do at Temple. Well, Coach, I can't be happy enough for you. Once again, congratulations.

Really appreciate you doing this. And all I got to say, Coach, bring us back. We need us back in the tourney, all right? Let's go.

I expect you have some games, though, Zach. So be ready. I want you there. So let's go. 100%. I'll be there. I get a courtside seat, you know, a little trip to the buffet before the game.

Exactly. We'll make it happen. I don't know the right people yet, but we will. Thank you so much for having me on tonight.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-31 22:26:47 / 2023-03-31 22:33:09 / 6

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