Temple's football program is taking another big step forward, this time with the addition of a new indoor practice facility.
The news was first reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The indoor facility will be at what was formerly the Student Pavilion at 1901 N. 15th Street, just north of McGonigle Hall between Broad and 15th Streets. Turf will be placed in the existing 32,000-square-foot facility, which includes a front-desk space and bathrooms that can be converted into a changing area/locker-room space.
The Inquirer reported that the facility will be ready by Aug. 1, but a source familiar with the situation said it could be ready in time for head coach Matt Rhule's fifth and final camp of the summer on Saturday, July 27.
The addition of an indoor facility comes on the heels of the program completing a $10 million addition to the team's Edberg-Olson Hall practice facility and Chodoff Field at 10th and Diamond Streets last July. In that renovation, the weight room was built out from 2,500 square feet to 10,000 square feet, and other additions included a new locker room, new meeting rooms, a hydrotherapy space and an expanded sports medicine area that looks out onto the practice field.
An Owl Club room was added next to the head coach's office for media, team meal and recruiting functions, and the overall scope of that project saw Edberg-Olson Hall go from 15,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet.
In the past, inclement weather forced the Owls to reschedule practices, cancel them or sometimes even move them to the Philadelphia Eagles' NovaCare complex in South Philadelphia.
That will no longer be an issue.
Kraft hired as deputy director of athletics
Temple officially announced Thursday the hire of Dr. Pat Kraft, a senior athletics administrator with previous stops at Loyola University Chicago and Indiana University.
Kraft was the executive senior associate AD at Loyola, where he oversaw the department's external operations like marketing, media relations, ticketing and fundraising.
According to the press release issued by Temple Thursday afternoon, Kraft helped increase Loyola's men's basketball season ticket base by 30 percent and sparked an overall ticket revenue increase of 51 percent while bumping Loyola's annual athletics giving by 75 percent.
Kraft will report to Kevin Clark, who became Temple's interim athletic director following the retirement of former athletic director Bill Bradshaw May 1.
Rhule will host the first of his five football camps this Sunday, May 26. A new part of Rhule's camp series will include the addition of a June 2 camp at Penn Hills High School outside Pittsburgh, where the Owls have had some recent recruiting success.
In addition to signing Gateway High School's Todd Jeter back in February as part of his 2013 recruiting class, Rhule has landed verbal commitments from two more Gateway standouts in Delvon Randall and Brenon Thrift.