Aaron McKie steps down after four seasons as Temple men’s basketball coach

Temple men’s basketball coach Aaron McKie stepped down on Monday after his fourth season, the program announced.

McKie will now serve as a special advisor for athletics at Temple.

“I want to thank Temple for the opportunity and privilege to serve as the head men’s basketball coach,” McKie said in a press release. “I wish nothing but the best for Temple’s student-athletes and the university moving forward. Temple has been and always will be home for me and I wish the program nothing but success.”

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McKie, who had one year remaining on a five-year contract, finished with a 52-56 career record — including an 0-3 performance in the American Athletic Conference tournament — and had only one team finish above .500.

McKie was hired as Temple’s head coach in 2019, replacing Fran Dunphy, who is now La Salle’s head coach. He became an assistant in 2014 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2018 before taking over. Prior to that, McKie was an assistant for the 76ers from 2008 to 2013.

McKie’s first two seasons were cut short by COVID-19, but his last two seasons did not go as planned. The Owls never came close to making a postseason appearance and had internal turmoil throughout.

Despite past performances, Temple had “tournament-or-bust” expectations for the 2022-23 season. But the team regressed and lost pivotal matchups to lesser talent, including games against Wagner and Maryland Eastern-Shore.

Temple (16-16, 9-7 AAC) went 2-7 to close the 2022-23 season and ended the year with an 84-54 loss to Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the AAC tournament. The Owls played 14 Quadrant 1 and 2 opponents this season — seven games in each Quadrant. Temple went 6-8 in those games, going 3-4 against both Quadrants. Temple followed that up with a 10-8 record against Quadrant 3 and 4 competition.

Temple finished with a 6-7 nonconference record and could not make a statement in the AAC. There were some bright moments, but guard Khalif Battle left the program and many players who needed to take the next step never performed up to expectations.

During his time at Temple, McKie missed out on local talent, including players like 2019 four-star Maryland forwards Donta Scott and Hakim Hart of Imhotep Charter and Roman Catholic, respectively, 2020 four-star Miami guard Wooga Poplar of Math, Civics and Sciences, and 2021 four-star Cincinnati guard Dan Skillings Jr. of Roman Catholic.

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Temple will now start a search for the 19th head coach in program history. Temple vice president and director of athletics Arthur Johnson will be leading his sixth coaching search for a Temple sport in less than two years.

“I want to thank Aaron for his service to Temple these past nine seasons, both as an assistant and head coach,” Johnson said. “Aaron has been a role model both as a student-athlete, a professional player and as our coach, representing the university and the program in the finest manner. We are extremely grateful for his service to Temple and the men’s basketball program.”

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