For the first time in forty years, Fran Dunphy is now without a mustache.
With only the assistance of a white towel, a mug of hot water and a small make-up mirror, the Temple basketball coach took a disposable razor to his legendary lip fur before a crowd of on-lookers in the basement of the Liacouras Center Thursday morning.
Athletic director Bill Bradhaw, associate athletic director Larry Dougherty and former Temple standouts Mark Tyndale and Dionte Christmas were all on hand to witness the event.
But the real story, as the coach reiterated so many times during his press conference, and the reason any of us were present in the first place, centers on the accomplishments of Mr. Christmas.
The story of the mustache and pictures of Dunphy in action after the jump...
In the spring of 2009, Christmas completed his final year of basketball eligibility and was set to move onto his professional playing career just three credits short of graduation.
As a means of motivation for the 6-6 swingman to come back and finish what he started, Dunphy promised Christmas that in the event Dionte earned his degree, Fran would shave his mustache.
Two years later in the Summer of 2011, Christmas completed a course to earn his final three credits and graduate from Temple with a Bachelor of Arts in African-American Studies. He is just the second member of his family to receive a college diploma.
His coach could not be more proud.
"I know that everybody's here because I'm shaving my mustache," said Dunphy, with Christmas seated beside him. "But the bigger story is that this young man has graduated from Temple University."
When it came time for the talking to stop and the shaving to begin, Dionte quickly revealed an iPad on which he took video of the event.
Pausing halfway through the process to remark on the absurdity of so many people showing up just to watch him shave, Dunphy quipped, "This is about the wackiest thing...," before trailing off to finish the job.
Fielding questions with his now clean-shaven upper lip, Dunphy revealed that he had been keeping the mustache since 1971, while a member of the Army.
If you think it's weird seeing the coach without his trademark mustache—or "muzzy," as he referred to it—imagine what this evening will be like for his wife. In all the time they have known each other and been married, she has never seen her husband without a mustache.
"My family has never seen me without it. My wife never has. And, uh, I don't know...she wasn't all that fired up," Dunphy laughed.
The coach remained non-committal after the event on whether or not he would re-grow the mustache. Sources inside Temple think "Muzzy's" return is pretty much a lock.
So, get a look these pictures while you can. We'll post Dionte's video in the event we can get our hands on it.
UPDATE: We don't have anything from Dionte, but we do have this video courtesy 20/20 Visual Media on Vimeo. Pictures from the event can be found below the footage.
Photo at top courtesy Mitchell Leff / Temple University. Pictures at bottom courtesy Nick Menta / The700Level.com