University of Miami Hires Al Golden
Although slightly overshadowed by tragic news such as the death of Bob Feller, Miami U is making headlines again. After a two week search that included endless and relentless speculation on who might end up getting hired, the Miami Hurricanes finally got their man. Their next head football coach is 41 year old Al Golden, who ushered in a golden age of sorts as the coach at Temple. The hire ends a few crazy weeks at Miami and puts Al Golden right on the recruiting trail. This month and January are some of the prime months of the year to get signings and oral commitments out of recruits. The hope is that his credit card car insurance is all paid up, because he is going to be putting some miles in.
Part of the job of Al Golden now will be to try to salvage the recruits from Randy Shannon's incoming class. The deposed Hurricanes head coach was in the midst of what was said to be a nice recruiting campaign. Of course, "nice" is not what the Hurricanes faithful wanted, and that is not what they hired Al Golden to give them. And that is where the other part of his job comes in. He needs to bring in the blue chip recruits necessary to turn Miami back into a true national power. He must be some kind of recruiter, given the astonishing success he had at football wasteland Temple.
Al Golden Age in Temple
In 2006 he took over a program that had won three games in its last three seasons combined. By the time he was finished, that same program won 17 games in its last two years, including a nine game winning streak that was the longest in school history Somehow, by a virtuoso recruiting performance, he got some of the best talent in the Philadelphia area to stay home and go to Temple rather than play elsewhere. He made a terrible team relevant. He led them to ten straight home wins at one point, back to back winning seasons for the first time over 30 years, and a first place finish in the MAC East Division in 2009.
It is clear that Al Golden was a miracle worker at Temple. The work he did there was amazing given the school's academic standards especially. He had to recruit against schools with no such standards and play against them in the MAC eight games a year. Critics wonder whether this Al Golden age at Temple can translate into similar success at the U.
The trouble, as anyone knows who has been a follower of Hurricane football, is that as a general rule, a nine win season there is an utter disappointment. Granted, there have been plenty of disappointments here lately, but not enough to make the fan base and the alumni forget the glory days. They want Al Golden to bring the program all the way back to the top of the heap in college football, something that Randy Shannon could not do or was not given enough time to do, depending on whom you ask.
New Start for Hurricane Football
Al Golden is sitting right at the start of something big as he moves his stuff into his new office and heads on down the recruiting trail. He is either going to be a big success or a big failure as a coach there. There's no in between at the U. You either win your conference and compete for the national title, or the season is a complete waste. Al Golden has his work cut out for him at a place with much higher expectations than what he is used to.