“Are you kidding me?”
That seemed to be the question around the Delaware Valley Monday as the University of Miami announced that Al Golden, formerly of Temple, will take over as head coach of the football program.
Golden takes over for Randy Shannon whom the Hurricanes fired after a 7-5 record this season.
Miami’s athletic director Kirby Hocutt knew Golden was the man for the job immediately following their first interview in New York last week. The two also met in Philadelphia before coming to terms with a five-year deal.
“He is the right fit at the right time to lead us back to the pinnacle of the college football world,” said Hocutt before Golden met with the Miami media Monday.
Amidst a whirlwind of concern in Gainesville Florida since Urban Meyer stepped down last week, The U are now the ones making plenty of noise down South.
Or are they?
Golden, 41, maybe an unfamiliar name to most around the nation and not surprisingly to his new team.
But Golden has made plenty of noise in the Mid-American Conference while at Temple University. Despite his 27-34 overall record since 2006, Golden has led the team to a 17-8 record the past two seasons. The Owls were snubbed a bowl this season after finishing with an 8-4 record including a two-touchdown win over Big East Champ and BCS Bowl invite Connecticut.
Golden did however lead the Owls to the EagleBank Bowl against UCLA after posting a 9-4 record in 2009. It was the university’s first bowl in 30 years.
Golden also met with his new players Monday after news broke that he would take the position Sunday evening.
“Are you kidding me,” Golden chuckled at the opportunity, “this is a dream job.”
Golden was also in consideration for the vacant Pitt, Vanderbilt, Minnestota and Indiana coaching jobs as well in the past several weeks.
In 2006 Golden came to Philadelphia after a stint as the University of Virginia’s defensive coordinator. He brought an instant winning attitude to the program including a curriculum strict in discipline and academics.
Golden is known as a charismatic and successful recruiter helping turn around the worst football program in the nation to a legitimate contender. The Owls are now faced with many concerns including the future of injury prone but potential All-American running back sophomore Bernard Pierce.
In the meantime, Temple is expected to name current defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio, who played with Golden at Penn State, as his replacement.
That is unless he’s Golden’s first recruit to Miami.