CORAL GABLES – University of Miami football coach Al Golden has said he is not a candidate for any other job, ending days of silence and speculation about his future with the Hurricanes.
Golden’s statement did not specifically mention Penn State, his alma mater, which reportedly targeted him as a top candidate to replace Bill O’Brien as coach. Throughout the process, Miami athletics director Blake James said he was confident Golden would stay and was more succinct following the release of the coach’s statement.
“`He’s staying,” James said Sunday.
Golden is 22-15 in three seasons at Miami, with much of that time coming while the Hurricanes were dealing with an NCAA investigation concerning the actions of a former booster. That saga ended midway through this past season. Miami finished 9-4 and began luring a recruiting class that is widely expected to be among the top 10 nationally.
“There has been much speculation concerning my future at the University of Miami. While I am flattered that our progress at The U during an extremely difficult period of time is recognized, I am also appreciative of just what we have here at UM and I am not a candidate for another position,” Golden said in the statement released by the school.
Former Miami wide receiver Shawn O’Dare, who played for Golden, wrote on Twitter shortly after the announcement: “Commitment-the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.”
Added incoming Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios, also on Twitter: “It’s a canes thing, you guys just wouldn’t understand.”
Golden was unaware of the investigation when he took the Miami job, often calling what happened when the NCAA probe became widely known in August 2011 – a few weeks before his first game with the Hurricanes – “the tsunami.”
Nonetheless, he stayed and was rewarded with an extension, one that has him under contract into early 2020.
Through it all, the Hurricanes continued to build. If not for a second straight self-imposed postseason ban, they would have appeared in the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. They climbed to No. 7 in the AP Top 25 this season after a 7-0 start, the school’s highest ranking in nearly eight years.
“We are eager to welcome our student athletes back to campus next week and visit with prospective student-athletes and their families beginning January 15,” Golden said.