Al Golden Says He Is Not Candidate for Penn State Head Coach Opening

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2014

Nov 2, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden  before the start of the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden will not become the new head of the Penn State football team.

Golden released a statement via the Hurricanes about the matter on Sunday, Jan. 5:

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. 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.

The Nittany Lions have an opening at head coach after Bill O'Brien accepted the same position with the NFL's Houston Texans. He replaced the legendary Joe Paterno, who ran the team from 1966 to 2011.

Golden is an alumnus of Penn State where he played tight end from 1987 to 1991. He also worked as a linebackers coach in 2000 for one year before becoming the defensive coordinator at Virginia.

In 2006, he became the head coach at Temple where he turned the team around from 1-11 in his first year to 17-8 in his final two. This led to a position with the Hurricanes, where he amassed a 22-15 record in three seasons.   

According to Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the Miami Sun-Sentinel, Miami did not think Golden would be going anywhere despite meeting with Penn State on Jan. 4. Athletic director Blake James stated, "Al and I are in regular communication. He is our football coach and I believe he will be our coach going forward."

James turned out to be correct as Golden decided to remain at Miami after three years with the program.

Oct 17, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden reacts on the sidelines in the third quarter. The Miami Hurricanes defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 27-23 at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Spor
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The 44-year-old coach was included alongside an impressive list of candidates for the Penn State job, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

Golden would have joined a rebuilding effort at Penn State, which was left in disgrace after a scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The NCAA ruled that the school would have reduced scholarships and a four-year bowl ban running through the 2015 season, although some of these penalties have been modified.

Miami was also ineligible for the postseason in the coach's first two years there. Kevin Negandhi of ESPN discussed this as a possible deterrent for accepting the Penn State job:

While Golden may have managed to steer the Nittany Lions around the sanctions, we'll never know as he will continue his rebuilding effort with the Hurricanes.  


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