Miami Defensive Coordinator Mark D'Onofrio
Once Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien accepted the same position with the Houston Texans, rumors immediately circulated about Golden returning to his alma mater. However, whether Golden was never officially offered the job or he turned it down, he stayed with the 'Canes.
Mark D'Onofrio came to "The U" alongside Golden, but his defense regressed in a major way after a brilliant start. As the competition improved, the Miami D folded, which led to four losses over the final six games.
But Golden valued continuity over potential changes.
"It's my decision, and my decision was that starting over for these young people is not the answer," Golden said, per Matt Porter of The Palm Beach Post. "Continuity, continued progress, continue with the same position coaches and techniques and scheme, was the better answer for me."
James Coley seemed to plateau as a play-caller midway through the season, but it would have been unfair to relieve him of duties after just one year. Plus, his recruiting ability was a key reason some players, including running back Joseph Yearby, ultimately chose Miami.