Miami Hurricanes Football: Al Golden's Top 10 Culture Changes
A lot has changed in Coral Gables over the last year.
Multiple coaching changes, players leaving, and an athletic director change, but the hiring of Al Golden is something that seems to be going in an 180 degree different direction, for the better.
Here is a list of ten things that Golden is changing about Miami.
#10—New, but Old Uniforms.
Flashy is not Golden's style.
In fact, the newer Nike Combat jerseys Nike has provided for the Hurricane, seemed to have irked Golden.
He has been stating that he is going back to the old Hurricanes jerseys from either the 80's, 90's or early 2000's.
Golden is really trying to make his team understand what those teams stood for, even if it's just the way the jersey looked.
#9—Bringing Back the Legends
For the last few years, Randy Shannon seemed to grow a little irked about ex-Hurricanes being on the sidelines during games.
Some players have even stated that they had to stand on the opposite team's sideline during home games.
Golden is bringing back the old players, in fact, he wants as many as they can to come back.
You see, Miami has a tradition not many teams have.
It's more to these ex-Canes then just football; it's family.
From day one, Golden has welcomed as many players from the past with open arms.
He knows that all those Hurricanes have been here before and he just wants this years team to understand what it was to be great.
No better way then to have national champions at practices and games again.
#8—Be More Envolved in the Community
The Hurricane players have done a lot for the community in South Florida over the years.
Al Golden wants them to do even more.
When Golden was at Temple, the Owls received recognition for their community service efforts. In 2009, the Temple team was awarded the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award, presented by the Philadelphia Sports Congress, and the Athletic Department's inaugural T.E.A.M. [Temple's Exceptional Acts for Mankind] Award for community service (1).
Golden is a strong believer in, if you help the community, the community will help the football team and at Miami, there is a need for a bigger following.
Ever since the move from the Orange Bowl to Dolphin Stadium, the crowd participation has dwindled
Golden wants and needs more fan participation to bring some of that home field advantage back to Miami.
#7—Toughness and Conditioning
Coach Golden was so unimpressed by the conditioning of the Hurricanes last year that he established UTough.
What that is, is a hardcore conditioning method in which it helps the players be able to handle the physical demands of a four quarter game, since Golden has more than once said it seemed as though Miami was tired by halftime last year.
Golden started the spring making players start work at six a.m. with limited, if any at all, breaks.
Multiple players have been seen throwing up and coach Golden has received little complaints on the work ethic he has instilled on his players.
With the hot, humid games in south Florida, this will give Miami that edge they haven't had the last few years.
#6—Early Depth Charts
Many of the Hurricanes from last year probably had a pretty good understanding of how the depth chart was going to be for the 2011 season.
With the firing of Shannon though, things changed, a lot.
With Golden there is going to be no "dog house" or favoritism like the previous coach has shown.
It is going to be the best player plays, period.
Gone are the days of "what you did last year" as now it is "what you are doing today".
Nothing represents that more than what each of those players are seeing on the weekly depth chart that Golden is putting up.
It doesn't mean that what they see now is going to be implemented in August, it is basically just showing everyone that it doesn't matter what you did in the past, if you want to start, you better be working harder then everyone else.
#5—Regain the "State of Miami"
Howard Schnellenberger implemented the "State of Miami" plan back in the 80's.
What he wanted to do was to put a huge fence around Miami and grab every South Floridian he possibly could.
Obviously it worked.
Granted not every player in Florida is great, but Florida and Texas has shown that these are the states with the most football talent.
Especially in South Florida.
Golden recognizes the same thing Shannon did with recruiting; keep it local.
Golden has vowed that he will do everything in his power to keep the kids at home in Miami, something Schnellenberger excelled at.
I know I have written about swagger in previous articles, but it is so important to the fans and players that Miami gains some of it back, without the legal problems of course.
Under Shannon, Miami was a boring group that seemed to coast at times, just like their coach.
With Golden, many things are different and you could see it Saturday at the first spring scrimmage game.
Players were running around, getting pumped up, almost reminiscent of past teams.
Golden has stated from day one that he wants to see the players look more alive, even if that means showboating.
#3—Run, Run, and Then Run Some More.
With a question mark at quarterback for the last few years, there has been questions on why Shannon continously passed the ball so many times per game.
Miami has had great linemen and great running backs the last few years so it baffled so many people.
Golden recognizes that Miami needs to control the running game a lot more. It not only will control the clock, but give time for Stephen Morris and Jacory Harris to mature by not having to force the pass so many times.
Miami has three running backs; Lamar Miller, Storm Johnson, and Mike James, that could start on a majority of Division 1 football teams.
Golden is determined to use all running backs to create a powerful rushing attack like Miami had in 2001, when the running backs consisted of Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, and Willis Mcgahee.
#2—Brought Back Kehoe.
That really should be the end of this slideshow, because every die hard Hurricane fan knows exactly who that is.
For those who don't all you have to know is that Kehoe is the only person to have coached in all five Hurricane national champions.
He is to Miami as apple pie is to America.
Kehoe was fired by Larry Coker in 2006 and Hurricane fan's have never forgotten. Another reason why Coker was such a hated man in Miami.
He was hired by Golden as Offensive Line Coach in January of this year as part of bringing back old Miami tradition.
The last time the Hurricanes won the national championship was in 2001.
Although they lost, by robbery, in 2002, Miami has yet to make it to the national championship game, or even a conference championship.
It's not because of the talent—Miami has had loads of talent. The problem was no one was able to coach the players correctly.
Recently noted by cornerback Sam Shields, who played little during his stint with the Hurricanes, yet got picked up by the NFL Champions, the Green Bay Packers, and played a vital part to them winning it all.
You see, the coaching staff at Miami didn't know how to coach them to be winners; Golden will.
The confidence I have for Golden is based on motivational and what he did at Temple.
Temple was a lot like Miami was in the 70's, a program that was doing so poorly that the school was about to cancel the football program.
Golden came in and taught normal athletes how to win and for the first time in years, Temple went 9-4 for the best record they had since 1979.
Reminds you of the Hurricanes of the 70's, doesn't it?
Now lets just hope Golden can make these Hurricanes the most dominate program in the country, again.