Everybody wants to know how I feel about the new University of Miami head football coach Al Golden. Like many Canes fans and local sports media pundits, I didn’t know much about the man Kirby Hocutt selected to replace Randy Shannon. Through my twitter feed, I found out Golden played linebacker for Joe Paterno and that he took Temple University out of the dog house.
But I also found out some other things that worry me like the fact Golden never beat a Mid-America Conference team with a winning record and that his overall record is 26-38. When you analyze Golden’s overall record, I can’t help but think what the heck is the University of Miami doing?
Of course, the three major daily newspapers in south Florida and all the local sports talk radio guys are doing the big sell job that Golden is the new messiah, a cyborg version of Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson. At his introductory press conference, the Canes’ new head coach said all the right things, talking about his job is to win championships and that he wants the former players to be part of the program again. Sure enough, all the former-players-turned-Shannon-haters like Michael Irvin, were there sucking up the dog and pony show.
The reality is that Golden is an unproven commodity. How the hell Hocutt passed on Tommy Tuberville and Mike Leach for this guy baffles me. The University of Miami athletic director better hope Golden lives up to his confident assertions about bringing the U back to prominence. If he fails, Hocutt should be the next guy to get fired.
As a diehard Canes fan, I hope I am wrong, but I don’t see the program turning around under Golden. He may pull off a quick turnaround next year with Shannon’s players, but beyond that I don’t think Golden is capable of recruiting the star players from south Florida the University of Miami has consistently brought into the program. The Canes have already lost Miami Northwestern stars Teddy Bridgewater and Eli Rogers to Louisville and Charlie Strong. That’s just the beginning of the end. Golden let go of Corey Bell as director of football operations. The former Miami Edison High head coach was the school’s last connection to the inner city.
When Golden walks into the Pork N’ Beans project in Libety City, folks are going to think he is the police or an insurance salesman. The media has been reporting that Golden is hitting the recruiting trail. I’d like to know where he’s going? He sure wasn’t in Orlando for the high school state championships. That is the first place he should have shown his face. Being from the northeast, Golden is not used to recruiting and competing for top recruits with the likes of Nick Saban, Butch Davis, Frank Beamer, Bill Muschamp, and Jimbo Fisher, who had the entire Florida State University football staff at the 6A game between Miami Central and Dr. Phillips.
After the game, Jimbo called me up to let me know how excited they were that Central running back Devonta Freeman is going to be a Seminole. Why wouldn’t he be? Freeman came within 10 yards of breaking the state’s rushing record during the state championship game. In his last two games, the young man ran for close to 700 yards. Yet the U has never shown interest in Freeman or his teammates who have made Central the second south Florida high school team with the most wins the past two years behind St. Thomas Aquinas. Even Orlando’s Dr. Phillips has a player going to Alabama and another one headed for Michigan.
Instead Golden is out recruiting kids who were committing to Temple before he got the Canes top job. These are mid-major kids not the cream of the crop coming out of Florida. I heard Golden wants to speak to me. That’s good because I can definitely help him out. He’s not going to get any help from all the disgruntled ex-Canes players who are upset Randy Shannon never gave them jobs. They don’t where to find the top players. I do.