Monday, December 13, 2010

North Broad to South Beach; Golden takes Miami job

Al Golden, who led Temple football to 17 wins over the last two seasons, has resigned to accept the head coaching position at the University of Miami.  

A search will begin immediately for his successor.

“Al Golden did not just win games at Temple University, but he built a football program, and he did it the right way,” Temple University Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw said.  “He engineered one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Division I history, and not only did he turn Temple football around, he did it in such a way that it will last long after his departure.  The turnaround was not only seen on the gridiron, but also in the classroom, with unprecedented academic success. He also instilled core values evidenced by the team's outstanding community service record. 

“He hands off a program that is built for success, and for that Temple University is grateful.  We wish him, his wife Kelly, and his entire family all the best at the University of Miami.”

In five seasons on North Broad Street, Golden finished with a 27-34 overall record while breathing life back into the Temple football program.

In 2010, Golden helped Temple to many firsts in the program’s history.  The Owls became the first team in school history to earn back-to-back bowl eligibility, while recording back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1978-79. Finishing the season at 8-4, Temple won the 2010 Mayor’s Cup, won its first overtime game in school history, won a school-record 10 consecutive home games, and recorded the largest margin of victory in a MAC game. Eleven Owls earned All-MAC honors, including a school record eight first-team All-MAC honorees for the second consecutive season.

Golden guided the Owls to new heights in 2009, recording one of the best seasons in school history. Temple finished the season at 9-4 overall, tying for first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division with a 7-1 mark. It was the Owls’ best conference finish since joining the league in 2003. TU won a single-season record nine consecutive games. Temple recorded its first winning season since 1990 and made its first bowl appearance in 30 years. The Owls played UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl on Dec. 29 in Washington, D.C.

Named the 2009 MAC Coach of the Year and the Maxwell Club’s 2009 Tri-State Coach of the Year, Golden also saw an unprecedented 15 Owls earn All-MAC honors, including a school record eight first-team All-MAC honorees.  Rookie RB Bernard Pierce was named the MAC Freshman of the Year, while DE Adrian Robinson garnered MAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Pierce, who re-wrote all of Temple’s freshman rushing records, ran for a school record 16 touchdowns en route to Honorable Mention All-America honors and Freshman All-America accolades.  In 2009, Temple re-wrote 18 school season records and 11 game records.

In 2008, Golden led the Owls to five wins, the team’s most in nearly two decades. In scoring differential alone, he transformed the squad from a team that suffered a 391-point scoring deficit the year prior to his arrival to a team that out-scored its opponents by four points in 2008. The difference was 395 points.

In 2007, Golden led the Owls to a 4-8 overall mark and 4-4 during its inaugural season in the Mid-American Conference. The four wins were the most conference wins since 2002 and equaled the wins from the prior four seasons combined. The four MAC?wins were the most for Temple in 40 years. Temple led the nation in red zone defense, while also leading the MAC in defense and attendance. The Owls recorded the greatest one-year defensive turnaround in NCAA?Division I football, going from a No. 177 ranking in 2006 to No. 44 in 2007.

Off the field, the Temple team also blossomed. The players recorded the largest academic turnaround in the APR reform era. As a team, they achieved a 3.0+ grade-point average in the last three summer sessions. And in their free time, the Owls logged more than 1,000 hours of community service during the last year alone. Golden was not just building football players; he was building well-rounded students.

With three consecutive No. 1 recruiting classes in the MAC, Golden made the Owls competitive and gave them the chance to win.

The Owls also 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 back-to-back Athletic Department’s inaugural T.E.A.M. [Temple's Exceptional Acts for Mankind] Award for community service in 2009 and 2010.

The Colts Neck, N.J., native was named the Owls’ 24th head football coach on December 6, 2005, after spending the prior five seasons as defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. The 41-year old Golden is the sixth-youngest head coach in college football’s bowl subdivision.

Golden will be officially introduced during a press conference in Miami on Monday.

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