- Associated Press - Sunday, December 12, 2010

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (AP) - Al Golden led a resurgence at Temple. He may get the chance to engineer another at Miami.

The Hurricanes offered their coaching job to Golden on Sunday, and he was expected to accept, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Miami officials didn’t authorize any comment with a deal not yet completed.

The person said an agreement could become final Monday.

Golden would replace Randy Shannon, fired Nov. 27 after Miami completed a 7-5 regular season and fell to 28-22 in his four seasons at his alma mater. Golden was believed to have received an offer of at least four years, with the total value possibly up to $8 million.

Athletic director Kirby Hocutt had a list of about 10 names of those under consideration during the process, and Golden became the favorite after interviewing for the job in New York early last week.

Hocutt said when the process began he would take as much “time as necessary” to find the right coach, and over the weekend, the decision was made to hone in on Golden _ who has been a candidate for several other high-level jobs in recent years, including UCLA and Tennessee. He was also believed to be a candidate for the current opening at Pitt.

“He was the favorite from the time he interviewed in New York,” said the person who spoke with AP.

Golden’s work at Temple has been nothing short of remarkable.

Temple’s departing class of current seniors became the program’s first in nearly 30 years to leave with a winning record. The Owls went 9-4 last season, losing in what was known as the EagleBank Bowl, then went 8-4 this year _ only to be snubbed for a postseason bid.

Temple went 3-31 in the three seasons before Golden arrived; the Owls were 1-11 in his first season there, then won 26 games over the past four years.

The 41-year-old Golden played at Penn State under Joe Paterno, spent a brief time in the NFL with the New England Patriots, then began his coaching career. He knows the Atlantic Coast Conference, having spent time as an assistant at Virginia and Boston College, and was once the youngest defensive coordinator in major college football.

And much like Shannon did, he stresses discipline _ zero tolerance on curfew violations, for example _ and academics, two values that Hocutt and university president Donna Shalala demand as well.

Miami hasn’t played in the Bowl Championship Series since the 2003 season, and has lost 16 of its last 21 games going back to 2005 against ranked opponents. The Hurricanes thought moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference seven years ago would enhance their chances to remain among the nation’s elite; they have yet to even win the league title.

And it was that phrase _ “national relevance” _ that Hocutt referenced when he announced Shannon’s firing on Nov. 28, one day after Miami completed a 7-5 regular season.

If Golden’s deal gets done, that’ll be his primary charge.

Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland will serve as the interim coach for Miami’s bowl game against Notre Dame on Dec. 31. So while Stoutland finishes up 2010, Golden would presumably be free to start working on 2011, assembling a staff and picking up where recruiting left off when Shannon was dismissed.

The Hurricanes have about 15 scholarships to issue this recruiting season, and some of the high schoolers who committed to Miami under Shannon have since said they’re open to looking at other schools.

Plus, though the schedule won’t be finalized for several more weeks, whomever Miami’s next coach becomes is likely to face a daunting four-game stretch to open his stint with the Hurricanes. Preliminary drafts of the 2011 schedule show that Miami could open with road matchups against Virginia Tech and North Carolina, followed by home games with Ohio State and Kansas State.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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