By taking his skills to South Beach, Al Golden becomes the first football coach in ages to leave the Temple University job under his own power. Golden will reportedly become the next head coach at Miami.
And no, not Miami of Ohio. The U, which has lost quite a bit of its luster over the last few years.
Everyone knew this day was coming. Golden was literally too good for Temple to hold onto. That is the reality on North Broad Street. It was always going to take an exceptional coach to get that program going in the right direction, and Golden certainly is that. Any coach who succeeded at Temple was bound to be lured away by a larger, richer football school.
The timing isn’t ideal. The Owls had a winning record at 8-4, but lost their final two games and missed out on a bowl appearance. The team has been troubled, too, by allegations that two players sexually assaulted a female student last month. That investigation apparently continues.
So it’s a shame Golden is leaving under those circumstances. It would have been better if he’d finished his tenure at Temple with an honest-to-goodness bowl victory. But there’s no way Golden could turn down this job. Miami? At 41, Golden has his career-making opportunity.
Athletic director Bill Bradshaw has been on a roll lately, getting Golden and then hiring Fran Dunphy away from Penn to replace Hall of Famer John Chaney. Golden will not be that tough an act to follow, but it’s a tricky hire. The program is in much better shape, but that winning tradition isn’t exactly set in concrete yet.
Golden will do well at the next level. The challenge is tougher for Temple.