Al Golden reaffirms commitment to Miami amid Penn State rumors
The list of candidates being considered to become Penn State's new head coach will not include Miami coach Al Golden.
Golden, a former Nittany Lions player and assistant coach, issued a statement Sunday saying he was "not a candidate for another [coaching] position."
Golden's statement was the big news on a day when Penn State's six-member search committee, chaired by athletic director Dave Joyner, was reported to have interviewed former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak and current Vanderbilt coach James Franklin in its hunt for Bill O'Brien's successor.
Golden, who used to be the coach at Temple, reportedly was interviewed Saturday in South Florida by the search committee led by Joyner. His statement did not make any reference to Penn State's interest in him.
Golden's statement, released on Miami's athletics website, said:
"There has been much speculation concerning my future at the University of Miami. While I am flattered that our progress at the U during an extremely difficult period of time is recognized, I am also appreciative of just what we have here at UM, and I am not a candidate for another position.
"We are eager to welcome our student-athletes back to campus next week and visit with prospective student-athletes and their families beginning Jan. 15."
The statement marked Golden's first public comments since Tuesday night, when it was reported by ESPN that O'Brien had accepted the head coaching position with the Houston Texans.
In reporting Sunday's interview by the committee with Munchak, who starred as a player at Penn State in 1979 and 1981, ESPN said the Titans offered the coach a contract extension and a raise if he would make changes to his coaching staff, but he rejected the idea and was fired Saturday.
Franklin, coming off a Compass Bowl win Saturday by his team over Houston, was expected to interview Sunday, according to the site Coachingsearch.com. ESPN said Franklin also is being sought for talks with the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins.
It was not known if the interviews were face-to-face, but both Munchak and Franklin are based in Nashville. Franklin was expected to be on the ESPN set Monday in Pasadena, Calif., for the BCS championship game.