On December 13th 2015, Al Golden’s timer began to tick when he was introduced as the new head football coach of the Miami Hurricanes. At the press conference, Golden uttered words that brought a sense of excitement and anticipation to both fans and players alike.
“There is a tremendous tradition here. A tradition of winning championships, there is no other standard.”
But despite this verbal acknowledgement and commitment to excellence, Golden did not live up to the standard of greatness as the Head Coach at the University of Miami. Golden lost to Miami’s biggest rival, Florida State University, five years in a row and was winless in bowl games.
And on October 25th 2015, just one day after the Hurricanes suffered the biggest loss in UM’s history, Golden’s clock stopped ticking.
The five-year head coach’s time ran out.
The reaction from most former players was positive, and alumni were anxious for a return to a time where the “U” reigned.
— Warren Sapp (@WarrenSapp) October 26, 2015
— Phillip Buchanon (@PhillipBuchanon) October 25, 2015
Current players; on the other hand, were shocked and saddened by the news that their head coach had been relieved of his duties.
One of the few guys who ever believed in me and gave me a legit shot to play college football. This hurts.
— Brad Kaaya (@BradleyKaaya) October 26, 2015
Al Goldens door….. The kind of person and coach he was pic.twitter.com/7cUutTnHmO
— Kendrick Norton (@norton_kendrick) October 25, 2015
But despite the reaction from the players who are taking the field this Saturday, this move was necessary and in many ways inevitable. Golden’s 6-7 finish in 2014 sparked the idea of his departure, and a 58-0 loss at home against a conference opponent solidified it.
He simply did not get the job done.
For this reason, Miami should not repeat the same mistake of hiring someone who isn’t familiar with the culture at the University of Miami. The Hurricanes need someone who not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. As former head coach Butch Davis stated on the 790 The Ticket Morning Show, the ‘Canes need someone to “rally the family” and bring alumni together.
Former players such as Bryant McKinnie stated they would come back to Miami to coach, in order get UM back to what they were while he was playing. While this may not be entirely possible; however, there is no doubt alumni should play a larger role in the program.
The Alumni contribute to the overall tradition Miami exemplifies. And at the end of the day, that tradition is Miami’s advantage.
The University of Miami does not have the greatest facilities. It does not have the most dedicated fan base, and it does not offer a chance at an immediate title. What it does offer; however, is the chance to be a part of something greater than yourself. The chance to be a part of the tradition that has the most national titles in Florida.
The only way Miami can compete in recruiting is if they focus on the tradition that sets them apart; which is why the Hurricanes need to hire a coach with ties to the program.
The ‘Canes don’t need a young coach from an upstart non-Power 5 conference, but rather someone who knows the University of Miami and its recruiting area.
Otherwise, Miami might be going down the same dreadful road that is now Golden’s legacy at Miami. A road that ends in turmoil.
Game Prediction: The Hurricanes play hard and put forth a great effort for Interim Head Coach Larry Scott. With Brad Kaaya’s status uncertain, the offense is inconsistent throughout the game. Due to Kaaya’s health issues, the game comes down to Miami’s run game. The offensive line prevents Yearby from being dominant, but the ‘Canes energy entering this game helps them squeak by Duke.
Final Score: Miami 28 Duke 24