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Sunday, December 12, 2010
Updated: December 13, 9:34 AM ET
Miami Hurricanes name Al Golden coach

By Bruce Feldman
ESPN The Magazine

The University of Miami hired Al Golden to be its next football coach Sunday evening.

The school will introduce Golden in a news conference Monday.

The 41-year-old Golden spent five seasons at Temple, transforming the Owls from a program that was 1-11 in his first season to winning 17 games in his past two seasons at the Philadelphia school.

"From the beginning of this process, one candidate stood above the rest as the right fit for the University of Miami," AD Kirby Hocutt said in a statement. "We are proud to welcome Al Golden to The U. His desire, leadership, communications skills and preparedness stood above the rest and he is the right man to meet the championship expectations of this program."

A source told The Associated Press that the deal is believed to be worth up to $2 million annually.

Golden succeeds Randy Shannon, who was fired after the Hurricanes (7-5) finished with a loss to South Florida.

The Owls went 8-4 this season, beating a Connecticut team that is headed for a BCS bowl by two touchdowns. They were not invited to a bowl game.

Temple was 0-11 the year before Golden arrived. In 2009 he led the Owls to their first bowl game in 30 years. He also presided over a dramatic improvement in the program's Academic Progress Rating -- one Golden and the school have previously called the greatest turnaround in the NCAA's APR era.

"Al Golden did not just win games at Temple University, but he built a football program, and he did it the right way," Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw told The Associated Press. "He engineered one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Division I history, and ... the turnaround was not only seen on the gridiron, but also in the classroom, with unprecedented academic success."

Golden, a New Jersey native and former Penn State tight end, has earned a reputation as a dogged recruiter and strong motivator in addition to being a disciplinarian.

Al Golden
Al Golden turned around Temple's program, and Miami's hoping he can do the same with the Hurricanes.

Golden met twice in person with Miami AD Hocutt, once in New York and then in Philadelphia, during the interview process. Former Miami assistant coach Marc Trestman, the coach of the two-time defending CFL Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes, also received strong consideration for the job, as did UConn coach Randy Edsall and Houston coach Kevin Sumlin.

"I'll tell you, I couldn't be more excited to have him come and lead this proud football program," Hocutt said at Miami's football banquet Sunday night. "There's nobody with more energy, excitement, enthusiasm in this country than Coach Golden. What he's done at Temple University is short of miraculous. He's taken a football program that was at the bottom point of the college football world, has built them to a respectable program, and is going to do great things here at the University of Miami."

Golden will meet his new team for the first time Monday afternoon.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he'll be the head coach at the University of Miami long-term," Hocutt said. "Ask him the question tomorrow and hear his response, but Al Golden is very loyal and he wants to be at the University of Miami. He wants to build this program back to the pinnacle of college football."

Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is expected to serve as the interim coach for Miami's appearance in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against Notre Dame on Dec. 31, but by then, Golden will likely be well into his plans for 2011. 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.

Golden previously worked under Al Groh as Virginia's defensive coordinator. He was also an assistant under Joe Paterno at Penn State and under Tom O'Brien at Boston College.

"He has learned, he has grown, he has developed, he is ready for that next step," Hocutt said. "He is ready to come to a program that can compete and win national championships. He's an excellent communicator, very organized, detail-oriented, and he's inspirational. He will inspire this football program to greatness."

Bruce Feldman is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.