It has become readily apparent in recent weeks that the University of Miami is going to stick with Al Golden at least through next season. Golden has already said that changes are in store for 2015, but that he would not announce them until he met with the team Sunday night.
During the past few months, I have complained about the coaching staff and I have complained about losing local recruits to other schools. I have always believed that you cannot complain unless you have a solution to the problem. Here is my solution. I might have come up with a formula to turn both negatives into positives before next season.
If I had an opportunity to assemble a winning staff, that would lead Miami back to prominence, I would look no further than our own backyard and see all of the great local high school coaches and college position coaches that have attained success at Miami. I would invite them back to coach the current team and have them build for Miami's football future. They could lend their talents on the field and on the recruiting path.
Forget about bringing in the likes of Rob Chudzinski, as he would only come if he could take the top job. He was already the Offensive Coordinator here before leaving for the NFL. Ken Dorsey, coaching the NFL, might consider coming back as Offensive Coordinator. He currently coaches Cam Newton on Mike Shula's offensive staff in Carolina.
Miami has already started this trend with Ice Harris, who came over from Booker T. Washington and Jorge Baez who came over from Gulliver, but why stop there? Let's play this out a few steps further and see who else could serve as candidates for the staff.
First, I would do what should have been done years ago and I would bring Lamar Thomas back to Miami to coach the wide receivers. By taking him away from Bobby Petrino in Louisville, you are weakening an ACC opponent and you are also bringing back a vibrant face from UM past that won titles and can also recruit. He has become a quality coach and has a lot of star power. He also coached Devante Parker this past season and made him a better player. He will be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.
I would bring in Steve Walsh as my quarterback coach. Walsh was a Heisman finalist while at UM and led Miami to the 1987 National Title. Walsh is currently the head coach at West Palm Beach's Cardinal Newman, the same school that produced Travis Rudolph. Walsh has taken a small school to the state playoffs in consecutive years and has coached some top prospects. Miami could had Rudolph, but he decommitted when UM coaches tried to convince him to play defensive back.
Between Walsh and James Coley, the Hurricanes would have lethal leadership at the quarterback position. Walsh also has tremendous ties to the coaches in Palm Beach County. It just seems strange that Quarterback U does not have a full-time quarterback coach. Think about how much better that QB room would be with Walsh assisting Coley in bringing along Brad Kaaya and Malik Rosier and any other kid that commits to the program.
Mike Rumph was one of the best defensive backs in school history. I would make him my assistant defensive coordinator, or I might even turn the entire defense over to him. Rumph also played in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. He has most recently led Plantation's American Heritage High to two consecutive state titles. Rumph coached Torrence Gibson, who spurned Miami for Ohio State and Tavares McFadden who turned down Miami for Florida State. Dredrick Snelson, who was a commit for the 2016 class, until recently, also played on that team.
If those commitments hold true on National Signing Day, those would have been two huge gets for Miami that they missed out on. There is no guarantees that anyone could project them as signing with Miami is Rumph was on the staff, but it would sure give the staff a lot more credibility when going after other local players. Rumph will also have a host of other quality players from this year's title team signing on this NSD and in the future. His contacts are sorely needed in Broward County where Miami traditionally does not recruit that well.
Speaking of defensive backs, I would find a spot on my staff for Roland Smith, the current head coach at Miami Central. Central also won their third consecutive state title this past season. Smith was also a winner at Miami Northwestern. Smith was a shutdown corner at UM and had the dubious task of facing Randal Hill in practice every day. Former Cane Earl Little also finished his first season coaching at Miami Jackson and could be a good coach in the years to come.
Scott Barnwell, a former kicker from UM, is the current head coach at Seminole Ridge in Palm Beach County. With all of Miami's special teams woes in recent years, I would bring Barnwell in to coach the special teams. He could also help Walsh with recruiting in Palm Beach County.
Last but not least, Donnell Bennett, a former UM running back who was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1994 and enjoyed success with them for many years, is currently coaching Coral Springs Christian School. He would be a good choice to assist with the running backs.
If AG and staff are truly considering changes, any or all of these would help.