What once looked like an impossibility, came to fruition this evening.
Al Golden is no longer the Head Football Coach at The University of Miami.
Despite numerous assertions by AD Blake James that Golden and his staff would be re-evaluated at the end of the season, a decision was made tonight fresh off the heels of the worst loss in program history.
Assistant coach Larry Scott will serve as the Interim Head Coach for the remainder of the 2015 season.
"Coach Golden has led our program through some very difficult times and he has done so with class, integrity and a true desire to see our students succeed on the field, in the classroom and in the community." James said. "However, we have a proud tradition of excellence at Miami, not just in football but in all sports, and we want to compete for ACC and national championships. I simply believe that now is the time to bring the Hurricane Family together and rally behind our young men."
"Got beat from top to bottom," Golden said yesterday after the 58-0 loss to Clemson. "They outplayed us, they out coached us, and I just told the team that’s completely my responsibility for not getting them ready to play."
Golden finished his tenure with the 'Canes at 32-25 overall.
He was 0-5 Vs FSU and UM never won the ACC Coastal Division nor a bowl game in his stay.
His loyalty to long time friend/assistant Mark D'Onofrio probably didn't help things either.
The 'Canes who were once known for defensive ingenuity (who didn't copy Jimmy Johnson's schemes of the 80's and emphasize defensive speed?) were relegated to at best mediocrity on that side of the ball over 5 seasons.
Clemson put up 567 yards including 416 on the ground in Saturday's humiliation.
However, while he never did get over the hump with on field performance, he will forever be credited for navigating the program through the murky waters that were the Nevin Shapiro scandal.
AG also was clearly a caring, classy person.
Who can forget the way he rushed to the field and comforted injured WR Malcolm Lewis 3 seasons back at Georgia Tech?
He also leaves the next coach a non bare cupboard. QB Brad Kaaya will be back for at least one more year, and the roster has plenty of good, young play makers including Chad Thomas, Al-Quadin Muhammad, and Joe Yearby, among others.
These things should not be forgotten.
But bottom line, you have to win and win big to keep your job at a place like the University of Miami.
He didn't even come close.
Some potential candidates for full time replacement include former Miami player/coordinator Rob Chudzinski (currently on the Colts staff), former UM player and current Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal, and former DC/Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano.
Of course Hurricanes fans are hoping that the man who brought the program back from the dead in the 90's, Butch Davis, gets the gig.
Given the issues UNC encountered off the field during his time in Chapel Hill (even if he wasn't involved), and the hard feelings from his departure from Coral Gables after the 2000 season, this is likely a long shot.
Given the unexpected ways things have gone down here recently though, anything is possible.
We'll have much more on this story and possible full time replacements in the coming days.