If you’ve been a Canes fan for more than a week, you know that for the better part of the last 5 years, Miami was coached by Al Golden. That tenure ended in October a day after the Canes suffered the worst loss in the 90 year history of the football program, 58-0 to National Runner-up Clemson.
In the days and weeks after his firing, Golden was silent. He had nothing to say about his time in Miami, largely because there was nothing to be said. That radio silence ended on Thursday morning when The Detroit Free Press published an article Golden, the Lions’ new TE coach.
Former Miami coach Al Golden is now a Lions assistant. "I needed this' https://t.co/KYR3EC1oxi via @freep— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) June 16, 2016
Not only that, but The Detroit News published an article in which Golden said his time at Miami "took too much of my life, so I moved on."
Lions TE coach Al Golden on rocky start to time in Miami: "It already took too much of my life, so I moved on." https://t.co/482FrlCQnz— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) June 16, 2016
This angers me. Unlike most Canes fans, hailing from Detroit, I'm a Lions fan. So, I'm not well rid of Golden like most of you happen to be. He’s gone from my Alma Mater to my NFL team. So I have to continue to be associated with this dude. I can’t get rid of him. DAMNIT!
Now, to the content of the articles, Golden taking a favorable spin on things is understandable, and false. He didn't move on from Miami. He was fired from Miami and shown the door. He didn't choose to leave, he was forced out. And, not a moment too soon (and arguably too late).
Golden also said he was "burnt out" late in his time at Miami, and that he needed the change to a new team. I have a newsflash for you:
Canes fans were burnt out too.
We were burnt out of seeing the top local recruits choose to go play for other teams, usually rivals of ours, only to come back to Miami and find success AGAINST the Hurricanes. We were burnt out of the tired, empty rhetoric like "it starts with me" or "I’ll get this fixed" or, my favorite phrase to hate, "trust the process."
We were burnt out of best result against Florida State being a close loss, instead of a blowout. We were burnt out of 6 YEARS of losing to the Seminoles. We were burnt out of yelling, and screaming, and blogging, and imploring Al Golden to make demonstrable changes to scheme and personnel, getting away from trying to make Miami into Penn State South and getting back to playing with speed, with aggression, with purpose, with excellence.
Ruining ppls lives but you felt burnt out— Jonathan Feliciano (@MongoFeliciano) June 16, 2016
Yeah, Golden took over the program only months before the NCAA investigation started. "The Cloud", as he so lovingly called it, served as both the thing against which the Canes had to fight, and the thing that gave Golden covering to explain why he couldn't do what we hired him to do: win.
"That sense of drain, of burnout, is long gone," Golden said. "This place has (rejuvenated me) and the players are a big part of it." - Detroit Free Press
The only reason that there was drain or burnout in the first place was the fact that Golden wasn’t ready for primetime. He simply wasn't the coach who could lead Miami to even moderate success. 5 years in Coral Gables and a 32-25 record tell that story quite well.
You know what drained Golden? Losing to the Cincinnati's of the world. Losing to Duke, who while better than previous years is nobody’s powerhouse. Losing to Florida State over. And over. And over. And over. And over again. Getting blown out (losing by 14+) 9 times in the last 4 seasons. Having to endure endless trash talk, taunting, and mocking, both on-field and off, for YEARS and having no better retort than "trust the process."
"The way I look at it is it already took too much of my life, so I moved on." - Detroit News
It was not the Miami Hurricanes program that drained Al Golden, but the inverse. He tried to win, sure, but his unsuccessful tenure was more about inaction and undeserved hubris than anything resembling success. It was his refusal to change systems, to play players who should have never seen the field in a capacity larger than Special Teams (if that), to not fire coaches who clearly, like he, were simply not good that drained Miami.
The pieces in the Free Press and News leave out one major fact: Miami is absolutely in a better place now that Golden is no longer employed here. That rejuvenation that is referenced by Golden is being enjoyed tenfold by all parties associated with the Miami Hurricanes football program.
Miami finally has a proven coach, not an upstart from Temple who is in over his head. There's a staff with a track record of success who will undo the mess that Golden did. Miami will play tough, play fast, and play in a way that was seldom, if ever seen, in the past 5 years. All of that is due to one fact: Al Golden is no longer the coach of the Hurricanes.
"I haven’t looked back since" his firing, Golden said.
Me either, Al.