Al Golden is still the head football coach of the Miami Hurricanes, in case you had the longest sleep of your life Sunday night.
He is not going to Penn State.
And for those who didnt listen to Golden at 6:30 a.m. Monday in a WQAM radio interview with Joe Rose, heres the entire part of the interview regarding Penn State word for word.
Joe Rose: Coach, how are you?
Al Golden: Good Joe, how you doing today. (Joe Rose laughs a lot here)
Rose: What was your weekend like?
Golden: Well, one of the reasons I released a statement yesterday was because speculation had grown so much that I thought I would be able to get to my press conference or even this conversation with you on Monday but I opted to release a statement so that we could move forward here.
Rose: Penn State comes down here. The search committee comes down to interview you. Obviously you went to school there. You were captain of the football team. You coached there. You did recruiting from there. Did you ever feel like when they were coming down, did you feel like you were ever close to taking the job? Could you just kind of help Canes fans out [with] what your whole thinking process was?
Golden: The thing is, over the last couple years I havent responded to any of this speculation of any school. Last year I was in a recruits home and they had me going to another school. The biggest thing is Im not a candidate for another position and I stand behind the statement I made yesterday. I was in the officeThursday and Friday evaluating every aspect of the program and Im excited to move forward.
Rose: Well close it up. Obviously youve got a great reputation up there, Coach. I think everybody knows that. I understood if you did meet with them for those reasons. Hell, you met your wife there. I think you met your wife in the sports department up there. So, obviously its a special place for you. Was it ever, like, you had to be curious about the job, Coach, a little bit, yes?
Golden: Joe, I just cant get, again, from a professional standout Ive never discussed any other positions. As I said yesterday, Im not a candidate. Im excited to be here. Im eager to welcome our guys back. We have incoming guys coming in Wednesday. The whole staff returns today. Weve got a staff meeting here in a little while and were moving forward.
Rose: Were you aware this weekend of all the stuff that was out there both up in Happy Valley and that area and down here and all the different reports on you?
Golden: I became aware of it with [athletic director] Blake [James]. Theres no way well be able to get to this conversation. Obviously thats why we released the statement. So, were moving forward and back at work today.
When asked specifically about his defensive coordinator Mark DOnofrio, who has gotten intense heat from fans regarding UMs struggling defense, Golden did not talk specifically about the coach. He cited lots of areas in which the Canes have improved since hes been there, and other areas in which they need improvement.
Golden was asked if he expected to make changes in either philosophy or coaching staff and if he goes back and evaluates everything.
Theres no question that from the last game I worked on it Monday and Tuesday of last week and I worked on it again Thursday and Friday, he said. I look at everything.
Golden then asked Rose if he had time to give his full answer and Rose said he had plenty of time.
Golden: The biggest thing is, were not coming from a place of 11 or 13 wins. Were coming from basically, as you know, what amounted to be a train wreck two years ago and were on an upward trend.
We won nine games. And continuity to me you know, people think change is the answer. I want to get at the same place everybody else wants to get. I just believe continuity, the progress that were making is really important. The recruiting that were making, all of that is on an upward trend. If we look at the defense, for instance, again, were not where we want to be.
Golden then cited lots of statistical ranking trends and how UM had moved up in several of them, offensively and defensively.
What do you say about the job that your defensive coordinator Mark DOnofrio has done, Coach?
Golden: I just said it. The trend right now is positive.
First of all, its impossible for me to say anything without somebody saying Im making an excuse. No. 1, Im responsible for everything in the building. I always will be. And that means whether a young man makes a bad decision in the community, or someone is not making a tackle on the field or not lifting or running or doing the things that they need to do. Im responsible for it.
The coach went on to talk about the past two years and the progress and where there needs to be improvement, and that he will tackle fixing the problems.
If it was not a positive trend right now then I would go in a different direction. But the reality is that I like the direction were going as a program overall. Ive looked at all three of these entities and obviously the weight room as well and recruiting and every facet of the program.