Irish photographer learned that coach Cincinnati Bengals midfield Al Golden He is expected to become the University of Notre Dame’s next defensive coordinator. This comes after we were told he was in South Bend for a job interview on Sunday, February 6.
We were informed from day one that Golden was the best contender for the position under the new coach Marcus Freeman. We bumped things up again on January 21st when we reported he was a favorite early on for the job based on everything we’d been hearing.
Additionally, we spoke to some coaching sources who have had nothing but good things to say about Golden from their time working with him over the years. Irish Illustrated wanted to know more about Golden and we’ve heard a lot of positive comments.
“Man, the fiery guy. He’s emotional. He also does a great job at home with the kids,” a source said at Golden.
“He’ll be a great employee for a number of reasons,” another source on Golden said. “Firstly, he will be a former head coach who has been through all of that and can help Marcus in many ways as he puts his feet under him. I can’t tell you how important and how valuable that is. Second, he is a very liked and respected coach by almost everyone you talk to. I mean. That’s. He’s someone people always enjoy working with. I also think he’d kill it with the ND logo on his polo shirt.”
For more information on the expected addition to the Fighting Irish team, here is his official biography from the Bengals website.
Golden in his 29th season as a coach, including his sixth season as an NFL coach and his second with the Bengals. Ten of his college coaching seasons came as a head coach, leading both the University of Miami (Florida) and Temple University. And while he was playing on a court finish at Penn State, much of his coaching background and success came on the defensive side of the ball, specifically with his linebackers.
Last season, without the benefit of a personal off-season program due to COVID-19, Golden mentored a young Bengals squad with three starter picks and an unrestricted free agent for 2020. The steady development of these young players paralleled the Bengals’ improved defense as the season went on, as they helped The opponents made QBs by only 62.8, which is the sixth best in the NFL.
Golden spent 2016-19 as an assistant with the Detroit Lions, coaching the TEs in his first two seasons before moving on to coach the LBs in his last two. As the LBs coach, LBs Golden helped bring about a massive defensive transformation that saw the team ranked 10th in the NFL in overall defense, improving 17 points compared to 2017, and 10th in lunging defense, up eight places from 17.
Prior to his time in Detroit, Golden coached in the college ranks for 23 seasons, including 10 as head coach – Temple University from 2006-10, and Miami (Florida) from 11 through 15. He received numerous awards during his tenure as head coach, including That’s the 2009 MAC Coach of the Year award while at Temple, and the 2013 Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching while in Miami. He was named to the 2020 Temple Athletics Hall of Fame category, which was entered earlier this year.
While in Miami, Golden led his teams to bowling games in each of his five seasons. In 2012, Golden’s second season in Miami, the Hurricanes won the ACC Coastal Division Championship, though the program was subject to an NCAA investigation for violations that occurred prior to his arrival.
Golden’s first coaching assignment came at Temple, where he sparked one of the greatest transformations in college football history. He led Golden Booms to record wins in each of the last two seasons, after the school had only two seasons total wins over the past 26 years. The 2009 Temple team finished 9-4 and tied for the MAC East Division title (7-1 record), earning a spot in the EagleBank Bowl, which was the first Temple Bowl game since 1979 and only the third in the program’s 112 years in existence. The team’s nine wins in 2009 were also the second largest in the school’s history (the program began in 1894).
From 2001 to 2005, Golden worked as a defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia under head coach the puppy. At the time of his appointment in 2001, Golden was the youngest defensive coordinator in FBS (formerly Division IA). He worked closely with the Cavaliers’ insiders from 2001-04, and back defense in ’05.
Prior to taking his position at Virginia, Golden was a linebacker coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater, Penn State, in 2000. He spent the previous three seasons (1997-99) as a linebacker coach at Boston College, having begun his college training career as a graduate assistant in Virginia from 94 -96.
Golden began his coaching career in 1993, as an offensive coordinator at his Red Bank (NJ) Catholic High School.
Prior to his coaching career, Golden was a three-year title winner and two-year starter on a tight end at Penn State. In 1991 he was awarded the Penn State Ridge Riley Award, which is given annually to a football player who demonstrates excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship, friendship, and leadership. He also served as former coach Joe Paterno’s captain for the 1992 Nittany Lion that won the Fiesta Bowl. After graduation, he spent one year in the NFL with the New England Patriots, before turning his attention to coaching.
Golden was born on July 4, 1969, in Colts Neck, New Jersey. He has starred in Red Bank (NJ) Catholic High, and was inducted into the Jersey Shore Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He earned his undergraduate law degree and received his MA in Sports Psychology from Pennsylvania in 1991, then earned a MA in Sports Psychology from Virginia in 1996. Golden and his wife, Kelly, have three children – son AJ, and daughters Addison and Grace.
Playing and training history1988-1991: Played a court end in Pennsylvania. 1992 – Plays a court finish with the New England Patriots. 1993 – Assistant Coach (AC) for New Jersey High School classes. 1994-96- Graduate Assistant, Virginia. 1997-99- AC, Boston College. 2000- AC, Pennsylvania. 2001-05 Defensive Coordinator, Virginia. 2006-10- Head Coach, Temple. 2011-15 – Head Coach, Miami (Florida). 2016-19 – AC, Detroit Lions. 2020-Present – AC, Cincinnati Bengals.
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