Now that it appears Al Golden is staying at Miami, the Hurricanes coach is digging his heels in with regards to his staff. Golden will not make any major coaching changes in the offseason, believing continuity paves the road to success.
In an interview with WQAM 560 in Miami, he explained why there will not be any large shakeups.
So I think the biggest thing is we’re not coming from a place of 11 or 13 wins. We’re coming from, as you know, what amounts to be a train-wreck two years ago and we’re on an upward trend. So we won 9 games. Continuity to me… people think change is the answer. I want to get is the same place everyone wants to get. I just believe that continuity and the progress we’re making is really important, the recruiting that we’re making, all of that is on an upward trend.
Much of the criticism of late has been directed towards the team’s moribund defense. The Hurricanes gave up over 30 points in five of its final six games, going 2-4 during the stretch. The most recent contest was a 36-9 blowout loss to Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Nonetheless, in comparison to past seasons, Golden viewed 2013 as one of vast improvement.
If we look at the defense for instance. Again, we’re not where we want to be, but what are the trends? Those are the trends I look at every day. We moved up 17 spots in points per game. We moved up 36 spots nationally in rushing defense. We move up 52 spots in interceptions. We moved up 25 spots nationally in forced fumbles. We moved up 40 spots in takeaways. We moved up 74 spots in sacks. We moved up 52 spots in red zone defense. We moved up 36 spots in red zone TD’s. We moved up 21 spots in yards per rush, again it’s still not where it needs to be; we need to get that under 4 (yards per rush). We moved up 17 spots in yards per play. Our mental errors were down. Our tackling percentage was up.
Considering the mess he stepped into at Miami, Golden has considerable amount of carte blanche. He has guided the program through the Nevin Shapiro scandal, all while shedding the malaise of Randy Shannon’s tenure. Unlike coaches on hot seats who are forced to make staffing changes, Al Golden owns all the leverage in this situation.
[Thanks to CoachingSearch.com's Pete Roussel for the transcription]