The University of Miami fired football Head Coach Al Golden on Sunday, one day after Clemson handed the Hurricanes a 58-0 shellacking that was the worst in the school’s history. Assistant Coach Larry Scott will take over as the interim head coach for the rest of the season. He has served as the tight end coach and run game coordinator for the last three years.
“Obviously [this is] a tough day for me and the situation as an athletic director that you never want to have to deal with, but one that’s a reality,” said Miami athletics director Blake James in a teleconference call Sunday night. “I felt that going through yesterday’s game, my analysis was at a point that the end result has been identified and we weren’t where I felt we needed to be as a program, and I felt this was the right decision.”
Golden was in his fifth season as the school’s head coach and had a record of 32-25, including two bowl game losses in 2013 and 2014. He was 4-3 this season.
“On behalf of my family, I want to thank the University of Miami for a tremendous opportunity,” Golden said in a press release Sunday night. “I believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it, and we have some outstanding young men in our football program. Though this moment is difficult, we wish the Canes the best of luck going forward.”
Sunday’s announcement contradicted what James told South Florida Sun Sentinel reporter David Hyde after Saturday’s game, when he said that no coaching change was coming, but that the loss was “disappointing” and that they would “go and get ready to play Duke.”
“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 in the press release. “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.”
Calls for Golden’s firing were consistent throughout the first seven games of the season, with banners bearing the hashtag #FireAlGolden being flown over the team’s home games as well as the away games at Florida Atlantic and Cincinnati. The calls intensified after the 58-point loss to Clemson, including “Fire Golden” chants in the stands and complaints from famous football alumni like Warren Sapp and Leon Searcy after the game.
Scott, 38, becomes the 23rd head coach at UM. He played as an offensive tackle at the University of South Florida (USF) from 1997-99 and coached there for eight years before he came to Coral Gables. He spent time as the director of high school relations, tight end coach, offensive line coach and offensive assistant while at USF. Scott has never been a head coach before.
Feature photo courtesy HurricaneSports.com.