Penn State candidate Golden staying at Miami
The hunt for the next Penn State football coach took an unexpected turn Sunday when Miami coach Al Golden all but removed himself from consideration.
Golden released a statement posted on the university's website indicating he will stay in South Florida and that he is “not a candidate for another position.”
Golden, 44, is a former Penn State player and assistant coach. He recently completed his third season as Miami's coach. He also coached at Temple for five years.
“There has been much speculation concerning my future at the University of Miami,” Golden said. “While I am flattered that our progress at The U during an extremely difficult period of time is recognized, I am also appreciative of just what we have here at UM, and I am not a candidate for another position.
“We are eager to welcome our student-athletes back to campus next week and visit with prospective student-athletes and their families beginning Jan. 15.”
Golden was thought to be among the top candidates to replace Bill O'Brien, who resigned last week after two seasons with the Nittany Lions to accept the coaching job with the Houston Texans.
Former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin reportedly interviewed Sunday with the Penn State search committee. Munchak denied that ESPN report, telling The Tennessean he did not interview.
Johnson, the longest-tenured member of the Nittany Lions' current staff, said Friday he would apply for the permanent job. The day before, athletic director Dave Joyner, who chairs the search committee, said Johnson “will certainly get very strong consideration.”
Joyner also said he expected the search would take “days, rather than weeks.”
Shortly after O'Brien's resignation, reports surfaced that star quarterback Christian Hackenberg was in a wait-and-see mode regarding his future at Penn State. But he affirmed his commitment to Penn State late Saturday to newsplex.com, a cluster of TV stations in his native Virginia.
Hackenberg said he would report to campus for Penn State's spring semester, which begins next Monday. Hackenberg also said of his teammates: “I've talked to a lot of the guys. And we're excited for the future.”