PHILADELPHIA -- Al Golden is used to winning seasons,
sellout crowds and bowl games.
One victory would be progress for Temple.
Golden, who spent the past five years as defensive coordinator
at Virginia, was hired by Temple on Tuesday to lead its forlorn
football program, ending a search that began two months ago when
head coach Bobby Wallace said he wouldn't return to the school.
"I don't care what's transpired in the past," Golden said,
addressing the players gathered at his news conference. "When we
meet, we're going to start a new era, you guys are going to start
with a clean slate."
The 36-year-old Golden has a difficult task trying to turn
around decades of futility. Temple went 0-11 this year, its first
winless season on the field since 1959.
Temple was 19-71 during Wallace's eight years as coach, and was
booted out of the Big East Conference. The Owls were outscored
498-107 this season, while playing a difficult schedule that
included four teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 poll.
"I'm excited about leading this program as we transition into
the Mid-American Conference," Golden said. "I'm confident in the
commitment to excellence that currently exists at Temple
University. We have the best university, the best city and the best
facilities in the MAC. The future looks bright on North Broad
Golden was the third member of Virginia's coaching staff to
leave for a head coaching position. On Monday, offensive
coordinator Ron Prince accepted the job at Kansas State. Last week,
associate head coach Danny Rocco left for Liberty.
"Al Golden is a very engaging, energetic coach," Virginia
coach Al Groh said. "He has contributed a great deal to our
program which hopefully gives him a good model on how to do things
right. His coming to Temple is a real plus for the Owl program."
The Owls are stuck with an independent schedule with no true
conference affiliation for another season before joining the
Mid-American Conference as a full football member in 2007.
Golden was 31 when he was hired by Virginia as the youngest
defensive coordinator in the nation in 2001. He had spent the
previous season at his alma mater, Penn State.
Temple's last winning season was in 1990 and the Owls haven't
played a bowl game since 1979. They forfeited six wins in 1986 due
to the use of ineligible players.
"With Al Golden, we now have the final piece in place for the
rebuilding of the Temple football program," Temple athletic
director Bill Bradshaw said. "We are looking forward to providing
our alums and Philadelphia college football fans a bright and
promising future -- the Golden Era of Temple Football."
Golden was the linebackers coach at Boston College for three
seasons (1997-99), before joining Joe Paterno's staff at Penn
State. He served as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator
under Paterno in 2000.
He played three years (1989-91) at Penn State, starting for two
seasons at tight end.
"He'll do good because he's got an unrealistic enthusiasm,"
former Temple and NFL star Joe Klecko said. "Now that he's been in
very successful programs like Virginia and Penn State and seen how
they've done it, too, I think that history will help him."