Al Golden transcript

OPENING STATEMENT “I just want to start out by saying thank you to Dr. Adamany, and to Bill [Bradshaw, and to the members of the search committee. The first time I met with Bill and


“I just want to start out by saying thank you to Dr. Adamany, and to Bill [Bradshaw, and to the members of the search committee. The first time I met with Bill and Vic [Cegles], I got the chance to hear about the campus, and the design for the future and the direction the program is going. When you couple that with their affiliation with the MAC Conference, and a city like Philadelphia, one of the greatest cities in the country, if not the world, then you factor in the facilities, which include Lincoln Financial Field, and a recruiting base from Baltimore, Washington [D.C.], Pittsburgh, Delaware, I just felt like everything was aligned at this particular time not only to be at Temple University, but to be at the head of Temple University football.

For all the football players in the room, I don’t care what has transpired in the past. At 4 O’clock [Wednesday], when we meet, you guys will know that, for whatever happened in the past, I can’t control that, but you’ll get the best that I have. You’ll get the best of our staff. I’m not just available around the football facility, either. What’s going on in your personal life, what’s going on back home with your families, problems you might be facing on campus, and certainly from an academic standpoint, you will have a strong commitment from myself and my staff.

Just for the former players here, I can’t thank you enough, Paul Palmer. Paul, thank you for coming. Paul was on the cover of the media guide in 1986 when I was a senior in high school at Red Bank Catholic in [Red Bank,] New Jersey. [I don’t want to put an age on you.] Obviously, [he was] a great player. And then there’s Joe Klecko, who came all the way down from my hometown, now.

I also want to introduce … otherwise I’d be in trouble. Not only is she my wife, but she is also my life partner and my strength, Kelly. This is A.J., here. A.J was born this summer. We were on the beach in Stone Harbor, so if you don’t think we’re fit for this part of the country, who is? So, we were on the beach, and A.J. decided he wanted out. We flew Kelly to Cooper Medical in Camden, New Jersey, and we spent the next three weeks there. The people at Cooper nicu [center], God bless you. You’re phenomenal.

I also would like to thank my mom and my dad. My dad is getting a little emotional over there. My mom and my dad came over from Colts Neck, New Jersey. I just wanted to say hello, thanks for everything. And to Kelly’s parent – I’m proud to say you’re my mother- and father-in-law.

We’re going to be finding coaches, and we will be bringing students back to this campus. That’s where they belong. My wife and I were in the Conwell Inn [Monday night]. We walked outside last night and it was so vibrant. The kids in this area of campus were great and I said the parents of recruits need to see this. They got to know about this. They got to know that this is a safe campus. I went into 7-11 and started talking to some of the kids there. They didn’t know who I am. I might go back there [Tuesday night], say hello to them again. I went to the pizza place there. I got a slice of pizza. I just liked the people there.

From a playing standpoint, there is an old plan for a new era. It’s a great time to be here. I’m excited about Temple University, and certainly to be the head of the football program. There is some excellent promise, not only for Philadelphia, but for right here on North Broad Street.

I thank you for your time, and now I’ll open it up for some questions that you may have at this juncture.”


Media: What about a coaching staff?

Al Golden: I’m looking into that. Honestly, on Sunday night, I had the opportunity to talk to Bill about that. … Kelly and I drove in the snow [Monday night] to be up here. We’re going to have a core group of four or five guys in line for the next couple of days. There are some guys here that I promised I would interview. … We’re going to get a good group set. We have the resources to do that.

M: What does your hiring say about Virginia’s coaching staff?

AG: [Virginia] coach [Al] Groh insisted that I do this press conference. It’s depressing, in some respects, obviously, but Virginia has had three guys leave for head coaching jobs in the last four or five days. It speaks volumes about the kind of expertise that I have produced down there and hope to bring here. It bodes well for coaches that you don’t compromise anything. That’s why people are seeking coaches from Virginia.

M: How familiar are you with the area, and can you recruit here?

AG: When you think of marketing, sometimes its better to be first than it is to be better. Right now, we’re the only MAC school in the area. It might only be a matter of time before there are more MAC schools here. If you go to the West, and you want to play for one of the 11 schools that make up the Big 10, or Notre Dame, if you don’t make that cut, you try the MAC. There is a hierarchy in the MAC. Some schools are better than others, you all know that. For kids in this area, if they’re not going to Penn State or BC [Boston College], they’ve been going to Delaware, or UMass, or JMU. And those schools have won national championships. There’s a product there. Initially, we have to establish ourselves, and obviously, we want to get to the point where we’re going to compete with anyone.

M: How does your recruiting ability switch from Big East to the MAC, and what kind of student-athlete are you looking for?

AG: I think, obviously, there are a lot of reasons for a staff to take an avenue. … I want to get back to having volume areas. It’s going to be our task to knowing every facet of this area. … There are always going to be those guys who are not as talented, but who are truly good football players. We have guys on our team at Virginia that we recruited by just trusting ourselves. … You have to trust in your system, and your evaluation of someone. I think that’s how we’re going to approach it.

M: Is there a bigger challenge recruiting to an urban campus?

AG: I don’t know. The only thing I can really say to that is, I guess there was. Maybe a lot of the guys Bobby [Wallace] brought in were told that, [but] I don’t see the same place. I want to see some change from Bobby’s staff, in that some guys are going to be wanting to go [elsewhere]. It’s going to be our greatest challenge. We can sell what’s across the street. The grass is always greener on the other side, but we have a great campus. … Someone’s going to say that about the urban campus, but it’s going to be our greatest tool.

M: In the short term, will junior college students fill some of the team’s needs?

AG: I’m a firm believer in that you have to build an organization, and that’s no different than anything else. If you get a lot of junior college kids, they’re here for only two years. They’re barely getting enough time to learn your system. Not only that, they’re not helping to train the younger kids. You look at all the great programs, like my first year at Virginia with [coach] George Welsh, we were 5-7. As soon as those kids began to understand that program, now they start to train the younger guys. They understand it, they’re teaching each other, and that’s how you build an organization. Having lost so many [21] seniors, there is going to be a need for junior college players, but in the long run, we want kids for all four years.

M: When does recruiting begin?

AG: It began last night. The guys we’re going after, we’re going to take some time with it.

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