Football coach Al Golden withdrew his name from consideration for the open coaching position at UCLA yesterday, the two-year coach said.
“I’m flattered to have been contacted about the coaching vacancy at UCLA,” Golden said in a statement. “UCLA is a world-class institution and athletic director Dan Guerrero is a first-class person. However, we are on the brink of something truly special here at Temple. Our staff, student-athletes and I look forward to what Temple football will accomplish in the future. We have some unfinished business to take care of.”
Golden led the Owls to a 4-8 record last season following a 1-11 inaugural campaign in 2006. The Owls won three straight games in the same season for the first time since 1990, the last time the program finished with a winning record. They finished 4-4 in the Mid-American Conference, their first season as a full-fledged member.
When it was reported that Golden was in Los Angeles to interview for the UCLA job last week, the news garnered a bit of backlash from Temple fans eager to see Golden finish Temple’s turnaround.
“Whether he gets the job at UCLA or not, the damage is already done,” Dave Weinraub, a former Temple player, wrote to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “What do you tell this year’s recruits who are six or so weeks from signing day? Do you tell them not to worry? The program will still prosper no matter who’s coaching? How many of them will we lose?
“What do you tell the kids on the team? You don’t have to be loyal to the program? Just do as I say, not as I do?”
Rumors also circulated last winter that Golden had declined an opportunity to interview for a head coaching position at Boston College.
“We knew when we hired Al Golden to be Temple’s head football coach that he would achieve the kind of success that would draw attention from other schools,” Temple Director of Athletics Bill Bradshaw said in a statement. “There are great seasons ahead for Temple football and we are happy coach Golden chose to remain with our program for some time to come.”
John Kopp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.