MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden led the football team through the wilderness of NCAA sanctions and to an undefeated record through seven games this season.
Wednesday, his accomplishments this season were recognized with the Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching.
“What a great honor to receive this award from Coach Edwards,” Golden said in his acceptance speech. “I humbly dedicate this award to the 2013 Miami Hurricanes. They overcame a lot of adversity over the last three years. And in so doing, they taught us a lot about perseverance and leadership itself and maybe perhaps overall about class.”
Golden’s team continues to improve each season, with the 9-3 squad this year being his best yet at the school. The 2013 Hurricanes qualified for a bowl for the second-straight season, but are getting to go to a bowl for the first due to self-imposed sanctions in Golden’s first two years with the team.
The Canes were rocketing up the rankings this year as the team raced out to a 7-0 start, but then came a trip to Tallahassee where Florida State destroyed UM. The devastating loss also saw UM lose top offensive weapon, running back Duke Johnson.
The Hurricanes would drop its next two games as well to Virginia Tech and Duke. But, Golden rallied his squad at the end of the season to easily beat Virginia and then knock off Pittsburgh to end the season.
Now UM will prepare for a bowl matchup against the Louisville Cardinals and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Miami prospect went to Louisville and could become the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft with a good performance against Miami.
In addition, Golden has hit the recruiting trail hard and fast this year and put together a Top 5 class according to Rivals.com. The class has one five-star commit and 11 four-star commits in the 27 member class.
Golden received the award from legendary former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards.