CORAL GABLES (AP) — Miami athletic director Blake James continued to give unwavering support to football coach Al Golden on Monday, while acknowledging that no one involved with the program should be pleased with the team’s 6-6 record this regular season.
James has used the same line — “Al’s our coach, and he’s going to be our coach” — repeatedly for more than a year, first after reports said Golden was leaving Miami last year to take over at Penn State, and now as some fans are clamoring for changes to the staff.
James said he reads every email and listens to every voice mail he gets, though remains sold that Golden is the right person to get Miami back to prominence.
“As I said earlier, 6-6 isn’t acceptable at the University of Miami,” James said. “We need to get better as a program and I’m confident we have the guy that’s going to do that. I’ll continue to support Al.”
Golden is 28-21 at Miami. He was hired in 2010 without knowing that Miami was facing an NCAA investigation, a process that continued until about the midpoint of the 2013 season.
School officials have lauded Golden for how he got Miami through the NCAA probe. But the Hurricanes still aren’t title-contending, and patience is understandably being tested.
“I believe he will get it fixed,” James said.
The end of Miami’s season was disastrous, with the Hurricanes blowing a late lead and falling to Florida State, then losing to Virginia and Pittsburgh in the two games that followed. Virginia and Pitt both had losing records entering their respective games against Miami, then posted wins by a combined 65-36 margin.
James said he would defer to Golden on any potential staff changes.
“I’ll give him my thoughts,” James said. “I’ll give him my feedback. We’ll share perspective. At the end of the day, those are his decisions. My decision is who’s going to be our head coach, and as I said earlier it’s Al Golden.”
Miami will close its season in the Independence Bowl against South Carolina on Dec. 27. No matter the outcome, this is the 11th straight season in which the Hurricanes will not reach the 10-win plateau. And the program is seeking its first postseason win since 2006.
“It’s an opportunity to show we’re better than our record showed,” defensive lineman Calvin Heurtelou said.
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