Miami’s season may have taken a wrong turn down the stretch, but Al Golden‘s job this season was recognized by the Rotary Clu of Houston. During the annual awards presentation in Houston, Golden was awarded the Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching. Former BYU head coach LaVell Edwards presented the award to the Hurricanes head coach.
“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.”
Miami completed a 9-3 regular season in Golden’s third year with the program. Miami won six game sin Golden’s first season and seven games last year. During those two seasons Miami voluntarily sat out of the postseason while an NCAA investigation was ongoing. That investigation came to a close this year and Golden learned his team will be eligible for the postseason this year. He could be taking the best tea he has coached to a bowl game as a result.
Miami was on track to win their first division title this season until they ran in to Florida State in conference play. The Hurricanes continued to be banged up by some injuries and fell short in division play against Virginia Tech and Duke, but Golden showed poise and signs of good leadership in maintaining the program through a troublesome time with the investigation clouding the football program in uncertainty and constant waiting. Other coaches may have done more to turn in surprising seasons, but Golden’s ability to keep Miami focused on what they could control does not go without recognition.
Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald was named the Lombardi Award winner as the nation’s best lineman or linebacker.