Over the coming weeks and months, the Maryland football program will search for a new head coach to replace the departed Randy Edsall. We know who the candidates are, but who should Maryland pick? We'll state every coach's case, whether he wants the job or not, in 500 words or fewer.
Al Golden, former Miami head coach
Possibility scale: 3/10
Golden took over Miami at the depths of the scandal surrounding Ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro in 2011. Despite swirling controversy and portended doom for the Hurricanes' program, Golden coached them to a respectable 6-6. He improved his team year over year from there, going 7-5 the next season and then 9-3. Things have gotten a bit dark since the start of last year, however. Miami was 6-7 with a bowl loss last season and hasn't played well in 2015, most recently suffering an embarassing 58-0 loss to Clemson that led to Golden's firing on Sunday.
Before his tenure at Miami, Golden was the head coach at Temple. He spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator at Virginia, and before that he was the linebackers coach at Penn State ("Linebacker U," some call it) for one year.
Golden is a respected and morally upright figure, and he did a nice job preventing Miami from totally cratering in the midst of an organizational scandal that could have ruined it. He'd be a really good hire for a program that feels it needs a housecleaning, which was Maryland five years ago but might not be Maryland today.
He's also recruited rather well. Miami's got a top-10 class lined up for next year, and Golden's previous classes were No. 30, No. 12, No. 14 and No. 10, according to the 247Sports Composite.
For one thing, it's not clear he can actually coach that well. Golden's offenses sometimes look rigid despite the considerable talent Golden can draw from in Florida. His defenses have mostly been mediocre, never getting into the top 25 in S&P+ at Miami and usually being a few dozen spots below that. Golden has brought lots of talent to Miami, but he hasn't converted that talent into the sort of elite program we're used to watching at "The U."
It's also not certain that Golden's solid recruiting effort has been about him. Miami has been a recruiting power since the 1980s, and there's no reason not to believe plenty of other coaches could replicate his success on the trail. At Maryland, Golden would probably find he was playing a different ballgame.
In one sentence
Golden could be Randy Edsall 2.0 and wouldn't inspire much excitement, but he'd recruit a bit and wouldn't totally tank the program.