Cincinnati Bengals assistant Al Golden has accepted the position as Notre Dame’s new defensive coordinator, sources have told ESPN. He has agreed to a three-year deal, which sources say is expected to be finalized in the coming days.
Golden is a longtime head coach who gives freshman coach Marcus Freeman a veteran sounding board. Golden spent 10 years as a college head coach from 2006 to 2015, going 59-59 during stints at Temple and Miami, and brings a reputation as a hard-hitting scout to the Northeast.
The hire complements Marcus Freeman’s on-field coaching staff, which has included seven of the 10 new assistants. Golden’s hire represents the only staff member with significant experience as a senior college coach.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick knows Golden well, having interviewed him for the job of Notre Dame manager in 2009 after he fired Charlie Weis. The Irish ended up signing Brian Kelly, who Freeman replaced in December.
Golden, 52, spent the past six years as an NFL assistant with the Lions and Bengals as he transitioned into professional football after being fired in Miami. He coached linebackers for the Bengals and was considered a key personnel for the franchise’s Super Bowl run.
Golden has sparked interest in returning to college in recent seasons, with schools courting him as both a coordinator and head coach candidate. The Notre Dame opportunity fits Golden, a former Penn State captain from New Jersey who emerged into the profession during stints as an assistant coach at Virginia, Boston College and Penn State.
Golden went 32-25 in his five seasons in Miami, including a run to No. 7 in the nation in 2013. Golden’s time resurrecting Temple is remembered far more fondly in college football, as he managed the one of the great shifts in the modern world. sports era.
When Golden took over at Temple, the school was independent after being kicked out of the Big East. The Owls ended up at the MAC, where they went 17-8 his last two years, and he became one of the most respected coaches in the country.
Golden’s staff at Temple included both Carolina coach Matt Rhule and Ohio State coach Ryan Day, and his tenure laid the groundwork for Steve Addazio and Rhule to thrive as players. ‘head coaches there. Golden’s work led to his induction into the Temple Hall of Fame.