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Al Golden releases statement that he is staying at Miami

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After days of speculation, Miami Hurricanes head coach Al Golden released a statement Sunday afternoon via the football team's Twitter account, reaffirming his commitment to the football program.

"There has been much speculation concerning my future at the University of Miami. While I am flattered that our progress at The U during an extremely difficult period of time is recognized, I am also appreciative of just what we have here at UM and I am not a candidate for another position. We are eager to welcome our student athletes back to campus next week and visit with prospective student-athletes and their families beginning January 15."

Golden was one of the candidates atop of Penn State’s wish list after Bill O’Brien left Happy Valley this week to become the head coach of the Houston Texans. He had multiple ties to the program as he played his college football for the Nittany Lions as a tight end from 1989-1991 and also served on Joe Paterno’s staff as a linebackers coach in 2000.

With Golden’s announcement comes continuity for the football program. When Golden took over as head coach in 2011 he had to deal with the Nevin Shapiro investigation for two seasons that included two self-imposed postseason bans. He never wavered through his first three seasons though, repeatedly stating that he was committed to bringing Miami back to where it belongs. His statement Sunday echoed what he said before Miami's bowl game against Louisville last weekend.

"We’re at one of the greatest places there is in college football and we’ve gone through a hard time, but it’s hard to imagine places out there that you can sell, that you can present better than the University of Miami," Golden said. "We know we’re not where we want to be, but we know we’re not where we were…we had a lot of young men that stood with the University of Miami. We had a lot of coaches and staff that stood with the University of Miami through dark times and dark days. We’re excited about moving the program forward."

The program can now move forward without any more speculation. Golden already has 28 commits for next season that are part of a top ten recruiting class according to Rivals.com. Golden’s own commitment shows that he’s dedicated to improving the program upon the blueprint he’s already laid down. Miami has improved from 6-6 to 7-5 to 9-4 in each of his three years as head coach.

Golden is scheduled to address reporters at his postseason press conference tomorrow afternoon at 12:30.

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