Five Ways Al Golden Can Win Back the Miami Hurricanes Fan Base
This year is Al Golden's last chance to win over Hurricanes fans.
Photo by Stian Roenning
Hurricanes fans should have been loving the NFL Draft last weekend. After all, seven Canes were selected, including five in the first three rounds. But somehow the UM team stocked with all of that pro talent somehow went just 6-7, leaving everyone wondering how it's possible that coach Al Golden could do so little with so much.
The joy of hearing ex-Canes names called last week was quickly pushed away by the fear of the realization that if Golden has that kind of season with that many experienced stud players, what's he going to do this year with so many holes to fill? Confidence in the Hurricanes coaching staff is at an all-time low, which is really saying something, because it's been near zero for some time.
So how does ol' orange-tie turn it all around and get the fans back on his side? Let me guess: You're screaming, "WIN FOOTBALL GAMES!" Yeah, I'm pretty sure he has considered that as an option. The point here is, what can he do to buy himself some more time and make you believe he's steering the program in the right direction?
Here are some ideas for Al, free of charge.
For the love of whatever God he believes in, Golden needs to go to Miami Hurricanes functions.
This offseason there seemed to be a theme when it came to Al Golden's attendance at various athletic program functions: it was nonexistent. Golden absolutely needs to take each and every opportunity to shake hands with and meet ex-Hurricanes greats, boosters, and fans — because in the end, those are the people he's working for. When Golden came to Miami, he constantly told anyone who would listen that Miami has one of the best traditions in college football — yet now he turns his back when groups meet to honor its history and legends.
Get his own sports radio and TV show.
Canes fans could immediately better understand the Hurricanes struggles on a Saturday if Al Golden would take time on the airwaves after Saturdays explaining in detail what happened on the field. Numerous coaches at larger and smaller schools have their own radio and TV shows, so why not Golden? FSU coach Jimbo Fisher has a terrific weekly show on Sun Sports that not only includes highlights, breakdowns, and special segments but also lots of one-on-one pieces centering on getting to know the FSU players. It's a shame that Hurricanes fans don't get the same here — they deserve to know what happened in the game and why.
Show people that he's more open to change in 2015 and that he worked on it this past offseason.
Golden's style has never been proven to be successful on the field. You can't count two good seasons at Temple as a reason why your "system" is genius. Golden is a sub-.500 coach overall, and it's time he realized things he believes to work simply don't. If Golden came out in 2015 and showed the fans he worked to try things on defense that people have been asking for but that the true problem is just not having enough talent, fans could handle that. Not having enough talent is one thing, but not using that talent correctly is a completely different animal. Golden needs to make it clear that he's open to change, because that's exactly all that Hurricanes fans have been asking for all along.
Never mention those NCAA violations again.
It's over. Hurricanes fans spent years with the Nevin Shapiro violations hanging over their program as an excuse. But now that those days are officially gone, nobody wants to hear about how UM has been handcuffed for so long. Now it can truly start fresh. Golden needs to make it clear to everyone that those violations are a thing of the past and that the 2015 team has nothing to do with them — he's at full strength now. Golden has had a full class pass through his doors at this point.
Welcome as many ex-Hurricanes players as he possibly can this season, and ask for their help.
There is nothing Hurricanes fans love more than ex-Hurricanes players, so make it apparent that the 2015 team has all the support it can get from some former Canes greats. When ex-Canes players go on Twitter and bash the way things go Saturday afternoon, Golden should call them and ask what they would do differently. If Golden can win over the ex-players and make them believe he's open to outside opinions that have proven to be successful, the fans will follow. Ex-players should be there more than when the team is winning; they should be there when the team needs support. Plenty of Hurricanes players from the early 2000s are retired and just hanging around, waiting for someone to ask them for help. Golden needs to make it clear the Miami Hurricanes are a family, and it's time to figure out how to get back that swagger. Who better to teach the new kids how to do it than the guys who've already done it?