Beginning a series of introductions to the Detroit Lions position coaches – linebackers coach Al Golden
As the draft winds down and everybody pushes through their five stages of grief we’ll be heading ever closer to that dark period of the year. The period when nothing is really going on and people are grabbing for anything NFL-related to whet their palettes. I figure I will do what I can to help try to sprinkle a few drops here and there through the desolation so I will be bringing to you a series of articles. These articles will be a little introduction to the men we don’t hear a lot about and usually don’t know much of. I will be pulling back the curtain to reveal the men behind the positions. The guys who have a little more one-on-one time with certain players because they are expected to improve them at their positions. These guys are the position coaches.
Our first introduction belongs to the man who took on Miami! That’s right, folks. Our own Al Golden sued the Miami Hurricanes in 2018, but that’s a story for another time. Will everybody flip their lids if I told you Al Golden had Patriot ties? Don’t worry, it was all the way back in the early ’90s when he played for the Pats as a tight end, and hardly a factor in him being here with the Lions under Bob Quinn’s regime – or at least I don’t believe it is! Al Golden came to the Detroit Lions by way of the University of Miami where he was the head coach, but his road to the Lions linebacker coach has been a well-traveled one.
In 1993 Golden got his start at shaping football minds by becoming the offensive coordinator for Red Bank High in New Jersey. He spent a year there before moving on to the University of Virginia for two years as a graduate assistant. From ’96-2005 he spent his years as a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator (including stints at Boston College and Penn State) before finally landing a head coaching gig with Temple in 2006. He would spend the next four years there, including winning MAC Coach of the Year in 2009 before departing after the 2010 season. While at Temple he amassed a record of 27-34 and brought Temple to their first winning season (2009) since 1990.
After departing from Temple he then went on to take the head coaching job for the University of Miami where he would have winning seasons three out of five years. While with Miami he appeared in the Russell Athletic Bowl, Independence Bowl, and the Sun Bowl and ended his head coaching stint at the collegiate level 59-59.
From there is where we become familiar with him because in 2016 he was taken on as the tight ends coach for the Detroit Lions where he spent two seasons before being moved/promoted to the linebackers coach in 2018. In 2018 he coached a linebacker crew who was able to tally 18 of Detroit’s 43 sacks which ranked in the top 10 of the NFL (and was an overall increase from the 35 racked up the previous year). The 2019 season marks Golden’s second year as linebackers coach and given the bolstering the defense has seen in the last few months, I think fans are excited to see how well the linebackers perform.