COACHES
Al Golden
Linebackers

Biography

After joining the Lions coaching staff in 2016 to coach tight ends, Golden enters the 2018 season transitioning to the defensive side of the ball as the team’s linebackers coach. He came to Detroit following 23 years as a college coach, including 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Miami (2011-15) and Temple University (2006-10). Golden brings two Coach of the Year honors during his time in the college ranks, including 2009 MAC Coach of the Year (Temple) and the 2013 Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching (Miami).

After joining the Lions coaching staff in 2016 to coach tight ends, Golden enters the 2018 season transitioning to the defensive side of the ball as the team’s linebackers coach. He came to Detroit following 23 years as a college coach, including 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Miami (2011-15) and Temple University (2006-10). Golden brings two Coach of the Year honors during his time in the college ranks, including 2009 MAC Coach of the Year (Temple) and the 2013 Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching (Miami).

In addition to his 10 years of experience as a head coach at both Temple and Miami, Golden has previously worked as defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and has coached five different positions; corners, safeties, inside linebackers, outside linebackers and tight ends in the college ranks. 

LIONS COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

2017: In his second season coaching tight ends, Golden helped integrate new pieces to the position group. Led by TE Eric Ebron, free agent signee TE Darren Fells and fifth-round draft selection TE Michael Roberts also made an impact in their first seasons with the team.

  • With 53 receptions for 574 yards and four touchdowns, Ebron surpassed 50+ single-season receptions for the second time in his career.
  • Ebron also established single-game highs against the Buccaneers with a 10-catch, 94-yard performance, surpassing his previous bests of eight receptions and 93 yards set in 2016.

2016: Golden helped progress a young crop of Lions tight ends in 2016 en route to the team’s NFC Wild Card berth, led by Ebron, TE Clay Harbor, TE Matthew Mulligan and TE Cole Wick.

  • With 61 receptions for 711 yards (11.7 avg) in 2016, Ebron established new career single-season highs in both categories. His 2016 totals rank third all-time in Lions history for single-season receptions/receiving yards by a tight end.
  • A product of the University of the Incarnate Word, Wick was one of two undrafted rookie free agents to make the Lions’ opening 53-man roster, along with CB Adairius Barnes.

While guiding the Miami football program, Golden led his teams to bowl eligibility in his first four seasons, and the 2015 Hurricanes squad would also qualify for a bowl game following the regular season. In 2012, despite NCAA allegations following a program investigation that occurred prior to his hiring, Golden led the Hurricanes to their first Coastal Division Championship in just his second season. Prior to Miami’s bowl game in 2013, Golden received the 2013 Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching at the 44th Rotary Lombardi Award Ceremony.

From 2006-10, Golden served as head coach at Temple, where he sparked one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history. Under Golden’s guidance, the Owls compiled winning records during his last two seasons after the school achieved just two winning seasons over its previous 26 years. His Temple squad finished 9-4 in 2009 and tied for the MAC East Division title (7-1 record), earning them a spot in the EagleBank Bowl, which was Temple’s first bowl game since 1979 and only the third in the program’s 112 years of existence. The team’s nine wins in 2009 were also the second most in school history (program started in 1894).

In 2001, University of Virginia Head Coach Al Groh hired Golden as the youngest defensive coordinator at the time in FBS (formerly Division I-A). He would direct the Cavaliers defense for five seasons (2001-05). He also worked closely with the inside linebackers from 2001-04 and the secondary in 2005.

Prior to his tenure at Virginia, Golden was the linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Penn State, his alma mater, in 2000. Golden spent three seasons as the linebackers coach at Boston College from 1997-99. He started his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Virginia from 1994-96.

Golden launched his coaching career in 1993 as offensive coordinator at Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic High School.

The Colts Neck, N.J., native was a was a three-year (1989-91) letterwinner and two-year starter at tight end for Penn State, where he received the 1991 Ridge Riley Award, given annually to a player who displays excellence in scholarship, sportsmanship, friendship and leadership. He also served as captain of former head coach Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions in 1992 en route to the team’s Fiesta Bowl Championship.

Golden earned his undergraduate degree in pre-law from Penn State in 1991 before receiving his master’s in sports psychology from Virginia in December, 1996. After his tenure as a college player in State College, Golden spent one season in the NFL with the New England Patriots.

Golden was inducted into the Jersey Shore Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, as well as the Red Bank Catholic High School Hall of Fame in 2018.

He is married to his wife, Kelly, and has three children--son A.J., and daughters Addison and Grace.

 

GOLDEN’S COACHING BACKGROUND

Detroit Lions.................................................................................... 2016-

     Linebackers.............................................................................. 2018-

     Tight Ends............................................................................. 2016-17

Miami (Fla.).................................................................................. 2011-15

     Head Coach........................................................................... 2011-15

Temple........................................................................................... 2006-10

     Head Coach......................................................................... 2006-10

Virginia.......................................................................................... 2001-05

     Defensive Coordinator................................................... 2001-05

Penn State......................................................................................... 2000

     Linebackers............................................................................... 2000

Boston College......................................................................... 1997-99

     Linebackers........................................................................ 1997-99

Virginia.......................................................................................... 1994-96

     Graduate Assistant......................................................... 1994-96

Red Bank Catholic (N.J.) High School................................... 1993

     Offensive Coordinator/Tight Ends & Receivers......... 1993

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