After much speculation, Hurricanes football coach Al Golden has reaffirmed his commitment to the University of Miami.
"I plan to be the coach at the University of Miami," Golden told reporters at a news conference Monday. "We're ready to move forward."
Golden had been rumored to be on the shortlist to become the next coach at Penn State University, his alma mater. Former Nittany Lions coach Bill O'Brien left the school last week to become head coach of the NFL's Houston Texas.
At Monday's news conference, Golden wouldn't discuss any other possible offers, only saying that he's not a candidate for another job, echoing a statement he released Sunday.
"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," Golden said in the statement released on HurricaneSports.com.
He added: "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 has a record of 22-15 in his three seasons at UM. Hired to replace Randy Shannon after the 2010 season, Golden presided over the Canes' football program while the NCAA conducted an investigation into impermissible benefits given to Miami football and basketball players between 2002 and 2010.
The investigation, which lasted over two years, concluded during the 2013 season. The school lost nine scholarships over the next three seasons in addition to the two self-imposed bowl bans undertaken by UM after the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
Though he was not aware of a possible NCAA investigation at the time of his hiring, Golden stuck with Miami, and he was rewarded with a multi-year contract extension in 2012. He is under contract through 2020.
Golden said he's looking forward to his first full year of being able to recruit without an NCAA cloud lingering over the program.
"We feel like it's level footing, finally," Golden said.
Golden said he sees a lot of "positive trends" on his team and said he doesn't forsee any coaching changes. He added that the players need "continuity."
"Starting over for these young people was not the answer," he said.
Golden's shepherding of UM during the NCAA investigation, his success as the head coach at Temple University, and his history with Penn State made him a logical candidate to replace O'Brien. He took a Temple squad that went 1-11 in his first season to a bowl game in his fourth year (the first bowl in 30 years for the Owls).
Golden attended Penn State from 1987-1991 as a tight end. He was the linebackers coach at Penn State in 2000, leaving the next year to become defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia,
Under Golden, Miami finished 9-4 in 2013 (its best record in 4 years) and went to its first bowl game in three seasons.