I’ll be completely honest — when Al Golden roamed the sidelines for the U in the early 2010s, I was not a fan of his formal, necktie-wearing look — especially considering the vast majority of football coaches had long transitioned to wearing a polo at most, if not just some sort of jacket/quarter-zip type deal.
He seemed like he was trying too hard, and it didn’t seem like the right vibe for the head coach of the Hurricanes in 2011. Their fearless leader should be someone with some swagger and some style, and instead the look reminded me of Joe Paterno, which of course isn’t at all a similarity you want to draw in fans’ minds.
However, Golden’s fall from grace at Miami and then subsequent rebirth in the NFL as a position coach (Tight Ends and Linebackers for the Detroit Lions, then Linebackers for the Cincinnati Bengals squad who just made the Super Bowl) have me thinking it may be time for him to revisit that look — I think it fits better now, where he is in his career, and also I just think it would be delightful for him to bring it back.
Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator just feels like more of a role where you could rock a tie each week — especially varying fun ND-themed ties with shamrocks and leprechauns and other ND symbols all over them. I know I would personally get a ton of enjoyment out of getting to see whatever fun new tie Al is rocking each weekend as he coordinates the defense to utter destruction of its opponent.
Plus, with Marcus Freeman as the head coach setting the standard for looking great in tons of ND gear (and wearing open-collar shirts with suits and looking like a million bucks while doing it), Golden is free to be his kinda dorky self wearing a tie. He doesn’t need to be the cool, hip leader of a top football program — instead, he can be an old school ass-kicker who takes Freeman’s defensive system to the next level.
I think Golden was an excellent hire by Freeman, and he could really gain a mental edge by tapping back into the guy who was good enough as Virginia defensive coordinator in the early 2000s that he got the Temple job, and then managed to win 17 games in his final two seasons there to earn that Miami gig.
He’s clearly shown with his work in the NFL that he is a damn good coach still, but I think in order to successfully and efficiently make the move from Linebackers coach in the NFL to Defensive Coordinator at the college level, he needs to revisit his roots and give us something fun and goofy to get excited about each week (on top of turning the Irish defense into even more of a machine than before).
So, with all that said, please sound off in the comments. Do you think Al Golden should return to his necktie ways? What suggestions do you have for what his ties should look like? Should he add anything additional to his formal ensemble this time, like a dashing hat or a monocle or something? Let’s get wild with this and make him the most fun defensive coordinator in the entire country!!!!