PHILADELPHIA – Temple head coach Al Golden
has been named the 2009 Tri-State Coach of the Year Award, the Robert W. Maxwell Football Club announced on Friday.
Completing his fourth season at Temple University
, Golden guided the Owls to new heights in 2009, recording one of the best seasons in school history. Temple finished the season at 9-4 overall, tying for first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division with a 7-1 mark. It was the Owls' best conference finish since joining the league in 2003. TU won a single-season record nine consecutive games. Temple recorded its first winning season since 1990 and made its first bowl appearance in 30 years. The Owls played UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl on Dec. 29 in Washington, D.C.
Named the 2009 MAC Coach of the Year, Golden also saw an unprecedented 15 Owls earn All-MAC honors, including a school record eight first-team All-MAC honorees. Rookie RB Bernard Pierce
(Ardmore, Pa.) was named the MAC Freshman of the Year, while sophomore DE Adrian Robinson
(Harrisburg, Pa.) garnered MAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades.
Pierce, who re-wrote all of Temple's freshman rushing records, ran for a school record 16 touchdowns en route to Honorable Mention All-America honors and Freshman All-America accolades.
In 2009, Temple re-wrote 18 school season records and 11 game records.
A Wuerffel Trophy finalist, senior DB Dominique Harris
(Washington, D.C.) was named to the CoSIDA / ESPN the Magazine first-team Academic All-District Football Team. Three Owls-- Harris, junior DT Elisha Joseph
(Hartford, Conn.), and senior TE Steve Maneri
(Saddle Brook, N.J.)-- were named to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Academic All-Area Football Team.
The Owls also received recognition for their community service efforts. In 2009, the Temple team was awarded the Robert P. Levy Community Service Award, presented by the Philadelphia Sports Congress, and the Athletic Department
's inaugural T.E.A.M. [Temple's Exceptional Acts for Mankind] Award for community service.
During his tenure, Golden has revamped the football program from top to bottom, on and off the field. In 2006 and 2007, he fielded the youngest teams in the nation.
In 2007, Golden led the Owls to a 4-8 overall mark and 4-4 during its inaugural season in the Mid-American Conference. The four wins were the most conference wins since 2002 and equaled the wins from the prior four seasons combined. The four MAC wins were the most for Temple in 40 years. Temple led the nation in red zone defense, while also leading the MAC in defense and attendance. The Owls recorded the greatest one-year defensive turnaround in the NCAA bowl subdivision, going from a No. 177 ranking in 2006 to No. 44 in 2007.
Golden led the 2008 Owls to five wins, the team's most in nearly two decades. In scoring differential alone, he has transformed the squad from a team that suffered a 391-point scoring deficit the year prior to his arrival to a team that out-scored its opponents by four points in 2008. The difference is 395 points.
Off the field, the Temple team also blossomed. The players recorded the largest academic turnaround in the APR reform era. As a team, they achieved a 3.0+ grade-point average in the last three summer sessions. And in their free time, the Owls logged more than 1,000 hours of community service during the last year alone. Golden is not just building football players; he's building well-rounded students.
With three consecutive No. 1 recruiting classes in the MAC, Golden has made the Owls competitive and given them the chance to win.
Golden was one of three finalists for the Maxwell Club's 2009 George Munger College Coach of the Year Award as well as a candidate for the Paul “Bear” Bryant College Football Coach of the Year Award and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year.
The Colts Neck, N.J., native was named the Owls' 24th head football coach on December 6, 2005, after spending the prior five seasons as defensive coordinator at the University of Virginia. The 40-year old Golden is the sixth-youngest head coach in college football's bowl subdivision.
The Maxwell Football Club will make the formal presentation of these awards at the Club's National Awards Dinner that will be held at Harrah's Atlantic City Resort on March 5, 2010. The Club will also present these additional awards at the event: Maxwell Award (Colt McCoy - University of Texas), Chuck Bednarik Award (Ndamukong Suh - University of Nebraska), and George Munger Award (Gary Patterson - Texas Christian University).The winners of the Maxwell Football Club's Professional Player and Coach of the Year Awards will be announced on January 12, 2010.
2009 Maxwell Football Club Tri-State Award Winners
Player of the Year
Matthew Szczur, Villanova
Coach of the Year
Al Golden, Temple
Andy Talley, Villanova