Leavitt recommended Golden for Miami job
Jim Leavitt, matchmaker?
Turns out the former USF football coach recommended Temple's Al Golden to Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt (who played for Leavitt as a linebacker at Kansas State), and Hocutt liked what he saw in Golden during the interview process enough to hire him as his new coach.
"I just told Kirby that I thought he was impressive," Leavitt said Tuesday afternoon. "I was very impressed with how well he did at Temple, and some people that know him well spoke very highly of him."
Leavitt has never faced Golden in a game, but nearly did last season -- as the Bulls were waiting to find out their bowl opponent, Leavitt thought it would be Northern Illinois (as the Bulls ended up beating 27-3 in Toronto) or Temple. He watched tape of several Temple games, and knowing the school's humble background, struggling during its years in the Big East, he made a point to keep an eye on the Owls.
"I saw how explosive they were," said Leavitt, who watched this year's Temple-Connecticut game on TV and saw the Owls knock the eventual Big East champions. "I recruited New Jersey when I was at Kansas State, and I know how difficult it was at Temple. So I watched him from afar. I'm always intrigued by people who can do a lot with a little."
Tuesday's Palm Beach Post writes that Golden "may not have even gotten a sniff from UM" if it weren't for Leavitt's endorsement. Leavitt said he and Hocutt "talked a lot" about potential candidates for the Miami job, but when asked if he might be a match for the Hurricanes' defensive coordinator job, Leavitt said again that he's focusing on his young daughter Sofia, as well as his wrongful termination suit against USF, which has its first depositions with witnesses Wednesday.