CORAL GABLES — Big-time football programs had courted Al Golden before.
He has been on many short lists for jobs around the country, and it has long been believed that he covets the chance to replace his former coach, Joe Paterno, at Penn State one day.
So when the questions came Monday — "Why here?" "Why now?" — Golden didn't hesitate.
"Are you kidding me?"
That's how Golden got a roomful of applause as he was introduced as coach of the Miami Hurricanes.
"The most recognizable brand in college football," Golden said. "Again, I go back to the former players that are here, the five national championships, 20 national award winners, countless All-Americans, incredible tradition. It's a dream job."
He said players "will not have a sense of entitlement about the legacy" at Miami. Instead, they'll "uphold that legacy."
As Michael Irvin, Lamar Thomas, Randal Hill and Darrin Smith looked on, Golden asked former Hurricanes to "please come back" and be part of the program. "Please be on the sidelines. Please come to the practices. Please get in front of the young men so they understand the standard that you set, the legacy you created."
Golden, 41, pulled off a big turnaround at Temple, taking the Owls to a bowl game for the first time in three decades.
"Judge this hire next fall. Judge this hire after two football seasons are completed," UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt said.
Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland will be interim coach through the Dec. 31 Sun Bowl against Notre Dame. Golden will spend this week recruiting.
A few players showed up for Golden's news conference.
"When he first walked in, he cracked a couple jokes, a couple icebreakers," quarterback Stephen Morris said. "And then we just started talking business. We understand his morals. We understand what he's about, and I think that's very important."
Lou Montanaro, who coached Golden at Red Bank Catholic High in New Jersey, said Golden was so intense he hyperventilated. Teammates kept a bag nearby and would joke: "Coach, get the bag out; Al is hyperventilating again.''
And how did Golden develop his sideline taste for fashion?
He had just taken over the Temple coach, and his mother, Toni, watched a game on television. Afterward, she offered some advice: Ditch the Dockers for gabardine pants.
"He was wearing a sweat shirt and some plain Dockers pants, and I thought he looked kind of sloppy," she said. "So I said to him, 'Alfred, clean up a little bit and put on some nice gabardine pants and a dress shirt.' The next game, he surprised me and showed up in gabardine pants, a shirt and a tie. He's worn that every game since."
Malzahn stays at Auburn: Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn received a raise and contract extension, apparently ending fears that he would become Vanderbilt coach. The Birmingham News reported Malzahn got an extension to his current three-year contract that will pay $1.3 million annually. Four defensive coordinators — Georgia's Todd Grantham ($750,000), Alabama's Kirby Smart ($750,000), LSU's John Chavis ($700,000) and South Carolina's Ellis Johnson ($700,000) — were the best-paid SEC assistants this year. Current USC assistant Monte Kiffin had the highest-ever base salary for an SEC coordinator, $1.2 million at Tennessee in 2009.
Furman: Bruce Fowler, 52, a Vanderbilt assistant for the past nine seasons, was named coach.
Iowa: Running back Adam Robinson, the team's leading rusher, won't make the trip to the Insight Bowl for failing to comply with team policies. Freshman Marcus Coker will likely start against Missouri. Oft-injured back Jewel Hampton, once the heir apparent to Shonn Greene, will transfer.
Louisville: Senior quarterback Justin Burke will start against Southern Miss in the Dec. 21 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at Tropicana Field.
Northern Illinois: Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren, 39, was introduced as coach. He replaces Jerry Kill.
Fight Hunger Bowl: Barring a BCS bid or being bowl ineligible, BYU will play in the 2013 game in San Francisco, taking the place of the WAC against a Pac-12 team. The Cougars become a football independent next season and want to lock in bowl agreements.