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Al Golden Signed to Extension in a Major Move for Notre Dame

Written by Connor D'Aquila ⏐ Writer ⏐ Twitter/X: @ConnorDaquilaIT

Photo by The Irish Tribune

In a vital move to secure the future of the Irish coaching staff, Notre Dame inked Al Golden to a four-year extension recently, a Notre Dame spokesperson confirmed to The Irish Tribune. First reported by John Brice of FootballScoop; It was reported that DC Al Golden had signed a four-year extension with Notre Dame that is of similar value to that of OC Mike Denbrock (A four-year guarenteed contract worth up to $9 Million), making both Golden and Denbrock's respective contracts some of the richest in all of college football by coordinator standards. A source with insight into the financial aspect of the athletics program told The Irish Tribune that Notre Dame "Wrote a blank check" to Al Golden. While that is much more a figure of speech than it is a reality, it implies that Notre Dame is serious about bringing in and retaining top coaching talent to bring a national title to South Bend, at whatever cost that may entail.





There was much speculation about Golden's future with the program after his name was linked to a few head coaching opportunities in the college space, and many felt he would jump to the NFL if given the opportunity. The worries are no longer, however, as Golden will be with the team for the foreseeable future. Performance aside, keeping some stability on this staff is very important as the Irish look to make a push for a CFP birth next year, and want to keep key recruits. After losing Chris O’Leary earlier in the week, this news should quell the nerves of fans across the country. The loss of Gerad Parker will mean a transitional period for the offense will likely be in the fold, but Mike Denbrock is about as good a replacement as Notre Dame could ask for. 


Beyond the aspect of consistency, Golden has proven himself to be an incredible defensive coordinator during his time in South Bend, and it would be hard to make a hire that truly replaces his value. First year results were mixed, as it felt the defense failed to show up in the biggest moments, but given the performance of the offense, and accompanying time spent on field, it is easy to forgive. In year two, however, it became clear that Golden’s schemes were gaining traction with the players, and execution advanced substantially. From a statistical perspective, in 2023, Notre Dame was ranked fifth in total defense, seventh in scoring defense, twelfth in turnovers, and eighth in defensive touchdowns. Time and again, the defense proved to be game-changing in big matchups, highlighted against USC in the drubbing of an elite offense headlined by a Heisman winning quarterback.





There was initial criticism over Golden’s recruiting, but that appears to have turned around as 2024 and 2025 look to be top classes nationally. Any way you cut it, having Golden’s defensive mind on the staff for the foreseeable future is a major positive for the Irish, and should keep the group at the top of college football. It is also great to see the administration willing to pay for someone like Golden, and the interest he has received from other teams serves as a testament to his value. The Denbrock-Golden duo should be one of the best coordinator tandems in the nation heading into the 2024 season. 


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