One game into the season, Miami athletic director Blake James already has felt the need to make public his support of Hurricanes coach Al Golden.
Golden is in his fourth season at UM and owns a 22-16 record, including a season-opening loss Monday night at Louisville. Golden took over in December 2010 after Randy Shannon was fired, and has had to deal with an NCAA investigation into the Nevin Shapiro quagmire.
James told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Wednesday night that Golden is "the perfect person for this job."
James also said, "We are going to be a better team at the end of this year than we were at the start of this year. We're going to be a better team at the end of this year than we were last year, and we're going to continue to get better each year."
James also brought up the NCAA investigation.
"I think it's important for everyone to recognize that while the NCAA sanctions are no longer lingering out there, we're still dealing with the ramifications of being under that cloud for over two years and that's the reality," he said. "It's important for everyone to look at that."
James was not the athletic director who hired Golden, but his public pronouncement of support for the coach this early in the season -- an AD voicing support after one game? -- is an eye-opener. In some respects, a vote of confidence only increases the pressure on a coach.
Miami hasn't had a 10-win season since 2003, and its fan support waxes and wanes with the won-loss record. Still, the Hurricanes' win total has increased in each season of Golden's tenure, from six in 2011 to seven in 2012 to nine last season.
Golden enjoyed success at Temple before moving on to Miami, and he was linked to the Penn State coaching job in the offseason; Golden is a Penn State alum.
Miami, which plays host to FCS foe Florida A&M this weekend, still has games remaining against Nebraska, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Florida State, among others. The games against UNC and FSU are at home.