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Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden makes an effort to get to know Palm Beach County coaches
New Hurricanes coach Al Golden
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New Hurricanes coach Al Golden
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Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden makes an effort to get to know Palm Beach County coaches Updated 8:12 p.m.
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By Jorge Milian
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 8:12 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
Posted: 6:27 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
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CORAL GABLES — National signing day may have been last week, but University of Miami coach Al Golden isn't done recruiting.
This time, Golden is pursuing high school coaches, not players.
Launching a public relations offensive known as the "Golden Greet," UM has set up socials for coaches in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties to meet with the Hurricanes' new mentor. The initiative is part of Golden's plans to strengthen bonds that might have been frayed during Randy Shannon's final season as UM coach.
"We've got to get back to developing and improving our relationships with the high school coaches," Golden said.
Around 100 coaches in Miami-Dade County met with Golden last Thursday night, sharing hors d'oeuvres and small talk before heading to the BankUnited Center where they watched the Hurricanes' basketball game against Georgia Tech. Palm Beach County coaches have been invited for a similar gathering on Feb. 20 while Broward County coaches are set to visit on March 2.
"I felt real comfortable down there again where you can go visit and know you'll get the help you need as a high school coach," Miami LaSalle coach Willie Trimmer told CaneSport.com. "They're definitely on the right track there."
Some local coaches felt UM fell off the track recently, all but ignoring their schools and athletes.
At Dwyer, the Hurricanes' presence was nearly non-existent despite the school's Big 3 prospects this year - quarterback Jacoby Brissett, tight end Nick O'Leary and linebacker Curt Maggitt.
Dwyer coach Jack Daniels told WQAM this week that he had a good relationship with Shannon "but they didn't do a great job of recruiting our school."
Daniels said that UM showed interest in O'Leary, one of the nation's top recruits who eventually signed with Florida State, "but as far as Curt Maggitt and Jacoby, there wasn't any interest at all," Daniels said. "It was kind of surprising on my part." Maggitt ended up signing with Tennessee.
Miami's lack of attention may have ended up costing the 'Canes the services of Brissett. After Golden was hired in mid-December, he began courting Brissett with little success initially. Golden said that Brissett was upset that UM had not previously recruited him.
By the time Brissett agreed to meet with Golden, only two weeks were left on the recruiting calendar. Despite the urges from Brissett's mother, who wanted her son to attend Miami, Brissett signed with Florida on Monday.
UM currently has four players from Palm Beach County on its roster, which includes senior wide receiver Travis Benjamin from Glades Central, and the Hurricanes have done well with Palm Beach-area players in the past. But UM failed to sign a single player from the county to this year's 16-man recruiting class.
Said former Glades Central coach Jessie Hester, who was fired in December after three years coaching the Belle Glade school: "Being so close, you would think that they would be really bombarding schools in this area, but they definitely didn't do that. That definitely wasn't a premium on their part."
But it wasn't just Palm Beach County players who may have felt ignored.
Miami Central, the state 6A champion, produced 17 Division I-A players, but received only one visit from a UM coach.
Despite arriving very late in the recruiting process, Golden managed to sign one Central player, getting cornerback Thomas Finnie to back out of his oral commitment with South Carolina and sign with UM.
At a news conference to announce the Hurricanes' recruiting class on Feb. 2, Golden apologized to South Florida high school coaches because "they just didn't know us."
Miami signed only five players combined from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, which traditionally produces tons of Division I talent.
"That will never happen again at the University of Miami," Golden promised.
Staff writer Jeff Greer cont
HIDE YO RECRUITS CUZ GOLDEN GOON GOT THIS s**t LOCK DOWN IN 2012