1. Al Golden, Defensive Coordinator, Notre Dame
If Golden is hired as head coach of Indiana, he must be contractually obligated to wear a crimson and cream tie. Seriously, people have forgotten that Al Golden laid the foundation at Temple. He didn’t do poorly at Miami, but the athletic program was a mess when he took that job. After leaving Miami, Golden went to the NFL before Marcus Freeman hired him as defensive coordinator in 2022.
Much like Cignetti, Golden knows how to build a program. He also understands how to do more with less due to his time at Temple and Miami. Golden, 54, might want another opportunity to coach at the Power Five level. He also might stay if he is successful. Golden understands how to recruit in unique places as well.
He’s learned much about Indiana high school football by working at Notre Dame, which is essential if Indiana wants to recruit better than Purdue.
Golden is a nose-to-the-grindstone coach who will bring culture to the Hoosiers. His time as a college head coach and NFL coordinator taught him how to assemble a program. Golden is the best candidate if the university is serious about building a sustainable program in Bloomington.