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‘Canes’ Al Golden, Bucs’ Lovie Smith are on the coaching hot seat

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The days are hot enough for University of Miami coach Al Golden. Evidently, they’re even hotter for his chair.

Golden has been ranked No. 4 in the nation on its Hot Seat rankings, trailing only Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads, Purdue’s Darrell Hazell and Indiana’s Kevin Wilson. Golden is 28-22 in his four years at the U, but fans hunger for more.

Of course, being in the Top 15 isn’t just for coaches of bad programs. Alabama’s Nick Saban is ranked 15th and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops is 19th.

The locals? South Florida’s Willie Taggart is ranked No. 21. FSU’s Jimbo Fisher, amazingly, ranks 52nd despite winning a national title and making it to the NCAA playoffs last year. UCF’s George O’Leary ranks No. 101. Florida’s Jim McElwain, in his first year as coach of the Gators, ranks No. 116 out of 127 jobs. The safest coach in America, says the poll, is Ohio State’s Urban Meyer.

Other interesting rankings? Former USF coach Skip Holtz is ranked No. 98 at Louisiana Tech. Steve Spurrier is No. 43 at South Carolina. Georgia’s Mark Richt is ranked No. 78.

In the NFL side of the rankings, three of the top five are from Florida. The Bucs’ Lovie Smith is ranked No. 5 in the Hot Seat rankings. Miami’s Joe Philbin is ranked No. 1 followed by Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley. So that’s what they mean by the Florida heat.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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