AI Golden began his coaching career in 1993 as offensive coordinator at Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic High School. He then served as a graduate assistant under George Welsh at Virginia from 1994 to 1996, where he worked primarily with the linebackers and the kickoff and punting teams. He helped develop All- ACC linebackers James Farrior and Jamie Sharper, both of whom were chosen in the 1997 NFL draft.
Farrior was a first-round pick (#8) by the New York Jets, while Sharper was a second-round selection (#34) by the Baltimore Ravens. Golden then coached the linebackers at Boston College from 1997 to 1999 under Tom O’Brien. While at BC, Golden coached All-Big East and NFL linebackers Frank Chamberlin (Tennessee Titans) and Erik Storz (Jacksonville Jaguars). The Eagles finished the 1999 regular season with an 8-3 record and a top-25 national ranking, while making their first postseason bowl appearance since 1994.