|File:Randy Shannon 70723.jpg|
|Title||Associate head coach / Co-defensive coordinator / Linebackers coach|
February 24, 1966|
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Miami Dolphins (assistant)
Miami Dolphins (LB)
Florida (Assoc HC/Co-DC/LB)
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
Broyles Award (2001)
Randy Leonard Shannon (born February 24, 1966) is an American college football coach, and currently serves as the associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Florida Gators football team of the University of Florida. He previously was the head coach of the Miami Hurricanes football team of the University of Miami from 2007 to 2010. Shannon played linebacker for the Miami Hurricanes, and then played professionally for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL).
- 1 Early years
- 2 College career
- 3 Professional career
- 4 Coaching career
- 5 Head coaching record
- 6 References
Shannon was born in Miami, Florida, and grew up in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. When he was 3 years old, his father was murdered. His older twin brothers, who became addicted to crack cocaine when Shannon was 10, both died of AIDS, as did his older sister. Shannon attended Miami Norland High School, where he earned all-state honors playing football at the position of linebacker in his senior year. He also excelled at basketball, averaging 19 points a game, and was a member of the track and field team.
Shannon received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, where he played for coach Jimmy Johnson's Miami Hurricanes football team from 1985 to 1988. He was the starting outside linebacker for the Hurricanes' 1987 national championship team. Shannon graduated from the University of Miami with a bachelor's degree in 1988; he was the first member of his family to earn a college degree.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Shannon in the eleventh round (280th overall pick) in the 1989 NFL Draft. The Cowboys were coached by his former Miami Hurricanes coach, Jimmy Johnson. While Shannon did not have the prototypical size of an NFL linebacker, he played two years in the league, and Johnson credited him with teaching his "bigger, faster linebackers how to play the position." Shannon played in 17 NFL regular season games for the Cowboys during the 1989 and 1990 seasons, starting four of them.
Miami Hurricanes head coach Dennis Erickson hired Shannon in 1991 to be a graduate assistant. He later became the team's defensive line coach and linebackers coach. Shannon worked as a defensive assistant for the NFL's Miami Dolphins in 1998 and 1999, and became the linebackers coach for the Dolphins in 2000.
In 2001, Miami Hurricanes head coach Larry Coker hired Shannon to be the Canes' defensive coordinator. That year Miami won the BCS National Championship, and Shannon received the Broyles Award recognizing him as the best assistant coach in college football. The Hurricanes' 2001 national championship team is widely considered to be one of the greatest college football teams of all time. During Shannon's six years as the Hurricanes defensive coordinator, his defenses consistently finished among the best in the nation:
Miami Hurricanes head coach
Shannon was officially introduced as the head coach of Miami on December 8, 2006, replacing Larry Coker. Shannon reportedly agreed to a four-year deal worth over $4 million. He was the sixth African-American head coach at the time in Division I-A NCAA football. Coker stayed on to coach the team to a 21–20 MPC Computers Bowl victory over the University of Nevada; Shannon assumed all other functions, including recruiting, immediately upon his hiring.
Shannon's first decision as head coach was to remove the players' surnames from their jerseys, in order to emphasize the team over individual members. Some fans complained the decision made the game more difficult to follow.
The season opened with a victory over Marshall in his first game as head coach. The second game was a 51–13 loss to No. 6 University of Oklahoma. Miami rebounded by defeating Florida International, Duke, and then-16th ranked Texas A&M, but then lost close games to unranked North Carolina, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. One highlight was Miami's fourth quarter comeback against rival Florida State. However, this was offset by a 48–0 loss against No. 21 University of Virginia in the team's final appearance ever at the Orange Bowl, the worst loss for the program in the history of its play at the Orange Bowl and the worst overall loss since 1998. Miami finished the season losing to No. 16 Boston College 28–14. Under Shannon, the team lost six out of their last seven games, finishing with a losing record and failing to qualify for a bowl game for the first time in over a decade.
Two days after the season ended, one of Miami's former players, Sean Taylor, was shot in his home in Miami. Shannon expressed frustration over the media's handling of such incidents, stating that the coverage made it appear as though the University of Miami is a haven for crime.
Shannon's squad finished the 2008 season with a 7–6 record (4-4 ACC) and a loss to Cal in the Emerald Bowl. The regular season was highlighted by losses to eventual National Champion Florida and rival Florida State, and a surprising victory over eventual ACC Champion Virginia Tech. The 'Canes briefly returned to the Top 25 rankings for the first time since early in the 2006 season before surrendering 472 rushing yards to Georgia Tech in a 41–23 late-November loss that eliminated Miami from ACC Championship contention. Tech's 472 yards on the ground were the second most ever allowed by Miami. Miami then received an invitation to the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, where the Hurricanes fell 24–17 to Cal.
In the immediate aftermath of the bowl game, Shannon fired his offensive coordinator, Patrick Nix, over philosophical differences. Nix wanted to employ more of a spread attack, whereas Shannon remained committed to Miami's traditional pro style offense. Shannon eventually hired former Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach Mark Whipple for the position.
Nix's departure was followed by news that Robert Marve, a redshirt-freshman quarterback who had been suspended from the bowl game for repeatedly missing class, asked for a release to transfer to another school. Marve cited a strained relationship with Shannon, who had previously suspended him after his arrest for criminal mischief, as his reason for leaving. Marve was the only Hurricanes player to be arrested during Shannon's tenure as head coach.
Shannon's staff suffered more upheaval when defensive coordinator Bill Young left to assume the same position at Oklahoma State, his alma mater, in late January. Young's departure made him the third coordinator to leave the program during Shannon's two seasons as head coach, joining Nix and former defensive coordinator Tim Walton, both of whom were fired. North Carolina assistant John Lovett was hired to replace Young in February.
Randy Shannon's Hurricanes showed improvement in the 2009 season, in which the Canes finished with a record of 9–4. The Canes were the first college football team in nine years to face four consecutive ranked teams to start the season. They surpassed expectations by going 3-1 in those games, including wins over No. 19 Florida State, No. 13 Georgia Tech, and No. 8 Oklahoma. The Hurricanes went 6-2 over the remainder of the regular season, then lost 20-14 against No. 22 Wisconsin in the Citrus Bowl. Miami finished the season ranked No. 19 in the country. It marked the second consecutive year that Shannon's team had shown a two-win improvement.
The Hurricanes started the year with high expectations, ranked 13th in the Associated Press and Coaches Poll. However, after winning three of their first four games, they were beaten at home by No. 24 Florida State, 45–17. They went 4-3 over the rest of the regular season, with losses to Virginia, No. 15 Virginia Tech and South Florida. Though they were ranked in the top-25 until the final two games of the season, the season-ending loss to South Florida left them unranked heading into the Sun Bowl.
Although he left Miami with an unremarkable win-loss record by the program's previous standards, Shannon still left a significant legacy at the program. He guided the school to the third-best Academic Progress Rate in NCAA Division I FBS. In his four-year tenure at Miami, only a single player was arrested. Perhaps most significantly, he was apparently untainted by the scandal that engulfed the program in the 2011 season, as he avoided contact with Nevin Shapiro, the rogue booster who admitted to providing massive amounts of improper benefits to Miami players from 2002 to 2010. Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, in an August 2011 open letter to university president Donna Shalala, noted that Shannon "seems to have been the only person in Coral Gables who wanted nothing to do with Shapiro, reportedly warning his players to avoid him and threatening to fire assistants caught dealing with him."
Though Shannon's teams went through some struggles on the field, he consistently brought in recruiting classes ranked in the top 25. Three members of his second recruiting class—Marcus Forston, Marcus Robinson, and Sean Spence—were recognized by College Football News as freshman All-Americans.
After the South Florida loss, the university announced its decision to terminate Shannon immediately.
TCU Horned Frogs linebackers coach
In July 2012, Shannon became the linebackers coach at TCU. Shannon participated in his first game as a member of the TCU coaching staff on September 8, 2012, a 56-0 victory over Grambling. As of October 2, TCU was undefeated and ranked 2nd in the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 7.3 points per game. They ranked 2nd in passing efficiency defense, 2nd in interceptions, 9th in rushing defense, and 7th in total yards allowed per game.
Arkansas Razorbacks linebackers coach
In December 2012, Shannon was hired by the new incoming Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema to be a part of his staff as a linebackers coach and be a major part of their recruiting efforts.
Florida Gators associate head coach
On January 5, 2015, the University of Florida announced that the Florida Gators' new head coach Jim McElwain had hired Shannon as the Gators' associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. McElwain stated that Shannon was at the top of his list for potential assistants, and media sports commentators opined that Shannon would be a significant recruiting asset for McElwain and the Gators.
Head coaching record
- Susan Maller Degnan et al. (2006-12-07). "UM chooses Shannon as head football coach". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
- Steven Wine, "Shannon: 'Hard Times' to 'Canes Coach," The Washington Post (December 9, 2006). Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- Hyde, David (September 23, 2009). "Miami coach Randy Shannon brings real life experience to Hurricanes". CNN. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
- "Randy Shannon: Profile". HurricaneSports.com. Archived from the original on August 27, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
- Smith, Gary (September 4, 2007). "Hiding in Plain Sight". CNNSI. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Randy Shannon. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- The others being Sylvester Croom (Mississippi State), Karl Dorrell (UCLA), Tyrone Willingham (Washington), Ron Prince (KSU), and Turner Gill (Buffalo).
- The Associated Press, Mark Schlabach & Joe Schad (2006-12-07). "Defensive coordinator Shannon new Miami Coach". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
- "A No Name Offense and Defense," The Miami Herald, July 24, 2007, page 3D.
- "Shannon, 'Canes seeking quick turnaround".
- "Shannon exclusive (part I)". Miami Herald. 2007-11-28. Retrieved 2007-11-28.
- "Georgia Tech racks up 473 rushing yards, dampers No. 23 Miami's ACC title hopes". ESPN.com. November 20, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-19.
- Joey Johnston (Dec 31, 2008). "Drama-Filled Marve Saga at UM Comes to End'". Tampa Tribune. Retrieved Dec 31, 2008.
- "Marve granted release from Hurricanes scholarship". ESPN. December 30, 2008.
- Murphy, Austin (September 22, 2010). "Shannon leading Miami through renaissance on and off the field". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 26, 2012.
- "Canes choose Lovett as D.C.". CNN. February 9, 2009.
- "Miami begins season with four tough games". ESPN.com. 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2009-09-04.
- Wolff, Alexander (August 29, 2011). "16 Years Later, It's Time To Get Real". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
- 2007 Team Ranking. rivals100.rivals.com
- "Miami claims top 2008 recruiting class – insider – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- "Scout.com: Football Recruiting". Recruiting.scout.com. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
- Cirminiello, Richard (December 11, 2008), "2008 CFN All-Freshman Defensive Team", College Football News
- "Miami fires coach Randy Shannon", ESPN.com, November 27, 2010
- "NCAA FBS Stats". Sports Illustrated. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2012-10-02.
- Jesse Simonton, "Former UM coach Randy Shannon joins Florida Gators’ new staff," The Miami Herald (January 5, 2015). Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- Edgar Thompson, "McElwain: Randy Shannon 'at the top of my list' when hiring Gators assistant coaches," Orlando Sentinel (January 7, 2015). Retrieved January 7, 2015.