If there is something that Randy Shannon knows, it’s the defensive side of the ball. The former University of Miami player, defensive coordinator and coach at the school is now the associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of Florida.
New Florida head man Jim McElwain hired Shannon from the University of Arkansas, where he served as the linebackers coach for the Razorbacks the past two seasons. Shannon is excited to get to work with the new staff that McElwain has brought into UF.
“It’s good to work with coach Mac and be a part of this program,” Shannon said. “The coaching staff, some guys that I’ve known for a while they’re great. We all have the same kind of mentality and we just want to be a part of something that is special.”
Shannon’s accomplishments on defense go back to his days as the defensive coordinator at Miami. In his first season coordinating the defense in 2001, the Hurricanes won the national championship behind a defense that had players the likes of Ed Reed, Jonathan Vilma, and others who would go on to have success on the NFL level.
Shannon’s success on the defensive side of the ball would eventually lead him to become the head coach at his alma mater in 2007. Shannon wouldn’t find the same success as a head coach as he did as a defensive coordinator, as he was fired after four seasons at the helm of the program. Shannon, however, isn’t dwelling too much on his past.
“The past is the past, I can’t change it,” Shannon said. “A lot of great things I did as a player, as a coach, but right now my focus is on trying to get things done at the University of Florida.”
Shannon was also brought in to help recruiting efforts for the Gators. He had success bringing in top classes while at Miami and recruiting South Florida. Even though Shannon has a reputation as a top flight recruiter in South Florida, he wants people to know that he can recruit around the country.
“People label me as a South Florida guy, but people keep forgetting that I recruited a lot of guys from California while I was at the University of Miami,” Shannon said. “A lot of guys from Louisiana, a lot of guys from New York, so I’ve been more versatile than recruiting South Florida.”
While Shannon inherits a team that consistently ranked at the top in most defensive categories during former coach Will Muschamp’s tenure, Shannon knows that he has to make sure the players understand what he wants to do.
Coaching defensive football is something Shannon is known for; he has a great pedigree and a great history of coaching defense and he wants to continue that success now at Florida while having the opportunity to work with a new staff. From being at Miami, Shannon knows what kind of program Florida has in football and overall athletically.
“There are a lot of programs in the country, but there’s only a few programs in the country like Florida.”
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