Florida’s head coach, Jim McElwain, announced Friday morning that Randy Shannon would be making the move to defensive coordinator.
The Miami-native coached the Gator linebackers for the past two seasons. Also during that time he was the associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator. He stepped in as the interim defensive coordinator in the Outback Bowl when the news broke that Geoff Collins would be moving on to be the head coach of Temple University.
With Shannon’s short time at Florida, he has already made an impressive resume in Gainesville. However, compared to his overall career… this decision was an easy one for the Florida football program—And quite frankly, no surprise.
He suited up at Miami Norland where he was an All-State player, then went on to the University of Miami to become a starting linebacker for the Hurricane’s 1987 National Championship squad. Over in the NFL, he joined “America’s Team” and played 17 games for the Dallas Cowboys.
He first entered the role of defensive coordinator back in 1998 for the Miami Dolphins. Later, he would take just short trip to the college field of the University of Miami and enter his second role as a defensive coordinator. His six-year term is where he would make his mark on recruiting in the state of Florida, earning himself and his alma mater a national championship (2001-06.) Randy would eventually be promoted to head coach of the Miami Hurricanes and was responsible for some of the best defenses in recent times. In 17 years with the Hurricanes, he coached 14 different players that would go on to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
There was a time when Shannon left the state of Florida to coach the linebackers at TCU (2012.) Then moved on to Arkansas and coached the linebackers and acted as a senior associate head coach for the Razorbacks. Now a defensive coordinator in Gainesville, this will be Shannon’s third go-around as a defensive coordinator—Third time’s the charm?
McElwain and Shannon have been in The Swamp for two seasons now and for those two seasons the Gators have been a top-10 defense nationally.
Florida’s defense shined ranked seventh in the country a season-ago. That squad lost five starters to the NFL and two of them going in the first-round. After that, the Gator Nation began to worry about the condition of their defense. They had no idea the defense would become even better. Florida’s defense now sits in the fifth spot nationally and only behind Alabama in the SEC, after only allowing opponents 293 total yards of offense per game.
This year the defense is already losing some big names and potential first-rounders to the NFL (So far, Jalen “Teez” Tabor, Quincy Wilson, David Sharpe, Alex Anzalone, and Caleb Brantely.) Is it possible for Randy Shannon to keep the routine alive and make next season’s defense even better?
To Florida fans, this promotion shouldn’t be a surprise—But it definitely calls for a defensive celebration.