After an impressive 30-3 wipe out of Iowa, in the Outback Bowl on Monday, Gators head coach Jim McElwain was obviously impressed with Randy Shannon’s defense. So, impressed that Friday morning, he made Shannon permanent hire at defensive coordinator.
The hire full time for Shannon isn’t a huge surprise. The fact the team played so well in the bowl game pretty much locked up the gig for Shannon.
With Shannon, the Gators will have one of the most experienced defensive coordinators in the country. After playing linebacker for the University of Miami from 1985-1988, including being the starter on the 1987 National Championship Team, Shannon had one year stint with the Dallas Cowboys before returning as a graduate assistant on the Hurricanes staff. He would remain a position coach until 1997, before being an NFL assistant for the Dolphins until 2001. When Larry Coker called asking Shannon to be the defensive coordinator for the Canes, Shannon jumped at the job. That year Miami won the national title and Shannon won the Frank Broyles award for the nation’s top assistant. He would serve as DC for the Canes until 2006, where his defensives were constantly ranked in the top 10.
In 2006 after Larry Coker was fired, Shannon was given the job to be the head coach at Miami. Shannon would be the head coach until 2010 when he was fired after fielding a 28-22 record, which was considered too mediocre for Miami’s standards.
He would be out of coaching until Gary Paterson of TCU called Shannon to be the LBs coach in 2012. Once again he was part of a staff that was a top 10 defense. After only one year at TCU, Shannon would go to Arkansas as LBs coach until he was hired as a position coach and associate head coach at Florida in 2015.
The promotion of Shannon to DC for the Gators is par for the course and Gator fans should know they have one of the best defensive minds in the country. As we saw in the Outback Bowl, he can scheme a winning formula. He’s also known as a stellar recruiter.