New Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain continues to fill out his first staff with impressive hires and has come to an agreement with Arkansas associate head coach and linebackers coach Randy Shannon to join his staff as an assistant.
As first reported by 247Sports.com, Shannon will take over as Florida’s linebackers coach, a position vacated when McElwain decided to not to retain Gators defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin. It is not known whether Shannon will have other responsibilities, though the positions of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator are both believed to be open on UF’s staff. A source confirmed Shannon’s hiring to OnlyGators.com early Wednesday afternoon.
A Miami, Florida, native and veteran coach who spent the first 20 years of his career in Miami (17 with the Hurricanes, three with the Dolphins), Shannon served as a defensive coordinator (2001-06) and head coach (2007-10) of the Canes before being let go. He took over as linebackers coach at TCU in 2012 and moved over to Arkansas in 2013, adding the role of associate head coach.
There were some talks that Shannon would be a hot name as a defensive coordinator hire this offseason, though a move to Florida certainly makes a lot of sense, especially if Gators defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Travaris Robinson leaves the program to reunite with Will Muschamp at Auburn, as expected.
Shannon is well-respected both as a coach and a leader of young men, and his recruiting chops – especially in South Florida – are unquestioned.
Along with McElwain, Collins and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, Shannon makes up the third member of Florida’s revamped coaching staff with more announcements expected in the coming weeks.
Shannon went 28-22 as head coach at Miami and was responsible for much of the Hurricanes’ recruiting successes. He earned more than $400,000 as an Arkansas assistant last season.
An announcement is expected to come from the Gators on Thursday due to terms of Shannon’s buyout, which reportedly gets reduced by 50 percent once the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1.
Intersting to note: Shannon's Arkansas contract has a $100,000 buyout that runs through today. It drops to $50,000 tomorrow.
— Robbie Neiswanger (@NWARobbie) December 31, 2014
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