With Geoff Collins leaving for the head-coaching job at Temple, Jim McElwain was left looking for a new defensive coordinator. As it turns out, the Florida head coach didn’t have to look far.
The Gators announced Friday that McElwain has stayed on staff and promoted Randy Shannon to defensive coordinator. Shannon had spent the past two seasons as UF’s linebackers coach; there’s no indication in the release as to whether Shannon will retain those duties or McElwain will add someone to coach that group.
Either way, McElwain still has one spot to fill on his nine-man coaching staff.
“Coach Shannon has been a big part of our success over the last two years,” a statement from the coach began. “It’s been really cool to watch him handle his business. He really connects with our players and they have a lot of respect for him. More than being a great coach, he is a great mentor and teacher to these young men and that is one of our greatest measuring sticks as coaches.”
Shannon came to Gainesville with a pedigree almost exclusively tied to the University of Miami.
A linebacker for the Hurricanes, Shannon’s first coaching job came at The U as a graduate assistant. He then spent 12 of the next 15 years as an assistant at his alma mater — he was on the Miami Dolphins staff from 1998-2000 — the last five in the role of defensive coordinator before being promoted to head coach in 2007. Fired in 2010, Shannon spent 2012 at TCU and 2013-14 at Arkansas — he was linebackers coach at each stop — prior to his move to Florida in 2015.
Shannon will continue to hold the title of associate head coach.
“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Mac has given me to be the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida,” Shannon’s statement read. “We will continue to work together as we have the past two years to put together a plan so our players are in a position to be successful in football and in life.”