Sports Outside the Beltway

Randy Shannon New Miami Head Coach

Miami went in-house for its next head coach, promoting the defensive coordinator for a team that went 6-6 and got its head coach fired.

Randy Shannon helped the Miami Hurricanes win three national championships. Now he’ll try to reverse their decline.

Shannon, a former Hurricanes linebacker and their defensive coordinator since 2001, was chosen to replace Larry Coker as head coach and introduced at a news conference Friday. Miami fired Coker two weeks ago after the team finished the regular season 6-6, its worst record since 1997.

“Randy brings a tremendous background not only in sport but in life,” Miami athletic director Paul Dee said. “[He's] a person of discipline, a person that will help us in many ways.”

Shannon, 40, will become the sixth black head coach currently at one of the 119 Division I-A schools, joining Mississippi State’s Sylvester Croom, UCLA’s Karl Dorrell, Buffalo’s Turner Gill, Kansas State’s Ron Prince and Washington’s Tyrone Willingham.

“It’s one of my dream jobs,” Shannon said. “Always been.”

You’d think.

It’s odd that the Hurricanes would pick a guy whose name has not been mentioned, so far as I’m aware anyway, for any other head coaching vacancy for such a prominent job. Especially since he played a prominent part in last season’s team that was so good they fired the coach.

Then again, it wasn’t exactly his fault:

Most of the Hurricanes’ struggles in recent years stemmed from inconsistent play on offense — but the defense put together by Shannon continually ranked among the nation’s best, a fact the university obviously took note of during its search for Coker’s replacement.


Shannon’s 2001 defense at Miami led the nation in turnover margin, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense, plus set school records for turnovers forced (45) and interceptions (27). His defenses also led the nation against the pass in 2002 and 2005, plus have always ranked among the national leaders in total defense. Even this season, while the Hurricanes struggled, Shannon’s defense was the fifth stingiest in the country, yielding only 252 yards per game.

I suspect they’ll bring in a new offensive coordinator.

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