Shannon: DC Not an Issue

Randy Shannon seemed like a happy Senior Associate Head Coach on national signing day. For sure, the Arkansas linebackers coach wanted to stay out of the spotlight Wednesday.

Arkansas hasn't hired a defensive coordinator and might not for another 14 days, according to head coach Bret Bielema.

But it's not going to be former Miami head coach and defensive coordinator Randy Shannon. The UA linebackers coach was promoted to Senior Associate Head Coach by Bielema on Wednesday and seemed just fine with that.

Shannon's raise wasn't disclosed and may not be finalized, but one of the top recruiters on the Arkansas staff wanted the focus on others on national signing day -- and on some of the players that he helped recruit to the Ozarks.

Shannon met with the media and was quickly mobbed. The questions about his interest in the vacant defensive coordinator job over the last three weeks were pushed aside.

"I don't think we need to even talk about it," Shannon said. "Bret and I did talk about how we could get better as a team. I told him how I thought we could do that. That was a few weeks ago and we got into recruiting."

When more questions were asked about his interest in the DC job, Shannon said, "I've already talked as much about that as I'm going to talk. I understand you guys have a job to do and want to talk about that, but I'm not going to do that. The guys on this staff are the focus today and the players we signed."

Bielema mentioned Shannon's promotion almost immediately Wednesday in his signing day press conference.

"Randy and I talked right away after the departure of Chris and he's going to bump up a little bit on our staff," Bielema said. "He helps me in so many ways in everything from football and recruiting, to I've hired a couple of people he had hired in the past to work in our academics and work in our strength staffs.

"(The coordinator position) is something I've been concentrating on, but I think of because where we're at in the recruiting cycle and what we needed, it wasn't something that was an issue with any kid we came across. That's why I really opted to put that decision off until now."

Shannon, 47, is highly regarded on the UA staff. His ties to South Florida helped Arkansas sign five players from the Miami area on Wednesday.

"I think he means a great deal to us," defensive assistant coach Taver Johnson said. "You've got a former head coach and a former assistant coach who was successful in both areas. When you have a person like that who can relate to anyone who walks through the door, whether it be players, coaches or families, that's someone you can learn from. I'm extremely excited and thrilled for him. When Coach (Bielema) announced that I shook my fist and clapped my hands because we really respect him."

Johnson, a former assistant head coach who served as the team's interim head coach following Bobby Petrino's firing two years ago, said Shannon's new position is important.

"He's really just another head coach," Johnson said. "If Coach Bielema's not around or something else is going on, he's just the next guy in charge. There is a ranking system in the military and there's one on a coaching staff. Everyone understands that rank."

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