Report: Gators set to hire Shannon

A former enemy of Florida is set to join Jim McElwain’s staff in Gainesville.

The new Florida coach will hire former Miami coach Randy Shannon as the Gators’ linebacker coach, according to multiple reports.

Shannon has spent the last two seasons coaching linebackers on Bret Bielema’s staff at Arkansas. In 2011, Shannon served as the linebackers coach at TCU. He took the 2010 season off after being fired as the head coach at Miami the previous year.

Most of the Florida fan base’s familiarity with Shannon comes from his time leading the program in Coral Gables. He served as the head coach at Miami from 2007-10. Shannon, who played at Miami in college from 1985-88, was the defensive coordinator for the Hurricanes from 2001-06, adding linebacker coaching responsibilities to his coordinator duties in 2006.

His coaching career got started as a graduate assistant at Miami in 1991, and he was promoted to defensive line coach for the 1992 season. In 1993, he moved to coaching linebackers for the Hurricanes and stayed there through the 1997 season.

That’s when Shannon made his trek to the NFL. He stayed in the same area while joining the Miami Dolphins defensive staff from 1998-99. He coached linebackers in 2000 for one year but was brought back to the Hurricanes as the defensive coordinator to start the 2001 season.

As a defensive coordinator, Shannon’s defenses produced seven All-Americans, and he has coached eight other All-Americans as a position coach. As a head coach and defensive coordinator, Shannon has coached 14 defensive players that were taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. He has coached multiple NFL linebackers, most notably 13-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Ray Lewis.

In five of Shannon’s six seasons as a defensive coordinator at Miami, the unit was a top 10 defense in the country. He was the first Miami coach to win the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant, when he earned it during the Hurricanes’ national championship season in 2001. Miami had 25 defensive players taken in NFL Drafts from 2002-07 with Shannon as the defensive coordinator, including 12 first-round picks.

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