MY THOUGHTSFirst off, congratulations to Randy Shannon.
For those who haven't watched the Shannon press conference, I suggest you do so.
He comes across as a strong leader with direct goals, confidence, and a strong mindset with what he wants to accomplish at Miami.
It has been a while since we have seen smiles around the football program with all that has gone on this year, but today was filled with smiles.
Shannon kept the attention of the packed room with charm, wit, humor, and a strong attitude. He made people smile again and he had plenty of smiles to go around.
Shortly after the dismissal of Larry Coker I made it public that I thought Shannon, not Greg Schiano, Mike Leach, or any other of the names thrown out there would be named Miami's head coach.
I kept true to my statement in two articles since then and never wavered on my prediction. I also said that I preferred if the program went a different direction and went outside the staff.
I still believe that.
However, I am confident that Randy Shannon is going to be a strong leader and can get UM back in the right direction if he hires a strong staff. He has to implement his own beliefs into the program as opposed to relying so much on what Larry Coker has done in the past.
This is Shannon's team.
And the quicker he realizes this and makes changes, the better off he and the program will be in the long run.
Another issue that I'd like to touch on is that I am excited about is the hiring of a minority for a premier coaching position. More importantly I am excited to see a black man get a big-time opportunity like this for his first coaching position at just the age of 40.
I hope this is an eye-opener for the rest of the country.
It's an issue I feel very strongly about and I'll probably get into it at a different time.
Although Randy said he does not view himself as a minority coach, but as a coach.
He said when he goes to the ACC meetings the other coaches will say 'Hi Randy' and not 'Hi minority Randy'.
He is right.
But he is also smart enough to understand the significance of his hiring and the impact he could potentially make on programs across the country as well as the youth aspiring to follow in his footsteps.
Congratulations and best of luck Randy!
FOOTBALL NEWS & NOTES• Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal has been rumored to take the FIU head coaching job. Cristobal, a former 'Cane, was at the Randy Shannon press conference today leading one to believe he will be staying at UM. Players have said they believe Cristobal is staying as well. Shannon and Cristobal were on the 1988 team together.
• Junior linebacker Jon Beason said he is 50/50 on returning for his senior season as opposed to entering the NFL Draft. Before the hiring of Shannon it was practically a done deal that he was leaving.
• When someone asked Calais Campbell about getting 15 sacks next year, he said he has goals of getting more than that. Campbell, a sophomore, has 10 sacks this year.
• Quarterback Kyle Wright gets his cast off on Dec. 21, but will not play in the bowl game. Wright will travel and said he will be 100 percent in time for spring practices. Wright has to do about a month's worth of rehab after he gets the cast off in order to be ready to play.
• Quarterback Kirby Freeman took a flight out of Miami today after the Shannon press conference to watch his dad's high school team, Brownwood High, play in the Texas state playoffs.
• Speaking of Hurricane quarterbacks, Brock Berlin has been back in Shreveport, La. as a financial advisor for professional athletes and other people in the community.
• The players are excited Shannon was named the head coach as expected. Most players do develop a strong relationship with their assistant coaches regardless of the level they play at. But with Shannon, they not only like playing for him, but they have a deep respect for him.
• Shannon said the main focus with recruiting right now is locking up the kids that have already committed to UM. Look for Miami do very well with this and if a player decommits, it will have more to do with a 6-6 season or other programs recruiting them heavily as opposed to UM releasing Larry Coker.
• Coker is expected to coach the bowl game according to Paul Dee and Shannon endorses this request. Shannon said he wants Coker to coach the bowl game and on Jan. 1 it will become his team. Don't expect Shannon to name his assistant coaches until after Jan. 1.
BASKETBALL NEWS• Following a 1 pm home game against Lehigh, head coach Frank Haith will be at the Miami High-Pace game Saturday night to watch UM signee Edwin Rios face 2008 prospect Rayford Shipman. Shipman is believed to be favoring Florida heavily with Miami and Georgia Tech still in the mix. Shipman is a 6-foot-4 wing player with excellent athletic ability and an excellent GPA.
• Senior center Anthony King will be out at least a month after spraining a ligament in his right hand in the Dec. 3 game against Georgia Tech. His target return date is Jan. 6.
• While King is out for a month, sophomore Adrian Thomas is out for the year with a sports hernia. Thomas will have surgery next week after finals are over. He suffered the injury in August while lifting weights. Thomas has played in four games this year and is eligible for a medical redshirt.
BASEBALL NEWSCoach Jim Morris was in attendance for Shannon's hiring. Morris, like a number of UM coaches, is avid supporter and fan of the football team.
CANESTIME ON MYSPACECanesTime is now on MySpace. Make sure you add us as a friend! A number of our favorite Hurricane athletes have already added us so make sure you do the same!
BACK ISSUES OF CANESTIME THE MAGAZINEMiami Hurricane fans,
With the holiday season upon us you now have the ability to purchase back issues of CanesTime the Magazine. These are great collectors items as a number of your favorite Hurricanes have graced the cover dating back to 2002.
Also, CanesTime the Magazines make for great autograph items!
We are currently in our fifth year of the magazine and a number of current NFL stars have been on the cover of the magazine including Andre Johnson, Frank Gore, Sean Taylor, Kellen Winslow, D.J. Williams, Vince Wilfork, Devin Hester, Kelly Jennings, Eric Winston, and Roger McIntosh.
All issues are $4.95 plus shipping and handling. If you wish to place an order, please email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christopher Stock can be reached at email@example.com