GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Randy Shannon has been promoted to defensive coordinator, Florida coach Jim McElwain announced Friday.
McElwain hired Shannon exactly two years ago this week as the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator. He now takes over for Geoff Collins, who became the head coach at Temple last month.
“Coach Shannon has been a big part of our success over the last two years,” McElwain said. “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 served as the interim coordinator for the Outback Bowl and held Iowa to 3 points, the fewest allowed in a bowl game by UF in school history. It was clear that Shannon would get the job after the success of his game plan.
“I appreciate the opportunity Coach Mac has given me to be the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida,” Shannon said. “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.”
The Gators had top-10 defenses in both seasons under Collins, and Shannon is capable of continuing that level of production. He served as Miami’s defensive coordinator from 2001-06 and fielded a top-10 unit in five of those six years.
Shannon has also improved Florida’s recruiting efforts, particularly in Miami. With him as the area recruiter, the Gators have landed a total of 10 prospects from Miami in the past three recruiting cycles. Former UF coaches Will Muschamp, Urban Meyer and Ron Zook combined for only six Miami signees over the previous 10 years.
McElwain still has an assistant coach opening to fill on his staff, and it could be an offensive or defensive hire. It’s unclear whether Shannon will coach linebackers or safeties, the position group he worked with for the bowl game.