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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Randy Shannon

Randy Lennard Shannon, born February 24, 1966 is a former American football coach, most recently serving as the head football coach at the University of Miami from 2007 to 2010. Shannon played football at Miami and then with the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL.

When Shannon was three years old, his father was murdered. At 10, his older twin brothers became addicted to crack cocaine. His brothers and older sister died of AIDS. Shannon attended Miami Norland High School and earned all-state and honorable mention All-America recognition from Street & Smith's as a senior linebacker at Norland. Shannon also competed in basketball, averaging 19 points a game, and competed in the triple jump on the track and field team.

He played college football for the University of Miami, starting at outside linebacker for the 1987 national championship team. After graduating in 1988, Shannon played briefly as a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

Randy Shannon's Hurricanes did show improvement in the 2009 season, in which the Canes finished with a record of 9–4. The Canes started out the season with an impressive 3–1 record against a tough group of four ranked opponents. The Hurricanes did go on to drop two regular season games following the impressive start, and ended with a disappointing loss in their bowl against Wisconsin. Even with the four tough losses, Shannon's teams have shown an improvement of at least two wins per season every year he's been the head coach. Following Miami's improved finish in 2009, several preseason polls have Miami in the top twenty five for the first time since Shannon has been the head coach.

Though Shannon's teams have gone through some struggles on the field, he has brought in recruiting classes ranked in the top 25. Three members of his second recruiting class—Marcus Forston, Marcus Robinson, and Sean Spence—were recognized by College Football News as freshman All-Americans.

2010 season

The Hurricanes started the year with high expectations, ranked 13th in the Associated Press and Coaches Poll. However, after winning three of their first four games, they were humiliated at home by Florida State, 45–17. Losses to Virginia, Virginia Tech and South Florida followed.

After the South Florida loss, the university announced its decision to terminate Shannon immediately. On December 13, 2010, the University of Miami announced the hiring of his replacement, former Temple University head coach Al Golden.
Off the field

Although he left Miami with a mediocre record by the program's recent standards, Shannon still left a significant legacy at the program. He guided the school to the third-best Academic Progress Rate in NCAA Division I FBS. Perhaps most significantly, he was apparently untainted by the scandal that engulfed the program in the 2011 season, as he avoided major contact with Nevin Shapiro, the rogue booster who admitted to providing massive amounts of improper benefits to Miami players from 2002 to 2010. Sports Illustrated writer Alexander Wolff, in an August 2011 open letter to university president Donna Shalala, noted that Shannon "seems to have been the only person in Coral Gables who wanted nothing to do with Shapiro, reportedly warning his players to avoid him and threatening to fire assistants caught dealing with him.

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