With the news yesterday that LB Coach Tony Tademy would be leaving the Frogs in order to spend more time with his family, I had the same, "Holy crap, our linebacker depth is in the shitter, now we can't even keep our linebacker COACH on campus? What gives??" reaction as many of you. However, if the rumors of his replacement are true, perhaps this is finally a blow the Frogs linebacking corp will be able to take. Randy Shannon, last seen as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes, is reportedly the leading candidate to replace Tademy and a deal could be in place even before this post hits the interwebs.
Prior to putting on his big boy pants, Shannon coached defensive line, linebackers and coordinated for the Hurricanes and even pulled a stint as linebacker coach for the Dolphins. In his six years as DC for the Canes, Shannon's defenses ranked in the top 7 five times. Sounds eerily familiar... As head man in Coral Gables, Shannon compiled a 28-22 record in 4 years with 2 bowl bids, which would qualify him for legendary status at Baylor or SMU, but ultimately resulted in him being fired. However, you can't judge the man solely by his record. True, he never returned the Hurricanes the heights they reached back in his playing days in the late 80s when they were winning National titles, but he significantly improved academic progress rates, a foreign concept in south Florida. He also managed to not find himself tangled up in the web woven by rogue UM Booster Nevin Shapiro, arguably the only person associated with UM athletics not to do so. Basically, Shannon proved that you can't win at Miami by doing things the right way, thus he was fired. A tiger never changes his stripes, a man once said.
You might think, "Well, if Shannon was such a good Coach, why hasn't he surfaced as at least a defensive coordinator somewhere? Why is he settling for a positional job at an unfamiliar school?" Well, young grasshopper, perhaps Shannon was waiting for the right situation? Let's face it, Coach Bumpas is in his 60s and probably nearing the end of his career. Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to bring in Shannon as a DC in waiting? And, given our off-season character struggles, PARTICULARLY at linebacker, doesn't it make sense to bring in a guy with his head on straight that cares about character as much as he does about winning? Kind of like GP? Sure, the "coach in waiting" game is a dangerous one to play, especially for a guy like Shannon who you presume wants to get back in the Head Coaching ranks, but if you lose him it means he was doing a great job in Fort Worth. This just seems like a major win-win to me. Let's hope it works out.