Bielema brings in Shannon

Ex-Miami coach tutors linebackers

By: Bob Holt
Published: Monday, December 31, 2012
Arkansas added Randy Shannon to Bret Bielema's coaching staff on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.
Arkansas added Randy Shannon to Bret Bielema's coaching staff on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

— Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said during a recent media teleconference he had “a linebackers coach in place that I think will probably amaze a lot people.”

Randy Shannon amazing enough for you?

Bielema announced Sunday night that Shannon, the former University of Miami head coach, has been hired as Arkansas’ linebackers coach.

Shannon, 46, is coming to Arkansas from TCU, where he was linebackers coach this season. The Horned Frogs’ ended their season Saturday night with a 17-16 loss to Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

“Randy Shannon is a great coach and a great person,” Bielema said in a news release. “He has been a part of multiple national championship teams and, more importantly, he changed the lives of numerous young men.

“He has spent nearly his entire coaching career at Miami, and his defenses consistently ranked inside the top 10 nationally. I think a lot of people know Randy got a lot of great things done at Miami and most recently with TCU.

“He is a disciplinarian who has high standards, and he is skillful at relating to his players. He is a coach players turn to for guidance, and his players have always been prepared and played with intensity and desire.”

Shannon had a 28-22 record as head coach from 2007-2010 at Miami, where he also played linebacker and was defensive coordinator and assistant coach. He was part of three national championship teams at Miami as a player and assistant coach and also was an assistant in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

Shannon won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2001 in his first of six seasons as Miami’s defensive coordinator. Miami also won the 2001 national championship. The Hurricanes finished in the top 10 in total defense in five of the six seasons Shannon was their coordinator.

This season Shannon helped TCU lead the Big 12 Conference and rank 18th nationally in total defense, holding opponents to 332.0 yards per game.

Shannon is the seventh assistant coach hired by Bielema, leaving two openings on the staff.

Shannon, who grew up in Miami, played for the Hurricanes from 1986-1988. As a senior in 1988, he received the Christopher Plumer Award as Miami’s most inspirational player.

Jimmy Johnson, the former Razorback player and assistant who coached Shannon at Miami, made Shannon an 11th-round draft pick in 1989 when Johnson moved to the NFL as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Shannon played two seasons for the Cowboys before starting his coaching career in 1991 as a Miami graduate assistant.

Sports, Pages 13 on 12/31/2012