Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Hogs’ Shannon gets $85K raise
Randy Shannon, Arkansas assistant coach and linebackers coach, listens during a National Signing Day ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at the university's football complex.
FAYETTEVILLE - Randy Shannon will be paid $400,000 and have the opportunity to earn more this season in his new role as senior associate head football coach at Arkansas.
Shannon, who made $315,000 last year, signed an offer letter last Friday, and the school released it Monday following a public records request by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Shannon’s offer letter also indicates he could earn incentive pay “in accordance with University policies,” though there are no stipulations on either the achievements required to earn the incentives or the compensation available.
His agreement carries through June 30, 2015, and carries a $100,000 buyout through Dec. 31, 2014, and a $50,000 buyout through the end of the term.
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema said he approached Shannon soon after the departure of defensive coordinator Chris Ash on Jan. 14 to discuss his new role while also telling Shannon he was seeking someone else for the defensive coordinator’s job. Shannon remains in his position as linebackers coach.
On Feb. 8, Bielema hired Robb Smith as the program’s fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons. Smith’s salary is $500,000 per year.
Shannon, who will turn 48 on Monday, maintained a diplomatic stance to the situation on national signing day on Feb. 5, saying all he wanted to concentrate on was that day’s signing class and improving Arkansas football for the long term. Also on that day, Bielema announced Shannon would be named senior associate head coach.
“Me and Coach B have been knowing each other for a long while and I’ve been a head coach before, and I think that he reached out to me fora little help on certain situations,” Shannon said Feb. 5. “Like anything, that’s my job as a coach is to go out and coach guys, recruit and help any way I can.”
Shannon, a Miami native and former linebacker, defensive coordinator and head coach at the University of Miami, has helped Arkansas tap into the fertile prep football ranks in Florida since his arrival. He played a key role in helping Arkansas sign nine Floridians in its past two signing classes, including tailback Alex Collins and offensive lineman Denver Kirkland last year and five more Florida natives this year.
On national signing day, Shannon told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “me being happy here is because I’m having fun. I like my job. I like working with the people around here.”
Sports, Pages 17 on 02/18/2014