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Minnesota Gopher Coaching Candidate Profile - Randy Shannon

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Randy Shannon is currently coaching the Miami Hurricanes and prior to a Joe Schmitt tweet he wasn't the radar of anybody's radar. But his name has been tossed into the ring (remember where you heard it first) so let's run him through the TDG profiler.

Playing Career

  • 1984-88 - Linebacker for Miami's 1987 National Championship Team

Coaching Career

  • 1991 - Miami (Grad Ast)
  • 1992 - Miami (DL)
  • 1993-97 - Miami (LB)
  • 1998-99 - Miami Dolphins (Ast)
  • 2000 - Miami Dolphins (LB)
  • 2001-05 - Miami U (DC)
  • 2006 - Miami U (DC and LB)
  • 2007-present - Miami (HC)

You may notice that Shannon has basically spent his entire career (playing and coaching) within the city limits of Miami. He did play a season for the Cowboys after college but other than that his entire career has been in the 305 area code.

Why He Fits

Well he is really on the list only because he was rumored to be interested in getting out of the Miami pressure cooker. In one respect he is a Tubby Smith type hire but only from the perspective of the coach. Maybe Randy Shannon is fed up with the unrealistic expectations of Hurricane fans and would love to come to a place where he could build something and not be vilified if a BCS Title game isn't a regular occurrence. The minor difference is Tubby Smith did win a National Championship and won 10 conference titles with a .760 winning percentage. Randy Shannon has a .650 win % and actually a losing record in conference without a conference title or a bowl win.

He has great coordinator experience putting together 5 Hurricane defenses that finished in the top 10 nationally during his six year in that role. And then he has is in his forth season as a head coach at one of the premier programs in the country.

This is a bit of a stretch but he may be pretty solid in recruiting the Miami area. He's from the area his whole life and has been recruiting the area for a very long time. He clearly has built relationships with area schools and coaches (stronger than those we are assuming from a guy like Kevin Sumlin who has been in Houston for all of two years).

Why He May Not Fit

The main criteria I've been using for this whole endeavor has been experience, proven winner, Minn/Big10 ties and recruiting. And to tell you the truth Shannon isn't a home run in any of these categories. His head coaching experience is about two more games than Tim Brewster's. He has won more games than he's lost but if I'm giving credit to other coaches who have done more with less I need to point out that Shannon has excelled at doing less with more. He has absolutely no ties to the Big Ten or Minnesota. And he has recruited OK but he is coaching the Hurricanes which is right in the heart of a target rich environment. He eventually landed Seantrel Henderson but he was clearly plan B (or maybe even C).

The biggest thing is that he doesn't view this as a place he wants to be, it is a place that isn't the Miami pressure cooker. I don't see the appeal from his perspective to come here.

TDG Approval

Experience - B-
Proven Winner - C-
Minn/B10 Ties - F
Recruiting - B

It seems really odd to say that a coach who is good enough for the Miami Hurricane's isn't good enough to be the coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. But Randy Shannon was been pretty average, especially for Miami standards. He has virtually unlimited resources, a fantastic recruiting base within blocks of his office and has managed just a .650 win % before this season. He seems to be a great coordinator but hasn't put it all together as a head coach.

He has done a nice job trying to restore the image of "Thug U." But Minnesota doesn't need an image makeover, they need a winner. He may very well put things together and be very successful at Miami, but that doesn't necessarily mean he'd be successful at Minnesota where somethings just won't come as easily. If he truly wants to make a move out of Miami I just don't see Minnesota as the logical landing spot for him or for us.

His defensive coaching history would give me hope that we'll see an actual defense in Minnesota capable of stopping somebody. I wouldn't be pissed if we hired him, he has some credentials, but he's not at the top of the list. He is a sexy name that on the surface would sound great to Gopher fans. But moving from Miami to Minnesota is a step down. This seems to be more about him than it would be about us and really there is no reason to believe he would actually leave Miami.