Jim McElwain has found his new defensive coordinator.
He didn’t have to look far.
Florida has promoted Randy Shannon from his linebackers role to defensive coordinator. He replaces Geoff Collins, who left to take the head job at Temple.
Shannon was the defensive coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes under Larry Coker from 2001-2006, winning a national championship in that time and was an overtime loss to Ohio State away from a second. Those Cane defenses consistently finished in the nation’s top 25 in every statistical category, and the strong reputation he built earned him the head job there after Coker was fired.
It may come as an eyebrow raiser to some that Florida promoted from within instead of going shopping elsewhere, but Shannon’s familiarity with the program gives him a leg up.
He’s done a fine job as linebackers coach in his two years so far at Florida, and has done a fine job on the recruiting trail- specifically in south Florida. And he did an exceptional job with the defense in the trial run McElwain gave him as D.C. in the month leading up to the Outback Bowl. Florida held Iowa QB CJ Beathard to a career low 55 passing yards, and kept the Hawkeyes out of the end zone for the entirety of the game.
So Mac could have gone shopping elsewhere, but realistically, this was about as good a hire as anybody could have expected.