Florida adds assistants, including ex-Miami coach Shannon
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP)—New Florida football coach Jim McElwain added several assistants Monday, including former Miami coach Randy Shannon.
Shannon was hired as associate head coach, co-coordinator and linebackers coach. He served as Arkansas’ senior associate head coach and linebackers coach the last two years.
According to his contract at Arkansas, Shannon has a $50,000 buyout if he leaves the Razorbacks for anything other than a Division I head coach or defensive coordinator position or a job in the NFL.
“Randy has a great reputation in the state of Florida, especially as a recruiter and a long-standing history as a football coach at Miami,” Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said Monday. “Enjoyed our two years with him. A lot of fun to be around and a really, really good guy. He had an opportunity to take what he felt was a better opportunity with Florida in the other division in the path of his career and success. Wish him all the best.”
Shannon spent 17 years at Miami, where he played four years and then coached 14 players selected in the first round of the NFL draft.
McElwain added another coach with state ties, hiring Kirk Callahan to coach defensive backs. He rejoins Florida’s staff after coaching defensive backs at Central Florida the past three seasons. He previously spent two years at Florida, working with the defense in 2010 and 2011 before joining the Knights.
“As we were putting this staff together, we wanted to make sure that all the parts fit for us to be successful,” McElwain said in a statement. “This group has the knowledge, understanding and experience recruiting and coaching in the South, the state of Florida and the Southeastern Conference. They are like thinkers and don’t have self-serving agendas.”
“This is the first step in putting together an infrastructure that will put the Gators back where we belong,” he said.
Florida finished 7-5 this season, capped with a win over East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.
McElwain also hired Terrell Williams as defensive line coach. On offense, McElwain retained offensive line coach Mike Summers, hired Greg Nord as tight ends and special teams coach, and added Tim Skipper as running backs coach.
Mike Kent will serve as director of strength and conditioning, rejoining McElwain after three seasons at Colorado State.
The Gators still need to a hire a receivers coach. They have used six in the last six seasons.
Nord, a 35-year coaching veteran, spent last season as Western Kentucky’s running backs coach. He has plenty of SEC experience, spending nearly 15 years at Kentucky as a player and a coach. Nord also spent 15 seasons at Louisville. He has coached tight ends, running backs and special teams throughout his career.
Skipper rejoins McElwain after three seasons on the Colorado State coaching staff, including two as assistant head coach. He previously coached running backs at Fresno State.
McElwain previously hired Doug Nussmeier as offensive coordinator and Geoff Collins as defensive coordinator.