TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) — Three-time national champion Randy Shannon has been elevated to Florida State’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, head coach Mike Norvell announced Saturday.
“I’m excited to have Coach Shannon taking on this new role on our coaching staff,” Norvell said. “His insight, passion and integrity have been on display since he arrived at Florida State last spring, and his experience as a head coach brings valued perspective. Our current and future student-athletes will develop on and off the field through his football knowledge, teaching ability and focus on individual personal growth. Coach Shannon’s relationships and excellent reputation within the state of Florida, and especially South Florida, will continue to help our program climb back toward the top of college football.”
Shannon, who was a senior defensive analyst on FSU’s staff this past season, has 30 years of coaching experience and has directly coached nine first-team All-Americans, 78 all-conference performers and 74 NFL Draft picks, including 21 first-round selections. He was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at UCF from 2018-20 and also has served as head coach at the University of Miami and defensive coordinator at Miami and Florida, as well as linebackers coach at Arkansas, TCU and the Miami Dolphins.
In his three years coordinating the UCF defense, Shannon developed 15 all-conference honorees while helping the Knights to a 28-8 overall record, including the 2018 AAC championship and a berth in the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. Safety Richie Grant was a three-time All-AAC selection and 2020 Jim Thorpe Award finalist. Grant, a second-round selection by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2021 NFL Draft, was one of four NFL Draft picks coached by Shannon in Orlando, joining 2019 second-round pick Trysten Hill, 2021 third-round selection Aaron Robinson and 2021 sixth-round pick Tay Gowan.
The 2018 UCF defense ranked fifth in the nation with an average of 8.2 tackles for loss per game and was sixth nationally with 28 takeaways. In 2019, the Knights led the country with 9.0 tackles for loss per game and also ranked third in passing efficiency defense and fifth in third-down defense. In 2020, their 13 fumble recoveries were tops nationally while their 22 total takeaways ranked sixth.
Shannon went to UCF following three seasons at Florida, where he helped the Gators win 33 games and two SEC Eastern Division titles. In 2016, he coached a defense that ranked second in the country in pass defense and fifth nationally in total defense. Linebacker Jarrad Davis was a finalist for the Butkus Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy before being picked 21st overall in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 2015 defense ranked fourth in the SEC in yards-per-carry defense and fifth in rushing defense while producing three players with more than 95 tackles, the first time UF had three 95-tackle performers since 2002. The 2017 team ranked third in the SEC in third-down defense, fourth in red zone defense and second in interceptions, led by CJ Henderson’s four that were the most among SEC true freshmen, while ranking sixth in the nation in interception return touchdowns with Henderson being one of only two true freshmen in the country to record two pick-sixes that season.
In the only three seasons he has coached outside the state of Florida, Shannon coached linebackers at TCU in 2012 before coaching linebackers at Arkansas for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The 2014 Arkansas defense featured first-team All-SEC linebacker and 2015 fifth-round NFL Draft selection Martrell Spaight, who led the SEC with 123 tackles while helping the Razorbacks rank second in the SEC and 12th nationally in rushing defense. In 2012, he mentored All-Big 12 linebacker Kenny Cain on a defense that led the Big 12 in total defense, rushing defense and takeaways.
Shannon spent 20 years coaching in Miami, beginning his career as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami for the 1991 national champions before coaching the defensive line in 1992 and linebackers from 1993-97. After three seasons on staff with the Miami Dolphins, Shannon returned to the University of Miami as defensive coordinator for six seasons and head coach for four.
As head coach, he led the Hurricanes to 28 wins and three bowl appearances while also ranking in the top 10 nationally in Academic Progress Rate each season. His 2009 team won nine games and had nine all-conference performers after the 2008 team produced the ACC’s Defensive Rookie of the Year and four Freshman All-Americans. He guided the Hurricanes to appearances in the Sun Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and Emerald Bowl in his final three seasons as head coach.
In five of his six seasons as defensive coordinator, Miami ranked in the top-10 nationally in total defense, including the 2001 national championship team that led the NCAA in scoring defense, turnover margin and passing efficiency defense. The 2001 squad allowed only 12 touchdowns while scoring seven defensive touchdowns. His defenses produced 25 players drafted from 2002-07, including 12 first-round picks. In 2005, his defense led the country in pass defense and pass efficiency defense while also ranking fourth nationally in total defense and scoring defense. Shannon also coordinated the nation’s best passing defense in 2002 and 2003, with the 2003 defense ranking second nationally in total defense and fourth in scoring defense.
The 2001 Broyles Award winner as the best assistant coach in the country, Shannon was a four-year letterman at linebacker for the University of Miami and a starter on the 1987 national championship team. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 and became the first rookie to start at outside linebacker for Dallas since 1963. Shannon earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Miami in 1989.
Randy Shannon Coaching History2022- Florida State co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
2021 Florida State Senior Analyst (Defense)
2018-20 UCF Defensive Coordinator
2017 Florida Defensive Coordinator*
2015-16 Florida Assistant Head Coach/co-Defensive Coordinator
2013-14 Arkansas Linebackers Coach
2012 TCU Linebackers Coach
2007-10 University of Miami Head Coach
2001-06 University of Miami Defensive Coordinator
2000 Miami Dolphins Linebackers Coach
1998-99 Miami Dolphins Assistant Coach
1993-97 University of Miami Linebackers Coach
1992 University of Miami Defensive Line Coach
1991 University of Miami Graduate Assistant
*-Served as Florida’s interim head coach for four games in 2017