Former Miami coach Randy Shannon, a candidate to become Texas’ next defensive coordinator, currently is on the campus, based on reports from Austin-based radio stations and internet sites.
Whether that morhps into an announcement that Shannon will replace Will Muschamp, Texas’ former defensive coordinator, figures to be determined in the next few hours.
Muschamp was named Saturday night as the new head football coach at Florida, replacing Urban Meyer. Shortly after Florida’s announcement about Muschamp’s hiring, Shannon apparently backed out of discussions with Kentucky _ which was prepared to name him as the Wildcats’ new defensive coordinator _ and contacted Texas coach Mack Brown to express interest in the vacancy in Austin.
Shannon, a longtime successful defensive coordinator at Miami, spent the past four seasons as the Hurricanes’ head coach before he was fired last month. Brown has said in the past that he does not know Shannon. But he didn’t know Muschamp or Gene Chizik, Texas’ last two defensive coordinators, before bringing them to Austin for campus visits and hiring both of them, either.
One thing is certain: Texas needs some positive publicity to convince its 23 commitments for the 2011 signing class that things are not unraveling at warp speed for a tradition-rich program coming off a 5-7 season. Hiring Shannon, a respected defensive guru with a long history of sending defensive players to the NFL, would accomplish that.
The Longhorns have lost four coaches in the past week, including Muschamp, and there is speculation that Muschamp could take running backs coach Major Applewhite – and possibly other assistants -- with him to Florida.
_ Jimmy Burch