For new Florida Gators head football coach Jim McElwain, the process of filling out his staff has been slow and methodical. His first hire was defensive coordinator Geoff Collins who held the same position at Mississippi State. Next came the all important offensive coordinator filled by former Alabama and Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier.
Outside of those two positions, the next most important coaching hire is the recruiting coordinator. For this job you want a guy who has proven recruiting skills and connections in key recruiting areas.
For McElwain and the Gators, that guy appears to be former Miami head coach Randy Shannon. Shannon spent the last two seasons coaching linebackers at Arkansas. Now he is expected to accept a position on Coach Mac’s staff as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Shannon was a starting linebacker for the 1987 national champion Hurricanes and spent his entire coaching career there before stepping down as head coach after the 2011 season. He is considered to be a strong position coach and should help mentor young talented linebacker corps.
Perhaps more important for the Gators, however, is his recruiting prowess and his significant ties to the recruiting hotbed of south Florida, particularly in Dade and Broward counties. The Gators have fallen significantly behind the other state schools, FSU in particular, as far as recruiting top in-state talent and bringing Shannon in should help reverse that trend.
To this point, nothing official has come from the university but we will update that as soon as it does.
The biggest question with Shannon coming in as recruiting coordinator is what does that mean for Travaris Robinson? T-Rob, as he is known by fans, was reportedly mulling competing offers from Auburn and Florida. With him coaching defensive backs he could very well stay on staff along with Shannon which would be an even bigger coup for the Gators. T-Rob also is considered an ace recruiter with significant south Florida ties. The two together might create a recruiting juggernaut for the Gators.
The hiring of Shannon, however, may very well indicate that T-Rob had already informed Coach Mac he intends to leave for Auburn as was previously reported by Booger McFarland.
Stay tuned to Swamp Music for more Gator Chomps and the latest on the UF coaching rumor mill.