University of Florida

Former UM coach Randy Shannon joins Florida Gators’ new staff

Former UM coach Randy Shannon will serve as associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers assistant with the Florida Gators and could be a key recruiter for the South Florida area.
Former UM coach Randy Shannon will serve as associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers assistant with the Florida Gators and could be a key recruiter for the South Florida area. AP

Florida Gators’ coaching staff is nearly finalized.

New head coach Jim McElwain announced seven hires Monday, rounding out his inaugural staff with just a single opening remaining.

Former Miami head coach Randy Shannon makes a prominent return to the state, serving as Florida’s associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and linebackers assistant.

Shannon is joined by defensive line coach Terrell Williams, a former Oakland Raiders assistant, and Kirk Callahan, UCF’s defensive backs coach and former UF staff member in 2010-11, to compete the Gators’ defensive staff.

Florida previously announced the hiring of Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, as well as offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier from Michigan.

Meanwhile, McElwain poached a pair of former co-workers from Colorado State, as Tim Skipper will coach running backs and Mike Kent will serve as the team’s director of strength and conditioning. Former Western Kentucky assistant Greg Nord will coach tight ends and serve as UF’s special teams coordinator.

The only member retained from UF’s 2014 staff is offensive line coach Mike Summers. McElwain tried to convince heralded defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Travaris Robinson to stay on board, but Robinson opted to join former UF coach Will Muschamp at Auburn.

Florida’s only opening is a wide receivers assistant.

“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.

“They will all help our players be successful on the field, as students and in life and are excited about the opportunity to join the Gator Nation. This is the first step in putting together an infrastructure that will put the Gators back where we belong.”

Before Saturday’s 28-20 victory against East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl, McElwain wouldn’t comment on any of the reported hires or outline a timetable for the staff’s completion.

“We’ll make sure all the pieces fit,” he said. “This is going to be a building process in the infrastructure for a long time to come. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’m talking about rebuilding a total organization, so that’s going to take some time.”

All of McElwain’s hires have strong recruiting ties to the state of Florida, as well as plenty of SEC experience.

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