COMMENTARY: ‘Canes get their man

The University of Miami has made it official-Randy Shannon is their choice. For those who are baffled or disappointed with the decision, consider the former motto of UM athletics: “it’s a ‘Cane thing, you wouldn’t understand.”

All kidding aside, the important thing is that Shannon needs to have an understanding of what needs to be done, and all signs indicate that he does.

Whether or not hiring Shannon was the right decision is something only the future will be able to tell, but, as for now, Shannon’s hiring seems promising and a step in the right direction for a number of reasons.

First, although Shannon’s resume does not entail any head coaching credentials or display the big name splash most fans were looking for, it does include “Miami” credentials. There is probably no one in the football ranks that knows the University of Miami football scene as well as Shannon.

Shannon played his college football for the university, as he was a four-year letterman and a starting linebacker for the 1987 national championship team. Then, in 1991, Shannon joined the Hurricane coaching staff as a graduate assistant. By 1992, he was the defensive line coach and from 1993-1997, he was the linebackers coach. After a short stint with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, from 1997-2000, Shannon returned to Miami in 2001 as the defensive coordinator. His tenure with the Hurricanes also includes three national championship rings.

Thus, it is evident that Shannon knows this Miami coaching job. More importantly, he knows what it will take to make this a winning team again.

Additionally, by hiring Shannon, the Hurricanes will not miss a beat on the recruiting front because Shannon should be able to retain almost all of the athletes who have verbally committed to Miami. Another plus is that, Shannon knows the college recruiting front, the Florida recruiting front and where and whom Miami has been perusing. The combination of all these aspects should allow Shannon to finish up with a respectable recruiting class this year and recruit a strong class next year.

The current players, which include eighteen returning starters, already know Shannon and many have shown their support of him being hired as head coach. This support, though, does not mean that Shannon will be an easy-going players’ coach. On the contrary, Shannon is a fiery guy, who will bring discipline and the idea of hard work and dedication to the team.

Hiring Shannon is not the sole solution to Miami’s problems.

Now that Shannon is the head coach, as he is known for his defensive skills, he will have to find a dynamic offensive coordinator, who can run a powerful pro-style offense. Let’s face it, the Hurricanes are in dire need of an offensive mastermind as the team has been offensively inefficient, to say the least, for a number of seasons.

Shannon will have to have a strong recruiting class, this year, in terms of wide receivers and offensive lineman.

Ultimately, the university made a safe choice is hiring Shannon, but Shannon should be able to prove that he was the right choice and that he can get the job done.

Pravin Patel may be contacted at