Where to go from here?

Talk about unexpected.

Adding to an already tumultuous offseason for the Miami Hurricanes, defensive coordinator Bill Young announced that he was leaving after one season of running the defense to accept the same position at his alma mater, Oklahoma State University.

This is not worth being upset with Young about; it is hard to turn down the chance to go home, and Young was classy in departure.

However, this announcement stunned many who follow the program.

Young’s defense showed flashes of brilliance at times last year before wearing out down the stretch. While most fans were calling for the head of offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, the same fans were consistent in their support of Young.

However, Young will take his zone-blitzing scheme with him to Oklahoma State and leaves Miami looking to fill a second coordinator post.

While head coach Randy Shannon stated that he will be looking for an experienced coordinator that can bring a winning scheme to the program, he also acknowledged the possibility of running the defense himself should the right candidate not emerge.

Shannon would be doing himself a favor by finding someone to run the defense, so that he can concentrate on being the head coach.

The defense is full of potential stars, but Shannon would be spreading himself thin if he tried to take on both roles; the players would ultimately suffer as a result.

This is a very important time for Shannon. Playing musical coordinators is not good for the development of the program. The Hurricanes need to establish systems on offense and defense, but it is hard to establish a system when the leader changes every season.

Kyle Wright sticks out as the biggest victim of this brand of instability. The uber-talented quarterback went through four coordinators in five years and never was able to find traction.

Now both the offense and defense will have to learn new playbooks and terminologies for next season. Shannon needs to find coordinators that he can trust to do their job so that Shannon can do his own.

Former NFL assistants make sense, but so do long-time college coaches like Boston College’s Steve Logan or Notre Dame’s John Tenuta.

At the end of the day, Shannon cannot afford to hire inexperienced candidates that will grow into the job. He is, after all, still growing into his own job and could use a few veterans to help him out.

Shannon has expressed that he expects an ACC title this season. He has let his players know that they will be upping their intensity this off-season in every aspect.

It is time to start winning again, and Shannon knows it.

I have faith that the hires made by Shannon will be good ones.

If not, Shannon may find his seat growing warm by this time next season.

January 25, 2009


Dan Stein

Senior Sports Writer

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