FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas coach Bret Bielema said last week his new linebackers coach would probably "amaze a lot of people."
It’s safe to say former Miami head coach Randy Shannon fits that description.
Arkansas announced Sunday night that Shannon was leaving his position as Texas Christian’s linebackers coach to join the Razorbacks’ staff.
Shannon — who is widely regarded as one of the most respected coaches in the country — brings plenty of championship experience to Arkansas. He won three national titles as a player and assistant coach at Miami (1987, 1991, 2001).
"Randy Shannon is a great coach and a great person," Bielema said. "He has been a part of multiple national championship teams and, more importantly, he changed the lives of numerous young men. He has spent nearly his entire coaching career at Miami, and his defenses consistently ranked inside the top 10 nationally."
Shannon, 46, is the seventh assistant to join Arkansas’ staff and third on defense. He joins defensive coordinator Chris Ash and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge on that side of the ball. Both coaches followed Bielema from Wisconsin.
Shannon, who was a four-year letterman at Miami and starter at linebacker for the program’s 1987 national championship team, has spent all but one season of his coaching career in South Florida. His career began as a graduate assistant at Miami in 1991 and Shannon was promoted to a full-time position on the staff from 1992-97. Shannon also worked as an assistant with the Miami Dolphins from 1998-2000.
Shannon returned to Miami as defensive coordinator in 2001 and was part of a national championship team under Larry Coker. He was named the defensive coordinator of the year in 2005 by Rivals.com after ranking among the nation’s best.
Shannon was named Miami’s head coach two years later and went 28-22 in four seasons with the program. He was fired after the 2010 season and, after sitting out a year, rejoined the coaching ranks as TCU’s linebackers coach last season.
Shannon’s terms with the Razorbacks were not immediately available Sunday night.
"I think a lot of people know Randy got a lot of great things done at Miami and most recently with TCU," Bielema said. "He is a disciplinarian who has high standards, and he is skillful at relating to his players."
He is a coach players turn to for guidance, and his players have always been prepared and played with intensity and desire."
Bielema has two openings left to fill on his Arkansas coaching staff (tight ends, secondary). Tim Horton and Taver Johnson, who were members of the Razorbacks’ 2012 coaching staff, are still considered candidates for those roles.
Previous Arkansas Staff (New Job)
OC/QB - Paul Petrino (Idaho head coach)
RB – Tim Horton
WR – Kris Cinkovich (Idaho offensive coordinator)
OL – Chris Klenakis
DT – Kevin Peoples (W. Kentucky defensive line)
DE – Steve Caldwell
LB – Taver Johnson
DC/S – Paul Haynes (Kent State head coach)
CB – Bobby Allen (Arkansas Director of HS Relations)
On-campus recruiting – Nick Holt
Football ops – Mark Robinson
HS relations – Jason Shumaker (Idaho running backs)
Strength coach – Jason Veltkamp (NC State)
Current Arkansas Staff (Previous School)
OC/QB - Jim Chaney (Tennessee OC/QB)
RB – Joel Thomas (Washington RB)
WR - George McDonald (Miami WR)
OL - Sam Pittman (Tennessee OL)
DL - Charlie Partridge (Wisconsin Co-DC/DL)
LB – Randy Shannon (TCU LB)
DC/DBs - Chris Ash (Wisconsin Co-DC/DB)
On-campus recruiting - Chris Hauser (Wisconsin)
Football ops - Mark Taurisani (Wisconsin)
Director of HS relations – Bobby Allen (Arkansas)
Strength coach - Ben Herbert (Wisconsin)