The University of Miami, otherwise known as “The U”, is known for competing at the highest level in college football.
Past coaches such as Howard Schnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson and Larry Coker were able to win championships within four years of being hired.
So maybe that was the bar or standard which was set when Randy Shannon was fired by the Miami Hurricanes after finishing with a 7-5 regular season record.
Randy Shannon should be held accountable, but the bigger picture is that he had a winning record and the graduation rates were significantly better.
And yes in his four years, he didn’t win an ACC title or a national title or even got into a BCS game.
Jacory Harris’ poor decisions on the field with his interceptions may have been the difference in Shannon staying and going. Harris had a lot of talent, but his inability to keep his mistakes at a minimum like Auburn’s more accomplished dual-threat quarterback Cameron Newton or Ohio State’s Terrell Pryor may have been the difference.
Harris has the ability to run the football, but he chose to stay exclusively in the pocket and teams were waiting for the 6’5 signal caller to make a mistake or two and Harris obliged.
Newton is a capable thrower, but isn’t afraid to run and has been able to seal games down the stretch with his mobility. In 2010 regular season, Newton managed to throw for over 2,000 yards, threw 21 touchdown passes and only had six interceptions.
It’s about winning games, and Harris and Shannon were not able to lead the team to enough wins in a conference such as the Atlantic Coast Conference which was wide open for the Hurricanes.
Last year, the triple option attack led by Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson became the ACC Champions.
Shannon seemingly had received a vote of confidence after receiving a four-year extension prior to the 2010 season, but at some point the Miami athletic department had a change of heart.
Details are still sketchy, but it appeared that Shannon was giving strong consideration in firing some of his assistant coaches. Offensively, Mark Whipple may have been the appropriate fall guy, but it came down to the head coach.
Miami’s athletic director Kirby Hocutt ultimately made the decision to fire Shannon and it will be interesting to see how the Hurricanes proceed after firing a coach with a winning record who had been successful in graduating his football players.
Notre Dame fired Tyrone Willingham back in 2004 under similar circumstances and the Irish has gotten a little worse since Willingham’s firing.
Should Shannon had been given at least another year to make assistant coaching changes?
I believe so, but maybe the metaphorical drumbeat of a demanding, skeptical fanbase may have been too loud for Miami officials.