GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida interim head coach Randy Shannon on Monday said he’s not viewing this next month as an opportunity to show future employers his capabilities as a head coach.
“I don’t look at it as an audition,” Shannon said. “I just think the opportunity to coach and have fun with a bunch of guys, the student-athletes that you have a chance to be with. These guys have got to represent the University of Florida.”
And while he has been the Gators’ interim head coach for less than 24 hours, he has already made a slew of changes to the staff.
Shannon said Monday that Chris Rumph has been promoted to defensive coordinator for the remainder of the season and analyst Robb Akey will coach the defensive line.
“For me, being a defensive coordinator and me just hanging around with the defense, when you take over a team, it’s not the right thing to do,” Shannon said. “I got be a part of the whole defense and offense and special teams.”
Rumph has been with the Gators since 2015 as the team’s defensive line coach and helped groom players such as Jon Bullard, Caleb Brantley and Bryan Cox Jr. Florida’s defensive line has also been its strongest and most veteran group on that side of the ball this season. The Gators are fifth in the SEC in terms of tackles for loss per game (6.57).
Plus, Rumph has more than 15 years of experience coaching defense at the college level, including being the assistant head coach for defense at Texas in 2014.
“Promoting Chris Rumph, [he’s] a guy who’s done it, that’s prepared for it,” Shannon said. “He’s ready to do a great job.”
Akey has 28 years of experience coaching defense and special teams at both the college and NFL levels. He served as the head coach at Idaho from 2007-2012 and finished with a lackluster 20-50 record over six seasons. Since then, he worked as a defensive line coach with the Minnesota Vikings (2014) and Washington Redskins (2015-16) before becoming a quality control assistant at Florida this season.
Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will still run the offense but Shannon said he will meet with the offense every day.
“You can’t wholesale everything,” Shannon said. “A couple of things we’ve changed ya know coach Mac left a great foundation for us. Now we’ve just got to build on it.”
With a week of practice about to get underway, Shannon is hoping to keep the team engaged as they prepare to play a road game against Missouri.
“We’ve got to go out there as a whole team and unit and coaching staff and have fun with these guys,” Shannon said. “Be very enthusiastic, be very positive and whatever happens in the game early, we’ve got to weather the storm. And at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters, what happened at the end of the game.”
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