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Up next: Defensive coordinator

Since his football team ended its season, UM coach Randy Shannon has dealt with issues at a pretty fast pace. He fired offensive coordinator Patrick Nix, cut starting quarterback Robert Marve loose and then lost defensive coordinator Bill Young to Oklahoma State. 

Last week, Shannon responded by making possibly his best hire in offensive coordinator Mark Whipple. Shannon followed it up by landing another solid recruiting class Wednesday. Next on the to do list: replacing Young and finding a defensive coordinator. It appears that decision could be coming soon.

Wednesday, Shannon discussed the defensive coordinator search, telling reporters "he's already talked with a couple of guys here and there" and promising Miami won't go into spring football practice which begins Feb. 24 without a decision being made.

I've thought all along Shannon would just do the job himself. And he reiterated Wednesday (like he said when Young first left) that he was going to find the best guy that could get it done and if not he would coach the defense. 

Could Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez be coming to The U? But after what he told us yesterday at his signing day press conference, that idea appears to be his last resort. Shannon said he's had conversations with other head coaches including Georgia's Mark Richt about pulling double duty. In all honesty, it seems Shannon is turned off by the idea. "That's why he got an offensive coordinator," Shannon said of Richt. "It was difficult on him He said he couldn't see [the field] like wanted to. He felt a lot better the way he's doing it now."

If that is the case, then maybe some of the rumblings we're hearing about a coordinator being hired soon (possibly in the next 48 hours) could be true. Canesport.com threw out three names as potential candidates Wednesday, all are college defensive coordinators: Georgia's Willie Martinez, TCU's Dick Bumpas and Cincinnati's Joe Tresey. 

When I passed the three names through my source inside the building I was told only one of the three had merit (and that a decision could be coming soon). I'm not going to speculate which one it is, but I'm sure if Shannon said he made contact with Richt he had to have asked to have a conversation with Martinez, who was actually the first name we heard when Young left. 

> Of the three candidates, Martinez would be a natural fit considering he's from Hollywood Hills, a UM graduate and a mmber of UM's first national championship team in 1983. Martinez has never done any interviews since the rumors first began. Probably, with good reason considering his friendship with Richt and the fact it would have created trouble during the recruiting process.

His resume certainly looks good. During his seven years at UGA, Martinez has been a part of three SEC Eastern Division titles, five bowl victories, and five top ten finishes in the final national polls including No. 2 in 2007. His 2006 Georgia defense ranked 8th nationally in total defense, 5th in pass defense and 1st in the SEC in third down efficiency.

> As for Tresey, he is an Ohio guy who has more than a dozen years of experience on the collegiate level and another 10 on the high school level. When he joined Central Michigan's staff in 2006, he quickly implemented a style that forced 29 turnovers and 31 sacks in 14 games. Two seasons prior to joining the Central Michigan staff, Tresey was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Georgia Southern. The Eagles' defense ranked fourth nationally in total defense in 2004.

> Bumpas is an older gentleman who has been around the block a lot longer, coaching in the SEC (Tennessee, Arkansas), Notre Dame and he's been at TCU since 2004 as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. He's been a Broyles candidate multiple times.


> We asked Shannon several questions pertaining to what he was looking for when hiring coordinators and how he went about searching for them. 

His best response pertained to how he found Whipple. Basically, Shannon said he went through every NFL roster and started looking for people that he knew. "I knew coach Whipple when he was at UMass. But lost track of him. Then I saw he popped up with the Philadelphia Eagles when I started searching the website. I said 'Wow, there's coach Whipple.' Let me call him and see if he's interested."

I know by now all of us at one point or another have "googled" somebody. But I never would have thought Shannon would be doing the same to find his offensive coordinator. It's actually kind of funny.

> As for his thoughts on trying to find stable coordinators who will be around longer than 1 or 2 seasons, Shannon said: "I'm looking for guys we can have three or four years from now. I want guys who want to move up, be head coaches. You don't want a staff where guys are just satisfied being around you, you want those guys to develop, want more."

> Shannon talked a lot yesterday about how much previous relationships play roles in not only who he looks for as coaches, but even recruiting players. The fact UM signed the son of former Cane Alonzo Highsmith yesterday is no surprise. 

But how they got tight end Billy Sanders was a bit of an interesting story. Sanders' father Bill Sr. played football at Sacramento State with Geoff Torretta (you should know why that name is famous around The U). It was through Torretta Shannon found out about Sanders, who left Phoenix to go play his senior year  in Idaho. I'm pretty sure if not for the connection, Miami probably would have never known about Sanders. 

As for other interesting recruiting connections: Defensive tackle Curtis Porter has a family member that knows someone who works on campus; offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche played at the same high school as Orien Harris; and Prince Kent, a cornerback from Georgia, is originally from Fort Lauderdale. One Shannon didn't mention involved running back Lamar Miller. His grandfather Edgar drives a student shuttle bus at UM.

> According to Shannon, defensive end Eric Moncur has been granted a sixth year of eligibility. Shannon said he thinks safety Randy Phillips will be back too.

> Shannon said only three players will miss this spring because of injuries: Tight ends Tervaris Johnson and Dedrick Epps and linebacker Colin McCarthy. Moncur is considered 50/50.

I know I promised a recruiting blog today, but I figured getting some of these notes in from yesterday was more important. We'll have plenty of time the next few weeks to breakdown this class. I've got tons of interviews already done with some experts and kids I want to share with you. 


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Thanks, Manny.

Quick question Legion,

We all know Kehoe's Dad/step-dad beat him on a daily basis. My question is this:

Did he use a "tattered" leather belt, or a wire coat hanger????

I'm doing a study of anonymous internet psycho's, and I'm trying to figure out what could "trigger" this LOSER to post his dillusional rants.

Does anyone think Kehoe's dad/step-dad was a 'cane?? I BET THAT'S IT!! His dad was whipping him near death with a wire coat hanger during one of our 5 National Champioship games!!

I wonder which game it was??? I'm betting it was the 2002 Rose Bowl!!! No wonder he hates the 'canes so much!!

Poor, poor Kehoe! I bet his dad shaped the coat hanger into a "U", and he still has little "U" scars all over his "backside"!


Go 'canes!


Go 'canes!

Posted by: Sarasota 'cane | February 05, 2009 at 04:12 PM

Scratch the last line Legion, UF doesn't want him either!

Go 'canes!

Great work Manny,

I would be psyched to get a Quality DC in the next 48 hours. Hard to know much about those coaches, but I think I favor Martinez or Bumpas over Tresey for now. What about you guys? Also, you hearin any other names?

Thanks Manny. Would love to see Martinez here at UM, alhtough I'm not certain if that would be a possibility. It would be a lateral move and I'm guessing he'll only do it for a good amount of money.

There goes my last post on the other blog. Now it looks like he wants to hire a DC. That UGA sounds interesting. He's got a great resume and is connected to UM. That's the type of fellow that will not leave for his alma mater the way Bill Young did, which was the right decision.

Casual Observer-He would leave Georgia for some of the same reasons Young left UM. It is his alma mater. We would probably be able to sweeten the pot for him a little bit.


Yeah, but I'm also certain that getting paid more than twice what he was getting paid here helped the transition for BY. I'm not sure if we could do that for Martinez. Though again, I would love to see it happen.

Good work Manny, hopefully Shannon will find his man soon for the DC position

I can't wait to hear the interviews from the recruits and "experts"

ESPN's College Football Live claims Bryce Brown decommitted on Wednesday and that Oregon is now his leading choice.

You hearing anything about this, Manny?

ALL of these candidates are super DC's. Martinez, IMO, will be the best recruiter of the three even though the OC guys don't do as much recruiting.

Great to be a Cane and great work from true orange and green writer.... Manny!!!

Beyond performance, anyone know more about what kind of D these guys run?

Guys, not to throw water on Willie Martinez, but I live in Atlanta, and I CONSISTENTLY hear about how Willie is just not a good coach.

I don't really follow the Dawgs, but when the name first surfaced, I had an email in my inbox that said "Please help move this along - I am sick of this guy."

Now, before you accuse me of being a Gaytor in disguise, I bleed Orange and Green. I think Randy Shannon is doing a wonderful job, and I thoroughly understand that success doesn't always follow a straight line - sometimes you have to meander a bit to get there.

Regardless, even if Willie isn't God's gift to coaching, he is probably a better option that Randy doing it himself.

For what it's worth, if we can get 9 wins (including a bowl game) this season, I will be one of the happiest people in the ATL.

Go Canes, Go Randy, Go Clint Hurtt!

Casual Observer-I just read an article that says Georgia does not offer their coaches top dollar. We can pry him away. I think you might be underestimating the lure of him going back home to his wife. But we'll see.

Actually I hear the same thing,when I posted that on a message board I go to all of the Georgia fans were joyed by the news that Martinez might leave.

There is a website dedicated to getting a petition to having him fired. It has 515 signatures. That's a little scary.

Manny,we need a great DC not a also ran like Martinez...We need RS to run the D.........Any cuban sandwiches left??

C'mon now guys U know how fan bases can be, Im sure if somebody started a site and petition to fire Shannon U would have 500 idiots sign it

Big Daddy,

I have plenty of Atlanta based UGA friends, and the consensous is the same. Good hire for Miami, but wouldn't be great.


He is known to run the Cover 2 scheme. So that would blend with Randy's ideas very well. I'm sure that will play a factor in his decision making.

Yo Manu-el, this dude onthis blog said he heard on College game day about Bryce decommiting on wednesday- Any truth to that?

One reason not to be crazy about Willie: His ga D was run over by Ga Tech to the tune of over 400 yds- almost as bad as us.

It sounds like we can't lose w/ the 3 candidates mentioned. Despite Georgia's Defense having a down year, I still like Marinez's body of work in the time that he was there that convinces me that he is a good cadidate. Plus he is in the family which is what alot of you in the nation like anyway. I think that it is too much for Shannon to handle the HC and DC jobs @ the same time. As for B.Brown, I'm ok w/ him not comming to UM. between this year's class and the talent in Dade for 2010, I'm fine if he doesn't commit here.

So what is Bryce? is what Denver cane says true? Has anyone (including you manny) heard that rumor? If so why doesnt he just announce it? I mean, what does he have to lose? Other than cred? \

Manny, not that it really matters, but what are the final rankings? I saw 8 on ESPN, then read that we were actually 11, etc etc. Who cares anyway.

This thing that Kiffin said- Do you think it will gather any momentum? Hey- Meyer is like Clinton. He is Mr. Teflon- Nothing sticks, but there is always a stink, and there always has been. Can't wait until somethingreally shows up, b/c everyone knows he is dirty and flagrant about it regarding recruiting Fla kids!

Come on guys, Bryce is on vacation with his uncle in Nebraska until February 7. Is it possible that somebody, his mentor, is using his name to create buzz for himself?

Let's worry about the recruits we signed and the DC we need for the next few days. Randy really needs our advice for DC.

I just want Randy to take his time and make the best decision for the team. He is a team guy and bleeds orange and green. He'll make this work.

Heard on ESPN that Bryce decommited from us and Oregon is in the lead,and he has a visit there and to Tennesee.

Atleast we'll have room for Jakhari Gore

I heard Bryce is going to announce on Monday and Arthur is saying he's 80% certain he's comming here.

Right after I posted the comment about Martinez I realized that 500 signatures is a little over 0.5% of the 80,000 fans they fit in the stadium. So, the guy has an approval rating of around 99.5%. Sounds pretty good to me.

I watched the video of ESPN talking about B. Brown. The guys did not say that Oregon was his new favorite team. At the end of the report the analyst said that Brown not signing was a bad sign for UM. However, he also said that it is a "saga" and "is being dragged out for added press."

Really they did not say anything we did not know. We already knew he was not going to sign because he said he was going to take a couple of weeks to "fast" and listen for God to speak to him. Hilarious that fasting for him is eating tomato soup, veggie soup, and taking protein supplements. To me that sounds like a diet.

oaktree, sounds like a bunch of talking heads. i don't think there is any new info. either. everyone calm down.

I wonder if Whip has his playbook put together?

Brian Butler = Suge Knight

I am getting sick and tired of BB. Bryce either make up your mind or go somewhere else. You played high school football in Kansas so to say that you are better than a guy that dominates in South Florida is crazy. Everyone knows that Florida has some of the most gifted athletes in America. So without a doubt I am more confident in Lamar and Mike than Bryce. Yeah Bryce dominated in the All American game and yes he would be a huge get for the U but who cares? One player does not make or break a team. He still has to earn his and remain humble to be successful at the college level. Look he is a great kid and is very talented but lets focus on some other guys, besides if he was so in love with Miami why is he waiting to sign his loi? For publicity, self gratification, who knows and frankly I am tired of reading about him. Lets move on we have a lot more talent with this class plus we now have one of the best coordinators in all of college football. Yeah thats right I am going out on a limb.

5 National Championships" Actually 6 terrible officiating, how can U call pass interference on Glenn Sharpe
47 Current players in the NFL
8 players that scored td's in the Super Bowl "which is the more than any other Div-1a,1aa SCHOOL.
What else do U want......

I don't know about Martinez. When U think Georgia, U don't think stellar defense, U think offense that had the ability to outscore MOST opponnents.

Whats up with Colin McCarthy? He was a Dan Morgan in the making and then gets injured in the FSU game 2 SEASONS AGO! How bad can an injury be? It has been a year and a half and he is still going to miss spring practice?

I wonder if Warren Sapp can teach our young guys to dance in the end zone?

AMEN Elliot. Amen.

I get uncomfortable when we start talking about Martinez as the next DC. It is hard when a guys is that unpopular at a competitive school to be convinced he'll have better luck here. I know fan bases are fickle, but the last time we went to Georgia Tech and got a young, unpopular coordinator it didn't work out so well.

Regarding Bryce Brown, I really could care less at this point whether he comes or not. I really do want him to be a Cane, but it's not like he's choosing between us, Florida, and FSU. If he goes to Oregon we'll never see him again.

Mostly, I just can't wait for this nutjob Brian Butler to disappear back into obscurity and leave everyone alone. This guy gives me the creeps, and I know it's completely unwarranted, but I feel like he's giving these kids bad advice and dragging out the recruiting process so more people will be aware of him, his website, and his 2 pseudo-recruiting companies. If Bryce is really undecided, then by all means take all the time in the world and go wherever you want. God speed. But the things he says are just a little bit wierder than that.

Way to keep working Manny.

What are you talking about sumtercane? McCarthy played almost half the games this last season.

Is it true that we may hear something in the next 48 hours? From whom?

To me the decision for Brown is a simple one. If he honestly sits down and thinks about his future he will notice that he could be playing for an OC that is highly regarded by B. Cowher. He'll be playing in an NFL-style offense. To me Oregon is another one of those teams that runs a spread offense, at least from what I have seen of them. The other programs are no where near the caliber that our program offers even in the current down period. Which, to me it quickly looks like it is ending. I don't think it is a tough decision. Oh yeah, and his brother is going to school here too. If he does not choose us, I feel he is making the wrong decision for his future. I hope that is all he is thinking about.

Bryce Brown or no Bryce Brown, we'll be fine.

"The Whip" is in the house now and those RB's that are "lucky Enough" to be in our Offensive Back Field will be "nationally known commodities" before the season is halfway done.

Brother Arthur said yesterday "Bryce is 80% sure he's going to come to THE U."

If not - it's his loss.

Any SoFlo HS RB has run against better defenses than Brown has ever seen, so with Miller being "the best" from SoFlo and top 10 nationally, and a Cane - I'm happy.

Brown comes here - great.

New DC?

Martinez. Body of work is good, but got run over by GT, just like us.

He's shown he can work with talent and we've got the talent.

Played here, lives here. Ok.

I would also look at a guy that has shown an ability to coach "so - so talent" into winners a la "The Whip". That shows a guy that can "teach and coach" players and position coaches. That's a winner.

If "We's building depths.." or "SOUP" comes in here, I'm gonna puke!!

The sports team at WVLT Knoxville checked with NCAA about cryer violating recruiting rules and apparently it is NOT a violation for another coach to contact a recruit while they are on an official vist so no violation. I guess Kiffin missed that question on the recruiting test.

"But Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley responded by saying Meyer didn't do anything wrong, after checking with SEC officials. He also demanded an apology from Kiffin. He said the Vols' coach "slandered" Meyer. An NCAA official has also confirmed that Meyer did not violate any rules.

The SEC commissioner Mike Slive issued a public reprimand to Kiffin for his comments. "

(from USATODAY By David Jones, Florida Today)

Well, I'm new to this U stuff.

UMASS grad and very interested to see my old coach, Mark "Whip" Whipple, turn thinks around, offensively, at the U. And he will.

I see this is important stuff here.

All I can say for now is everything you've heard or read about Whip's positive abilities, is true. He is a wonder. Great teacher and coach as well as his play calling and game day coaching. I'm getting season tickets - because with the talent UM has - this is going to be a great show.

Great, just what we need. Another college assistant that knows how to give up massive amounts of points and yards to GT.


C'mon folks. We need to hold this program to a higher standard on our hires. We either need a guy from a "mid-major" who has done exceptional things or we need to go hire a position coach from the NFL with a good resume, an incredible interview, and a solid pedigree as far as the coaches he has worked under.

The massive amounts of points and yards that UGA gave up to UF and GT last year tells me off the bat that this guy is NOT the answer.

SEC sucks!!

No Georgia fans were calling for Martinez's head last year when Martinez's defense helped the Dawgs to their best season in 25 years. They were the pre-season #1 and had a couple of disappointing losses in the last half of the year and I think Martinez is taking the heat for that. I think Dawg fans are especially down on Martinez because of the thrashing their D took at the hand of Tech, their in-state rival. We got the same treatment a week before and not many called for Young's head but the situation may have been different had that happened against Florida or FSU. Think about it. I wouldn't put too much stock in what Georgia fans have to say anyway, because they are as arrogant as Gayturd fans but without the intelligence or class. I know most people don't think that is possible but live amongst them for 10 years and then tell me different.

In other words, Coach Shannon, follow the blueprint that led you to the Whipple hire and pretend that blueprint for the Nix hire is at the bottom of the port-a-pottie where it belongs!

Oh, and tell Bryce that he is more than welcome at Miami, but Mr. Butler will not be allowed anywhere near the team or campus. If he's got a problem with that, well then I guess we don't have a scholly for him after all.

I'd really prefer not to go through probation again.

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