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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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JMM-We stole the TE from UCLA. Went back to make sure I was right.

Another great article by Manny, and some great posts here as well. Manny, I can't wait to read your future articles on recruiting.
1. I like all 3 DC candidates mentioned by Manny, as well as the NFL guys mentioned by Leftcoast cane. I have felt all along that RS really wants to hire the "right" DC, and I am sure RS is very demanding in terms of what he is looking for.
2. RS has a great 2009 recruiting class, with our without BB. If BB signs with the U, he will need de-programming from the Butler cult so that he will not be a chemistry-killer on the football team.
3. Interesting comments by Keyscane about JJ recommending Nix. Speaking of connections,Nix was the OC and QB coach under Chan Gailey, who was JJ's offensive coordinator when he coached the Dolfins. JJ's comments suggests that Nix simply did not develop into the "coach" and play-caller everyone expected.
4. This article is a great endorsement for google. Imagine with all these coaches agents and consultants, our HC finds the best OC candidate through a web search engine. From the Whipple interviews I have heard on WQAM and the articles I read here, Whipple is not just saying the right things, he is ALREADY implementing his plan and doing the kinds of things UM needs to be successful next year. Whipple has chatted with players, he has watched them train, he has evaluated film, he has assessed talents and strengths. Whipple has hit the ground running, and he clearly has a plan and he has already begun implementing it. I think we will see remarkable success next year on offense.

UM COACHES: regarding Bryce Brown, in the words of Monty Python's "Holy Grail":

RUN AWAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

check out this article on coach Willie Martinez


Things couldnt look worse for the Canes.

1) Randy Shannon is not a head coach. Does Kirby really need 3 years to see this? How can we all see this but the "expert" cant? This guys team has faded two years in a row. The got dominated in their last few games giving up almost 1,000 yards rushing. That is sick!

2) The recruiting this year was poor. We wiffed on the main position we needed OL and DL. Who cares how many RBs we have when we dont have a line to block and a D-line to stop the run and plug up holes? The Canes didnt even make the top 10 and their average rating which is more important is bad. It also proves if South Florida and specifically Northwestern has a down year, the Canes will too.

3) We have no stability in our coordinators. No one wants to play for or work for Randy Shannon. He hasnt a clue what he is doing. Bill Young everyone praised as a great D- coordinator and all the hype and he is gone. The 0-coordinator is gone. Who is left to fire? I mean 1 O coordinator and 2 D coordinators in 2 years? What is the common variable???? Randy Shannon.
Will the Canes go out there and hire a PROVEN head coach and not some coordinator!

This year will prove once and for all how bad Randy Shannon is and we will finally be able to move forward. He does a garbage job as a head coach and has done a poor job recruiting when South Florida is down. Fire him Kirby or I want you gone with Shalala next!

I would like to make a few observations about the last few days:

I think we did a solid job. People have got to understand that the people we missed on were out-of-state recruits. Recruits that eventually signed with local area teams. That will probably continue partly because of a bad economy and till we get back into the national scene. As long as we get the top talent in S FLA and cherry pick a few guys here and there we will do fine. Our recruiting classes are only going to be as good as local area talent is year in and year out. The biggest thing the coaching staff needs to do DEVELOP TALENT!! You take a look back at where the 2005 class was 0 top 150 guys went to UF and FSU and UM had at least 5-10 guys combined. If you can take a turd and turn it into a diamond, that is how you win games.

Bryce Brown
The kid HIMSELF sounds like a solid individual who is taking his time making a important decision. Yeah it does sound like he is getting some questionable advise from some Manager??? There is no need to bash the kid. I hope he comes here and that is the way we should be. No need to BAMA fan and bash a kid who chose another school. That really isnt helping him keep his commitment to UM. We are better than that!!

Def Cord
I like the guys from TCU or Cincy. It would make SENSE for guys like that to come in here and make a difference. That is what THE U did. Get guys who have displayed some talent at smaller schools under-the-radar and give them the keys to porche and say go to town.


Billy Sanders (TE) was first a verbal with UM, before he de-committed and went to UCLA. Then he came back.

And the answer to your previous question, regarding recruiting and closing of recruits, is no! I don't think RS and the Recruiting Coaches do what I said in my previous post. To learn from your mistakes you have to perform a post-mortem. I don't think that RS and the crew do, or know how to do, that.

I do think that RS is a good recruiter ('though not in the caliber/class of Butch Davis, Nick Satan, Les Miles, or Pete Carroll), but he's definitely not a good closer. And distance has nothing to do with it! Just look at where the folks that I mentioned get a good % of their players (all over the U.S.).


Not sure but I think BB has two wks after signing day before the U can revoke it? I am not sure on that, but something Shannon said on radio a couple of days ago. If so after that pretty sure his scholarship is gone, why wouldn't it be. He is not that good the hype went crazy on him and yes I saw the U.A. game. One huge hole to run through , fair hands, but that game did not convince me at all. Miller and James are better for sure.

Brian Butler = Suge Knight

Posted by: CaliCanesFan | February 05, 2009 at 05:51 PM


Posted by: Caniac | February 06, 2009 at 12:07 PM

kehoe we all know when its you that's writing.


I heard the same thing. I think the way it works is that BB has 2-weeks to accept the offer UM gave him. Afterwards, Shannon will have to re-offer him a schollie. If his mentor keeps talking his shiz and exploiting this kid, I hope RS just doesn't offer him another scholarship. A big 'ol "shove it" to Bryce and Butler.

Then again, let's hope this kid wises up and drops that dead weight.

Recruiting: I just checked and ESPN ranked UM at No. 7 and Rivals at No. 11, both without Bryce Brown. Although UM will only know how good this class is in 2-3 years, UM got stellar recruits to fill its existing needs.

Its difficult for freshman to play and be effective in major college football, however, UM's 2008 class delivered on the field like no other freshman class ever has for UM. I don't recall any freshman class ever delivering for a major college football team the way the 09 class did, only college basketball with the fab 5 at Michigan years ago, and that is a very different sport. Fortson and Spence on the all-freshman teams, Jacory as ACC freshman of the week two times, Robinson with 3 sacks in a game and an ACC defensive player of week, Travis B. returning kicks and playmaking, Leron Byrd and Aldarius Johnson making catches, etc. You combine the 2009 class with the 2008 class and other returning players and coaches, UM has something special.

Posted by: Caniac | February 06, 2009 at 12:07 PM

kehoe we all know when its you that's writing.

Posted by: miamiboisince85 | February 06, 2009 at 01:04 PM

I agree! Dude is a pimply-faced pizza delivery driver who is flunking out of Miami-Dade CC!

It's not really his fault though. I guess his Dad used to beat him pretty bad with a wire coat hanger shaped into the form of a "U"! Poor little Kehoe! For all his faults his Dad sounds like a stand-up guy though! Way to represent The U Mr. Steamer!

Go 'canes!

Do you know the biggest difference between The U and Ohio State, LSU, Michigan and pretty much the other power houses except Califonia and Texas schools......the thre states of Texas, Florida, and California all have MULTIPLE good programs for kids to choose.....in Florida a kid can pick between 5-6 good/great programs to play for and then the schools out fo state....in Ohio (there's Ohio State, Ohio State, and Ohio State), Michigan is the same and of course LSU.....so when we can lock down the best talent in the state (for the past two years) we do have to work for it....then we try to go into the heart of other schools and steal a kid or two away......so not making excuses cuase The U goes after the best no matter what....when we don't get them, its not a lost....That's like saying your a dummy for playing the lotto.....until you win...lol

Okay gang, don't know the validity of this rumor, but I heard our DC is going to be UNC's. Can ANBODY verify this?

Any news or rumors on Miami hiring Cincinnati DC? Had a person call me and tell me that S.Fla sports talk was mentioning it was a done deal?

Okay gang, don't know the validity of this rumor, but I heard our DC is going to be UNC's. Can ANBODY verify this?

Posted by: ColaCane | February 06, 2009 at 02:04 PM

I've read about that on different blobs today but i don't think he is our guy. His name is john lovett and He is the db coach for unc right now and former clemson dc, aubrun dc and some other school.

JMM-The Tar Heels had a better season than us last year and Shannon still brought in a higher rated class. When I look at the roster I see a lot of NC, SC, and VA. I see the same thing out of Butch that I see out of Shannon. He takes care of home and sprinkles in talent from out of state. 7 out of our 19 guys are from out of state. It may be 8 out of 20 if BB signs. In 99, Butch brought in 10 out-of-staters. Furthermore, some of that number may have been redshirts from the year before since the site doesn't clarify that.

The earliest roster I could look at for Davis' tenure was the 99 roster. We finished the year before winning the Micron PC bowl and had a ranking of 20. The U was unranked last year and lost the bowl. Butch had a lot more to work with. The rank of the class was probably way up there. Shannon getting a #7 ranked class after last year is arguably more impressive than Butch getting a top ranked class for the 99 season.


Thaks for the info on the DC fellow Caners. F it, I'll just wait until we actually hire someone.

I don't know enough about this to form an opinion, but Georgia sure seems to under achieve a lot on defense. You would think that a team that faces Florida as many times as they do would at least come up with a way to slow them down.

If Randy does indeed Google and use the internet for coaching information, than I'm sure he'll read about what the Georgia fans think about their DC and pursuade him to look elsewhere.

The other blogs are saying Lovett from UNC for DC. He coached under Tubby for 3 years at Miss. and 2 years @ Auburn. He also worked with Whipple at Brown for 1 year in the '80s. If it's true (I hate speculating on this!), he sounds like a better candidate than the UGA DC. Dude has some pro experience with the Jet's as well.

Go 'canes!

Hey ya-ll checkout Windy1's point: Right on the mark regarding UM's freshmen studs. Can't wait to see these guys as juniors or seniors (if they stick around).

Caniac (if that's really you):

1. Jury is still out on Randy Shannon. I'm not crazy about him, but it's still too soon to fire him.

2. Crap job in recruiting??? I don't know where you're getting that from, this class is full of players who can address immediate needs. IMO Ray Ray, Miller, and McGee are studs who could compete for serious time.

3. Instability at the coordinators. Most of us wanted Nix out, you can't really call his firing a setback. Bill Young got offered a job somewhere he really wanted to be, it happens. We have a very knowledgeable person in at OC now, this is a huge plus going into the season.

In short....you can't be mad about point 3 because it happens and we are better off. Point 3 contradicts point 2 because we were able to pull off a great recruiting class without and OC and DC. If you accept that, than point 1 is also contradicted because Randy Shannon is leading the recruiting.


just logged on for the first time today to see someone claiming to be (mis-spelled) spewing some stupidity! Couldn't agree more Canesjunkie.

Working while waiting for some more credible new from Manny over here...

I think Tubbs is setting himself up for the HC position here at Miami if Randy gets canned...

Why else would he be passing on so much love to the the U

Why else would he be passing on so much love to the the U

Posted by: JRod | February 06, 2009 at 04:35 PM

It's a 'canes thang, surely you understand!

Go 'canes!

Hey Manny,

When's your next blog brotha?

What's Buddy Ryan doing these days?? ha ha

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.

Manny Navarro

Manny the day is almost over. C'mon I'm dying over here.

I am hoping Randy will be the DC and the nc guy will help out, but that probably will not happen. If that info is right, its not thrilling, I would have liked any of the 3 mentioned in the article better.

we need mark stoop

Heard it's gonna be Chuck Pagano!!

At the Hecht:

I kinda gotta feeling, listening to Shannon today, - that he was waiting for signing day to go by before he would show any feelings toward a possible new DC.

And the sound of his voice? It was one that he knows exactly who his DC is going to be.

I'm probably wrong, but the impression I got was he was a little gitty about the new DC.

Like he already knows who it was - kinda gitty.

Sorta like he gotta yes over the phone - kinda gitty.

Again, I may be wrong. But, this was the first sense I got "that it won't be him at DC."

I was comfortable with him handling the DC chores but if wants a hired hand and he feels he's gotta good one like Whipple, then lets go get'em.

First...Bryce Brown...I think the kid is being taken advantage of by his so-called advisor. I think the guy is using Bryce for his own personal gain..Like being his future agent Maybe I am wrong about this...but when it looks like it and smells like it,IT usually is. Now whether he comes to the U or not, the canes will still be better this year. I just hope the kid makes the best decision for "HIM" and not whats best for Brian Butler.
SECOND... The DC co-ordinator job. Whether Willie Martinez comes here or not, I am hoping that they at least have a chat with ADC Tanuta from Notre Dame. I was always impressed with his defense when he was at Georgia Tech and did not really have a lot of great talent there. I would love to see what he would do with the guys we have at the U. With that being said, I think Willie Martinez would be a good choice for DC being a U man at that!
Third....Lets get the season going already, Should be fun!!!

At the Hecht:

Chuck Pagano. If Pagano is available - that would be a great get.

With the young secondary we have and the new recruits - Ray Ray and boyz.

Aside from the fact that he can coach - the tie in to the NFL and Lewis and Reed, wow. Killer marketing for recruits next yr.

This would be nice.

Where did you hear this Roland?

Spring practice starts Feb. 28 - NS Day is over - we'll have a new DC in a few days . . .

Soooooo it's time to . . . "Crack the WHIP"!

Let Go Canes!

Whipple looks to be a difference maker as an OC. The games are often so close that game planing and coaching can make the difference. The U needs a DC and coaches that put well oiled machines on the field and can game plan. So, a top DC if Shannon does not take over , is a must, the kids deserve it, the U fans deserve it.



Where did you hear this Roland?

Posted by: CaliCanesFan

Yea Roland - where did you hear this?

Bryce has not decommited as ESPN said. They're just hating, this was confirmed already on Canesport.com by Matt Shodell who confirmed directly with the Butler camp. He is commited, Oregon is the leader. Still deciding on where he is going to visit. In my opinion he stays with DA U. God told him to. I mean who else sees God and doesnt do as God says? =) lol...later fellas ur boy justonewk

Inside, I had the same feeling about Shannon waiting until after signing day to do anything.

Alright, for some experts:

We have not finished in the top 25 in 3 years+ and we consistently recruited a top 15 (#1 last year). We beat out big state schools with deeper pockets for Mr Football twice (would've been better if it was just once). We consistently flipped a player on the last day (to the delight of Urban's cell phone company). We are 7th-11th on different rank lists without BB. So suddenly Shannon can not recruit or close?

It is a well known and accepted fact that most recruits want to stay near home. This point has been put to rest. ESPN even had an article with map recently. They want to play in front of friends and family. They to go home on weekends. Their parents want them close. Blood runs thick.

If you look at their verbals 6m ago, it's very close to the actual signings. The ones we lost (Richardson, Washington, Tiller, ...) were last minute hail-mary's. It was a surprise that they even agreed to look at us with 4 weeks to go. They all went with their initial 1st choice near home.

For those of us who panic over ranking list, who are these national "experts" putting together this list anyway? Have they watched more tapes, live games, practices then the coaches? Have they spend more time talking to the HS coaches, family, players? Do they know what schemes, needs, roles the team need? Have they consider academics, character, and personality in relation to the team? I don't remember too many top 5 classes coming out of HS with our previous 6 Nat Champ (OSU stole one). Give the pros some room to work.

We should pay attention to the DC from TCU. Being in the Dallas area, I have follow his work. TCU is a Mountain West Conf team sitting in the heart of Texas/OU/OSU/Nebraska/TexasTech/Kansas country so not a first choice for recruits. Yet a number of conference titles and top 25 in 05, 06 and 08 (#7). They also beat OU the last 2 out of 3 times at OU. He is also older and less likely to bolt.


"DC" has to be someone who is willing to attack on DEFENSE !!! We have special talent with good speed on "D" & letz go after em' !! ItZ all about getN' in the backfield, disrupting , ATTACKING , just like the old days !! Wake Up The Echoes ! Go Canes'

Brown's brother - put's his coming to the U at 80% or better. He is hold-up with his uncle in Nebraska.

So, we hold tight. His not coming will hurt him more than us.

We've got a stable of quality RB's that will breakout of "huge holes" created by the WhipLash Offense.

We will have multiple 1000+ yrd RB's this season, will he be one. That's up to him.

For me, it's time to "Cracking The Whip."

"Bryce, this is GOD!! Go the the 'U'!!"


Brian Butler

Chuck Pagano would be a huge get for this program. Where did we get the money for something like that?


Yes your right.

In our first 4 NC's we had 1, yes 1 recruiting class in the top 15. And it was 15th. All others ranged from 22 to 17.

Now our 5th and eh, um our 6th were won with our first recruiting classes in the top ten. They were both 9th ranked classes.

So, yes Ur right and I tried to push this weeks ago. Don't get me wrong I'll take the ranking but it's not an end all or guarantee to great seasons.

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