Blog Entry

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: October 12, 2011 11:48 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli

With Howard Schnellenberger retiring at the end of the season, FAU has already begun planning for his replacement, and the school has a couple of big names in mind. According to a report in the Miami Herald, FAU athletic director Craig Angelos plans on talking to both former Miami head coach Randy Shannon and former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.

"Randy is a man of integrity, a first-class guy and first-class coach,” Angelos told the Herald. “I want to see if he’s interested.

“A lot of times when you give people a second chance they are better than the first time. They’ve learned from mistakes. They’re hungrier. That was the case with our basketball coach Mike Jarvis, and he won the conference here after three years. Randy can be better the second time around.”

Angelos also said that he "would consider" Leach and that the issues surrounding Leach that have kept him from getting a job elsewhere after his acrimonious -- and litigious -- departure from Texas Tech wouldn't be a problem at FAU. Angelos also mentioned the name of Jim Leavitt as a candidate, as he plans to "cast a wide net" and hopes to have something in place by December.

As for whether or not the interest in Shannon and Leach would be mutual, it doesn't sound like it with Shannon. According to the report, a "close associate" of Shannon's says he prefers a higher profile job than that of FAU, and would prefer it was out west, with the Arizona job currently catching his eye.

Leach, on the other hand, didn't say no.

“I do plan to coach,” said Leach when asked if he'd consider the FAU gig. “Craig is a great man and FAU is a great program. Anything negative that happens to Miami can only help FAU and FIU.”

Since: Dec 9, 2010
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:41 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Shannon would be the best fit for recruiting since he knows Florida so well.  However, Leach would just be fun to watch.  He'd give everybody in the conference and the state of Florida fits.  Like him or not, he's entertaining.  I'm just ready for more Leach press conferences.  They're always must-watch TV. 

Since: Feb 16, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:24 am

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Randy Shannon would be an excellent choice for the FAU program -- although Shannon doesn't seem to have interest in the job because it's not "high-profile" enough for him.  I suppose that he's already forgotten the degree to which his performance was scrutinized at his previous position (the "high-profile" job down in Coral Gables).  Not only did Howard Schnellenberger revive an almost-dead football program at Miami (1979-84), he also coached at Louisville (1985-94) and Oklahoma (1995) -- in addition to his stint with the NFL's Baltimore Colts (1973-74).  For a man who has led four prominently recognized teams, the opportunity to help launch and build a program at little-known FAU outweighed any desire Schnellenberger may have had for being in the national spotlight.

Given Shannon's age (45), and the fact that his roots are here in South Florida, a successful tenure at FAU might last as long as 20 or 30 years, unless his ultimate goal is to run an already-established national powerhouse (or an NFL team).  Whatever he's presently doing professionally can't be paying anywhere near the sum that a college coaching job commands - even at an upstart program. 

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:16 am

FAU interested in Mike Leach...

There is no question that Leach could help the Florida Atlantic program.  I'm not sure, though, that he should not wait for a higher profile job.  FAU has already played Florida, Mich St, and Auburn, this season.  Schools like FAU have to play 'big' teams like that for the money, especially while building a program.
Give Leach 3 or 4 years to recruit the kind of players he likes and he would make them a force in the Sun Belt Conference.  Some medium program from a major BCS Conference is going to get tired of losing, though, and offer him a big-time job.  There is an SEC East team that should hire Leach at the end of this season.  What about any of the former 'greats' that just have not been able to adapt to the fast-paced football of today. 

Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:30 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Note to writers, FAU preferes to go by Florida Atlantic because they don't want to get lost in the sea of acronyms and FIU prefers to go by FIU because they can't spell International. Laughing

FAU is a program on the rise.  New on campus stadium opens this weekend!  Sure they are having a bummer of a year but they have done well in the past with getting to a bowl game quick and winning back-to-back bowl games.  If they hire the right coach and keep it up, the basketball program keeps getting better, good baseball and a huge TV market in their back pocket they just may survive the conference shuffles.

FAU!  Thanks for the last decade Schnelly!  You are a legend!

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:41 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

I believe its Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University  I may be mistaken

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2011 9:50 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

FAU will be a damn school of fools if they don;t hire Mike Leach.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 9:02 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Interesting choices.  Randy Shannon is tight with the Dade-Broward clique, and might be able to recruit some nice players 20 minutes north to Boca.  Leach would be a wild card.  He might be able to turn FAU into a legitimate program.  At the very least, "the Pirate" would have a lot of fun with FAU's ocean-related programs, and would generate a lot of publicity for the school.  
Leach would have to be creative when he gets mad at his players, though: there are no "fat girlfriends" on the FAU campus.   

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: October 12, 2011 4:39 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

My English teacher taught me that any reference to an acronym must be preceded somewhere in the piece by the expanded words. What does FAU and FIU stand for ?


Since: Sep 10, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2011 1:16 pm

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Would love to see Leach if FAU can afford him.  For those of you unfamiliar with FAU, it's a 29,000 student school and still growing, in a beautiful town with a ton of wealth, in the middle of a population base of six million people...with a brand new on campus stadium.  True, we're in the Sunbelt, but there is just unlimited potential in those stats. 

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