The recent firing of Miami Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon has reverberated throughout the college football community. Those involved in the United States and the fans in Cayman have various reactions to the news.
Among them is arguably Cayman’s biggest football mind in George ‘Teddy’ Hydes. The West Bay native is a five-time champion head coach in the local flag football league and has been following American football in the Miami area since his childhood. Hydes, 39, states he is not surprised by the firing.
“He had his time but it didn’t work out,” Hydes said. “I guess they’re going to have to move on. As far as who will replace him Gruden may sound nice but they’re better off going with someone proven at the college level.
“Me personally the Hurricanes’ performance this year had a lot to do with the coaching out there. The play-calling was crazy, especially in their last loss of the season in overtime against the Seminoles. That kind of stuff is all on the coach and change is something that is needed sometimes.
“(To be fair) it is a surprise considering he signed a four-year deal at the start of the season. But college is all about recruiting and after the way the season happened it’s not much of a shock he’s gone.
“The Hurricanes didn’t play up to their potential and sometimes heads are going to roll. I must admit though that for this to happen before a bowl game is a bit sudden.
“Right now I’m going with the flow. Between dealing with the Heat, Dolphins and University of Miami all I can do is hope I get through the coming days. All of my teams are up and down every week and it doesn’t help that the media blows it out of proportion.”
In the States astonishment is a common feeling. Among those in shock is Bobby Bowden, one of the most revered names in Florida college football. His Florida State Seminoles were a dynasty in the 1980s and were one of Miami’s Sunshine State rivals.
Bowden, who never cared for the Hurricanes much during his coaching days, states he is surprised.
“I was surprised. I was utterly surprised,” Bowden said. “I like Randy and I think he’s done a great job. I’ve watched his team some this year and they’ve kind of been up and down like other teams have been. I know this, Shannon has recruited well and that’s the name of the game.”
Interestingly Bowden was in a similar position as Shannon last year. Bowden stepped aside before the start of this season and has seen Christian Ponder and the Seminoles advance to the ACC title game and be within a win of a spot in the Orange Bowl. Bowden is more concerned with Shannon’s firing than Florida State’s current success.
“It’s a two-headed thing for coaches. The schools, they want you to do all the right things: the kids not getting in trouble and the kids doing well in the classroom. Randy was doing those things. If you don’t win enough games, well, I guess that’s what matters most.”
For all intensive purposes the Hurricanes football program has seen better days. Shannon’s firing has caused many recruits to have second thoughts on going to Miami and the star of the program, quarterback Jacory Harris, has battled injury and uninspired play.
Harris, who is in his third year at the school, states that Shannon’s firing was unfair.
“Coach Shannon is like a father figure,” Harris said. “He brought me into this program and I still want coach Shannon to be my head coach. I just feel that sometimes players have to be held accountable for things. We didn’t go out there and take care of business and it’s not all coach Shannon’s fault.”
Shannon had a decent year for the Hurricanes. Miami posted a 7-5 regular season record. In his four seasons Shannon was 28-22 without an Atlantic Coast Conference title or bowl victory.
Speculation surrounding Shannon’s replacement has seen numerous names linked, one of which is former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden. Miami has not revealed a timetable for the naming of a new coach.