<
>

Randy Shannon interested in Gophers job

There has been a ton of rumored candidates for Minnesota's head-coaching vacancy, but one of the issues appears to be establishing mutual interest.

Well, recently ousted Miami coach Randy Shannon is interested in the Gophers' job, colleague Bruce Feldman reports (ESPN Insider).

The Minnesota job hunt has been going on for a while. Add former Miami coach Randy Shannon's name to the mix. I spoke with Shannon on Tuesday. He's interested. He said he would love to stay in college coaching because "you can make a difference in young people's lives."

Could Shannon go from the U. to the U?

He's certainly an intriguing candidate. Shannon got fired from Miami because he didn't win enough, but he cleaned up the program and had very few issues with player discipline or academics. In fact, the Hurricanes excelled from a conduct standpoint during his tenure.

While Shannon has no ties to the Big Ten or to the Midwest, he knows the city of Miami inside and out. In case you haven't heard, there are recruits in Miami. Lots of 'em. Really good ones. If Shannon could convince them to head North to Minneapolis, the Gophers would have some solid players.

Shannon also likely wouldn't be that expensive.

(Side note: Minnesota and Indiana both have expressed interest in minority candidates. The Big Ten has had only three black head coaches in its history, a number that needs to increase at some point. Shannon would obviously add to it.)

The big concern is he was unable to take all that talent at Miami and convert it into division titles in the mediocre ACC. Could he make Minnesota a factor in what figures to be an even tougher Big Ten?

The two names I've heard for Minnesota from the start have been San Diego State's Brady Hoke and Air Force's Troy Calhoun. But there seems to be some hesitancy on the coaches' part.

Feldman breaks down why:

I spoke to another coach about the Gophers job, which reportedly has not been well received by some coaching targets. The school had a bold list that was interested in. The problem is with a lame-duck AD and an unstable power structure, the stability of the job scares some folks. Yes, it's a Big Ten school and has a great new stadium, but the kind of deal the school has been willing to dangle, according to sources, isn't going to be enough.

"They need to be offering a minimum of six years," said the coach. "Who is going to take that job because you just don't know what will happen in two years when your new boss could walk in and say 'we don't like this guy,' and then you're stuck. Most of these coaches that are on their list have more stability and better chances to win where they're at. Yeah, it's a Big Ten school, but it's not Michigan or Ohio State."

Very interesting.

Athletic director Joel Maturi's biggest task might be selling candidates on the stability factor at Minnesota. The school has a retiring president, and Maturi's time as AD likely won't last much longer. Coaches want to know they'll be OK during a transition period.

It's a tough sell.