The University of Arkansas Athletics Department is recognizing current Razorback administrators and coaches as part of a series celebrating Black History Month on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
Throughout the month of February, individuals will be featured on the web site for their contributions to the University of Arkansas, the Razorback program and society. This marks the fifth year Razorback Athletics has celebrated Black History Month with a special features series on ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
This year’s list includes Razorback administrators Eric A. Wood, Byron Hatch, Marcus Sedberry and Marvin Caston along with coaches Melvin Watkins (men’s basketball), Tari Cummings (women’s basketball), Chris Johnson (women’s track and field) and Randy Shannon (football).
What defines success? Is it the trophies, awards and accolades, or does it go deeper than that; onto a more personal level with self-satisfaction knowing you made an impression on someone’s life?
Arkansas linebackers coach Randy Shannon is no stranger to success. He has been a part of three national championship teams as a coach and a player, but has grown to really appreciate his impact on lives beyond the trophies and awards.
"I am just happy to be so successful in some of the things I have done," Coach Shannon said. "I have won championships as a player and a coach, but I get satisfaction of the guys I have coach have graduated and achieved their degrees."
Shannon, a Miami native and tremendous athlete, lettered at the University of Miami from 1985-88 where he played linebacker and helped the Hurricanes to a national championship in 1987.
After college, Shannon pursued his career in the NFL. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and became the first rookie to start at outside linebacker for Dallas since 1963.
Following his playing career, Shannon returned to Miami as a graduate assistant in 1991 and eventually worked his way up the ranks until he was named head coach in 2007. During that time, he added two more national titles to his resume in 1991 and 2001.With so much success on the field, Shannon comments on the biggest challenge of his professional career."Sometimes as a coach you can have an ego where you think you know it all, but each and every day you can learn as a person no matter who you are or what position you are in."Shannon expects his players to follow in line as well and be the best they can be every day. Playing collegiate and professional football gives Shannon an insight into the lives of his players because he has been in their shoes.
"Some of the things that they are going through now, class wise and socially, those are some of the same things that I went through," Coach Shannon said. "When it comes down to it, when they know that you have been through the same things, they will be comfortable talking to you."
His life motto is, "Don’t miss out on opportunities," Coach Shannon said. "Each day that you wake up you have the opportunity to do something special."
Shannon makes it clear that he wants the players to be themselves and always have a chance to be successful and always believe they can accomplish any goal.
Being one of the newest faces to the Razorback family Shannon is very impressed by the fan support around the state for the Hogs and is excited for this upcoming season."I am really looking forward to having fun this upcoming season," Coach Shannon said. "Each opportunity that we have as a football team and a coaching staff to go out there and be the best that we can be on that day. Nothing matters but that day. So if we build on that we are going to have a fun season."