1. Sports

Shannon gets audition leading UF defense

Randy Shannon gets an interim promotion to Gators defensive coordinator for the Outback Bowl, and will be considered for the full-time job after the season.
Published Dec. 20, 2016

As expected, former Miami head coach Randy Shannon will be Florida's interim defensive coordinator for the Outback Bowl, and the UF assistant may be a strong candidate for the permanent job, too.

Gators coach Jim McElwain confirmed Shannon's interim promotion Monday as the replacement for Geoff Collins, who was hired last week as Temple's head coach.

"Obviously Randy's more than qualified for that position," McElwain told reporters in Gainesville.

Shannon coached linebackers and served as UF's associate head coach and co-coordinator this season. He will "absolutely" be considered as a full-time coordinator, McElwain said, but UF won't make any long-term decisions until after the Gators play Iowa in the Jan. 2 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium.

McElwain said schematic continuity and recruiting needs will be among factors to consider for a permanent hire.

To fill Shannon's positional responsibilities, former Norfolk State defensive coordinator Mark DeBastiani was promoted from the defensive quality control staff to linebackers coach.

FISHER GETS extension: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher earned a $250,000 annual raise with a contract extension that runs through the 2024 season.

The new deal will pay $5.5 million a year and comes after another season of rumors that other programs (LSU, Texas) were interested in poaching Fisher, 51. He was already the fifth highest paid coach in the nation, according to USA Today.

The contract will be extended automatically with a nine-win season, but that bonus can be achieved only twice.

The Seminoles play Michigan in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30, their fifth consecutive New Year's Six/BCS bowl appearance.

"I am proud to be the football coach at Florida State University, and I am happy we were able to reach a long-term contract to have our staff in place for a long time," Fisher said in a statement. "Florida State is a special place and I look forward to continuing to build on our past success into the future."

MIAMI BEACH BOWL: Dane Evans passed for 304 yards and five touchdowns, three of those scoring throws going to Keevan Lucas, and Tulsa rolled past Central Michigan 55-10 in Miami. The Golden Hurricane (10-3) scored on its first nine possessions. Evans became Tulsa's career leader in touchdown passes (84), 300-yard games (16) and total offense (11,752), and Tulsa became the first Division I-A team with a 3,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard rushers and two 1,000-yard receivers. Lucas' 32 career touchdown catches ties the school record held by Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Largent and 1970s Dolphins receiver Howard Twilley.

Men's basketball

FSU WINS EIGHTH STRAIGHT: Terrence Mann scored 19 and Xavier Rathan-Mayes added 15, leading No. 21 Florida State past visiting Samford 76-68. The Seminoles have won eight straight and are 12-1 for the third time (1988-89 and 2008-09). Samford (7-4) led for most of the final five minutes of the first half before FSU went up 31-27, and the Seminoles pulled away in the second half to lead by 17 with 6:12 to play. If not for a blown 18-point lead against Temple, FSU would be undefeated going into ACC play, against Wake Forest on Dec. 28.

No. 5 Duke 65, Tennessee State 55: Luke Kennard scored 24 for the host Blue Devils (11-1), who plodded through 30 mostly sluggish minutes then pulled away. Duke's heralded Harry Giles debuted: four minutes, one missed shot. It was Duke's 132nd straight nonconference home win, dating to a loss to St. John's in 2000.

POLL: Butler's win over Indiana gave the Bulldogs the biggest jump in Monday's Associated Press Top 25, from No. 18 to 13. Indiana dropped from ninth to 16.

Women's basketball

USF FALLS: No. 21 USF lost 73-68 to Long Beach State in the Play4Kay tournament in Las Vegas. The Bulls (8-1) were led by Maria Jespersen's second straight double double (16 points, game-best 12 rebounds). Long Beach State (8-4) outscored USF in only one quarter, 22-14 in the third.

NO. 1 UConn 82, No. 12 Ohio State 63: Katie Lou Samuelson scored eight of her 26 during a key third-quarter run, and the host Huskies (10-0) got their 85th consecutive victory.

No. 7 FSU 95, N. Fla. 39: Leticia Romero scored 22, one of six players in double figures for the host Seminoles (11-1).

NO. 11 MIAMI 75, COPPIN ST. 35: Adrienne Motley and Erykah Davenport scored 15 apiece for the Hurricanes (10-1) in the Miami Holiday Tournament.

POLL: With most teams on break for exams, there was little movement. Kansas State and Oregon State entered at No. 24 and 25; DePaul and Oregon fell out.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.


  1. Catcher Ronaldo Hernandez, shown at the 2019 All-Star Futures Game, is one of the Rays top prospects. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Teams have until 8 p.m. Wednesday to decide which prospects are added to 40-man roster and protected from Rule 5 draft.
  2. Tampa Catholic coach Jeris McIntyre has the Crusaders heading in the right direction, which includes an appearance in a Class 4A region final against Lakewood on Friday night. SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times
    The Crusaders, who have reached the region finals, are certainly practicing what coach Jeris McIntyre preaches.
  3. Andrew Bryant runs in the 5K race at the annual Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot in Clearwater in 2018. Tampa Bay Times (2018)
    Earn your dinner at a Turkey Trot, meet the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier or see a boxing match at the movies.
  4. Track workers treat Mongolian Groom after the Breeders' Cup Classic. A leg injury resulted in Mongolian Groom's death at Santa Anita Park. MARK J. TERRILL  |  AP
    A safety coalition will develop safety reforms amid poor public perception.
  5. New coach Bryan Galuski was on the 1994-95 Eckerd team that won the school’s first Sunshine State Conference regular-season championship. ANDY MENG / STAGESHOT PHOTOGRAPHY  |  Special to the Times
    Galuski, just the third head coach in team history, was once a player and assistant coach for the Tritons.
  6. Memphis quarterback Brady White (3) and freshman running back Kenneth Gainwell (19) lead one of the nation's most potent offenses into Raymond James Stadium on Saturday. SUE OGROCKI  |  AP
    The Tigers average a conference-best 7.2 yards per play.
  7. Florida State interim head coach Odell Haggins shouts direction in a game against Alabama State last weekend in Tallahassee. Florida State won 49-12. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Joey Knight and Matt Baker debate the candidacy of longtime Seminoles assistant Odell Haggins.
  8. St. Louis Blues' Ivan Barbashev looks for a shot past Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman during the second period of an NHL game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    The reigning MVP left the game late in the second period and did not return.
  9. USF center Shae Leverett, right, reaches for a loose ball with Baylor guard DiDi Richards, left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 58-46. ROD AYDELOTTE  |  AP
    Poor shooting ultimately dooms the No. 22 Bulls, who were within a point midway through the third quarter.
  10. Tampa Bay Lightning's Pat Maroon (14) is unable to score past St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Mackenzie MacEachern (28) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in St. Louis. JEFF ROBERSON  |  AP
    Maroon helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup last season. On Tuesday night in St. Louis, they took what is usually a private ceremony and went public for a hometown hero.