Different look on D

Roles will change for some at bowl with Shannon at coordinator

Florida Gators linebacker Alex Anzalone and Associate head coach/Linebackers coach Randy Shannon during practice on Tuesday, August 30 in Gainesville. Matt Stamey/Correspondent

The Florida defense will have a new look and a new play caller for the Outback Bowl, but the Gators will not have a new full-time defensive coordinator until after the Jan. 2 game against Iowa.

As first reported by The Sun last Thursday, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach and associate head coach Randy Shannon will be the interim coordinator for the bowl game, UF coach Jim McElwain confirmed Monday.

“Randy Shannon will take over the defense. He’ll be calling the game,” McElwain said.

Shannon replaces Geoff Collins, who accepted the head coaching job at Temple last week.

Coaching the linebackers for the bowl game will be defensive control specialist Mark DeBastiani, the former defensive coordinator at Norfolk State who joined the UF staff in 2015.

“He’s been a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for more than 10 years in I-AA football, been coaching for over 20,” McElwain said. “We’re really fortunate to have coaches like that in support roles so we’re not missing a beat with that group. He’ll be handling the linebackers. That’s what we’re going to do moving forward.

“We’re not going to make any full-time decisions on that until after the bowl games out of respect for coaches and people who are coaching in other programs and that kind of thing. I just don’t think it’s right this time of year. Let them focus on that and then we’ll move forward after that.

“There is no time frame. Obviously, we want to have it done before we get back on the road recruiting after the first of the year. That’s kind of where we’re at there.”

McElwain said Shannon, the former University of Miami head coach and defensive coordinator, will be considered for the full-time job.

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