Back in February of 2020, unknown to people outside of athletics, UCF and defensive coordinator Randy Shannon agreed to a contact extension that goes through the 2021 season, according to Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel. Originally, Shannon’s contract was due to expire January 31, 2021. With the new contract in place, the expiration date is January 31, 2022.
Shannon is due a guaranteed $1 million, similar to his 2020 base salary. His contract buyout without cause is 100% of his full salary, meaning that if UCF fired him prior to February 1st, 2021, they’d owe him $2 million.
What does that mean? It means unless another school pays UCF a ransom, Randy Shannon will be the defensive coordinator for the Knights in 2021, albeit in a contract year.
The UCF Knights’ defense in 2020 faced a slew of challenges. Before the season began, four players that were projected to be on UCF’s two-deep roster opted out, including starters Tay Gowan and Kalia Davis. During the season, UCF dismissed four starters as a result of a traffic stop incident. Between opt outs, dismissals, and injuries, the Knights ended up having 12 players start their first career game in 2020. All 12 players are expected back next season with game experience and hopefully a full offseason with a spring practice session.
Ultimately, UCF’s 2020 unit ranked 123rd in yards allowed per game (491.8) and 92nd in points allowed per game (33.2). Conversely, UCF led the nation with 13 fumble recoveries and was tied for 35th with 9 interceptions.