Feb. 6, 2008
Huntington, W.Va. -
Marshall University head football coach Mark Snyder filled the final opening on his staff Wednesday by naming John Shannon offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He also announced changes in coaching assignments for several members of his coaching staff.
"John is an experienced offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach who has a proven record of success as a coordinator and in developing talent and I am excited to have him on board," Snyder said. "He has helped develop NFL talent and nationally-ranked offenses throughout his career and I believe he will be a valuable asset to our program."
Shannon comes to Marshall after spending the last five years on the staff at the University of Toledo. He served as the Rocket's offensive coordinator over the last three seasons after coaching the wide receivers in his first two years at Toledo.
"I am very excited to be at Marshall and have this opportunity," Shannon said. "The uniqueness of this University makes it a special place. I have know about Marshall for a long time and due to my tenure at Toledo I have known Marshall as a rival that I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for in all aspects and I am pleased now be a part of the program."
The Rockets had great success under Shannon's tutelage. In four of his five seasons at Toledo, his offenses ranked in the top 21 in the nation in total offense, including two years ranking 11th overall. The 2007 season saw Shannon's success continue, averaging 448.4 yards per game and 21st in the country. Toledo was had the No. 14 rushing attack in the nation last season, rushing for over 209 yards per game. In an October contest at Northern Illinois, Shannon's offense set a school and MAC record with 812 yards of offense.
During Shannon's tenure, Toledo grabbed two Mid-American Conference West Division crowns including a conference championship in 2004. Those seasons were capped off by postseason appearances in the 2004 Motor City Bowl and the 2005 GMAC Bowl. The Rockets upset four ranked teams in his five seasons, including a win over ninth-ranked Pittsburgh in 2003.
Shannon coached current Tampa Bay Buccaneer star and former Toledo quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, who was the first-team All-MAC Quarterback in 2005 and was named the conference MVP that season. He finished his career as the NCAA active leader in career completions percentage, connecting on 68.44% of his passes. During this time he coached Lance Moore, current New Orleans Saint, who led the NCAA with more than 100 catches during his junior season.
Prior to his work at Toledo, Shannon was the offensive coordinator at Troy University in 2001-2002. He assisted in the Trojans' move to the Division I-A level where the Trojans posted a 7-4 record, which included a win over SEC member Mississippi State.
From 1994-2000, Shannon worked as the offensive coordinator at Jackson State. During his tenure, the team set multiple offensive records while posting wins in 75% of their games. His teams brought home conference championships in 1995 and 1996 while participating in the SWAC Championship Game in 1999. He received several accolades while at Jackson State, including the 2000 American Football Coach Magazine Division I-AA Offensive Coordinator of the Year, the 2000 AFCA Division I-AA Assistant Coach of the Year and the 2000 All-American Football Foundation Top Assistant Coaches Award.
His other coaching stops include two seasons coaching wide receivers at Maryland (1992-93), offensive coordinator and receivers coach at the University of Pacific (1989-1991), offensive passing game coordinator at the University of Richmond (1984-88), assistant at Morehead State (1982-83) and stints as an assistant coach Wayne State University (1980-81) and Maryville College (1978-79). He began his career as a graduate assistant and tight ends coach at Western Kentucky in 1977.
Shannon received his B.S. in Physical Education/Health from Eastern Illinois University in 1976 before earning an M.A. in education from Western Kentucky two years later. He and wife Sally have three children; Justin (an assistant coach at Tennessee Tech), Ben and Colby.
In addition to filling the final vacancy on the coaching staff, Snyder announced several changes in coaching assignments. Todd Goebbel, in addition to being receivers coach, will now serve as the pass game coordinator. Running backs coach Jared Smith will now take on the title of Special Units coordinator and running backs coach. Phil Ratliff will now oversee both the offensive tackles and tight ends, while Mike Cumming, Marshall's Recruiting Coordinator, will oversee the guards and centers.