- Associated Press - Sunday, November 28, 2010

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (AP) - Miami offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland has accepted an offer to be the Hurricanes’ interim coach, taking over less than one day after the university fired Randy Shannon, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Stoutland was holding early strategy sessions with other assistants, all of whom may stay through Miami’s bowl game, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the university did not authorize any public comment before a 1 p.m. Sunday news conference.

The university listed Stoutland’s new title on its athletic web site Sunday morning.

Shannon was fired Saturday night by athletic director Kirby Hocutt after the Hurricanes completed a 7-5 regular season. Stoutland and Hocutt were to meet with the team Sunday morning as well.

Miami players are not scheduled to practice again until Saturday, though that may change. The Hurricanes expect to have a bowl destination, possibly the Sun Bowl, locked in by week’s end.

“We have made a decision to seek new leadership for our football program,” Hocutt said in a release Saturday night. “Our expectations are to compete for championships and return to the top of the college football world.”

Shannon received a four-year extension just before the start of the 2010 season. He was 28-22 in four seasons at Miami, with Stoutland as his offensive line coach throughout that tenure.

Since the start of the 2007 season, 47 teams have more wins than Miami _ including four from the state of Florida. The Hurricanes were 16-16 in the ACC under Shannon, the sixth-best mark in the 12-team league. And barring some wild turn of events, Miami will finish out of The Associated Press Top 25 poll for the fourth time in five years.

The truest consistency was inconsistency.

Miami’s longest winning streak under Shannon was five games during 2008, and three of those victories came against teams that finished the year with losing records. The Hurricanes went 1-7 away from home against ranked teams since the start of 2007. The only win over a top-10 team was last season when Miami beat Oklahoma _ a game where Sam Bradford sat out with a shoulder injury.

Hocutt made the final decision shortly after Miami lost to South Florida 23-20 in overtime on Saturday afternoon, a game where only about 27,000 people filled the 73,000 seats at Sun Life Stadium. A plane circled the stadium before kickoff calling for a coaching change, and players left fearing that it would be the last time they played for Shannon.

“Put it on us as players,” wide receiver Leonard Hankerson said.

The sentiment may have been noted, but in the end Shannon was responsible.

Shannon drove away from the stadium around 5:30 p.m. Saturday unsure of his fate, though he had suspected that he would be fired after the Hurricanes were embarrassed at home by Florida State on Oct. 9 and then were beaten by lowly Virginia three weeks later. He considered making many changes to his staff and was deciding whether to dismiss some coaches later Saturday evening.

Instead, Miami beat him to the punch.

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