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Published: Thursday, 2/7/2008

Amstutz mum on loss of coach

Shannon Shannon

University of Toledo offensive coordinator John Shannon has left for the same position at Marshall. Shannon was introduced yesterday during Marshall's signing day festivities.

"I am very excited to be at Marshall and have this opportunity," Shannon said in a statement. "I have known 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 tremendous amount of respect for."

Shannon was UT's offensive coordinator for the past three years and also served as quarterbacks coach. He came to UT in 2003 as the wide receivers coach.

UT's offense ranked 21st in the country last year, with the No. 14 running attack. In Shannon's first year at the helm of the offense in 2005, UT was ranked first in the Mid-American Conference in scoring and total offense.

Possible internal candidates to replace Shannon include running backs coach Doug Downing and wide receivers coach Chris Hedden. UT coach Tom Amstutz declined to comment yesterday on Shannon's departure at his signing day news conference.

"Today we're really focused on our recruiting list and that's where we're going to stay focused," Amstutz said.

Amstutz did say the Rockets' recruiting class was not affected by Shannon leaving.

"Our signing list was as we thought it was going to be," Amstutz said.

It's the second departure from the UT coaching staff this offseason. Tight ends coach Joe Gilbert left last month for the University of Houston to be its offensive line coach. Amstutz said Gilbert's position has not been filled.

"We just got done recruiting, that's phase one," Amstutz said. "Phase two will be hiring new coaches."

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