John Shannon, who has spent more than three decades helping build winning programs on the college football level, has been named the new head football coach at Biloxi High School.
Shannon, who has spent the last two seasons at storied Marshall University, will report to Biloxi on Monday, March 22, and will be introduced to the community during a 6:30 reception at the Biloxi High School cafeteria.
Shannon has a history of working with winning football programs and winning football coaches. "I've had success at winning in the Division II level, in the Division III level, and I've gone to the national playoffs in the Division I-AA level," said Shannon, whose six-year stint at Jackson State established 48 new offensive records.
"The only challenge I have left," he added, "is to take a high school program and make it a winning program."
In his first year at Marshall, Shannon directed an offense that averaged 330 yards and 20.5 points per game.
Shannon arrived at Marshall after five years on the staff at the University of Toledo. He served as the Rocket's offensive coordinator for three seasons after coaching the wide receivers in his first two years at Toledo.
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. At one point, Toledo was had the No. 14 rushing attack in the nation last season, rushing for over 209 yards per game. In a 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 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.
Before 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 (assistant coach at Tennessee Tech), Ben and Colby.