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Bears announce Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellows

Bears 2023 Bill Walsh Coaching Fellows Eddie George and Randy Shannon
Bears 2023 Bill Walsh Coaching Fellows Eddie George and Randy Shannon

Bears coach Matt Eberflus has announced the coaching additions of Eddie George and Randy Shannon, both of whom will join the club's 2023 OTA staff as part of the NFL's Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.

Similar to previous years, the club will once again welcome six additional Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching fellows to join them for veteran minicamp and training camp. The additional six hires will be announced in June. The program's objective is to use NFL club's training camps to give coaches and scouts opportunities to observe, participate, gain experience and ultimately gain a full-time NFL coaching position.

"We are very excited to welcome these two highly talented coaches in Eddie and Randy. Allowing them to join our staff during our OTAs enables us to offer this unique opportunity to current college coaches during their offseason," Eberflus said. "We are confident that these coaches will be great assets to our team during their time here, and we are looking forward to learning from them as well."

George, a former NFL star running back who joins the Bears staff May 15 for a two-week period, is the current head coach at Tennessee State University, a role he has held for two seasons.

A nine-year NFL veteran, George was selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round of the 1996 NFL Draft (14th overall) out of Ohio State. He spent eight seasons with the organization—which moved to Tennessee in his second year—before playing his final NFL season with the Dallas Cowboys in 2004. 

George was named the NFL's Rookie of the Year in 1996. From 1996-03, he made 128 consecutive starts at running back while also appearing in nine playoff games. He added four consecutive Pro Bowl selections to his resume during the 1997-2000 seasons and helped the Titans reach Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999.

George is only the second NFL running back to rush for 10,000 yards while never missing a start, joining Jim Brown. Only Walter Payton (170) started more consecutive regular season games than George's 130. 

A 1995 Heisman Trophy winner, George graduated from Ohio State following a four-year career. In 1995, he set the current single-season rushing record of 1,927 yards, averaging 148.2 yards per game. Ohio State retired his "27" jersey number in 2001.

Following a successful playing career, George went on to earn his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in 2009. He and his wife, Tamara 'Taj' George, have two sons, Eriq and Jaire. 

Shannon brings 31 years of coaching experience to the Bears OTA staff. He currently serves as the co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Florida State University, a role he was promoted to prior to the 2022 season. In his first year at FSU, Shannon served as the school's senior defensive analyst (2021).

In 31 years of coaching, Shannon has directly tutored nine first-team All-Americans, 79 all-conference performers and 74 NFL draft picks, including 21 first-round selections. 

Prior to joining the FSU program in 2021, Shannon was a defensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida for three seasons (2018-20) after serving in the same capacity for the University of Florida during the 2017 season. In his first two seasons at UF (2015-16), Shannon was the assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach. While at Florida, Shannon helped the Gators win 33 games and two SEC Eastern Division titles. In 2016, he coached a defense that ranked second in the country in pass defense and fifth nationally in total defense. 

Prior to his stop in Gainesville, Shannon served as the associate head coach/linebackers at the University of Arkansas for two seasons (2013-14) and the linebackers coach at Texas Christian University for one (2012). 

Before his move to Fort Worth in 2012, Shannon spent 20 years coaching in Miami. He originally began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami for the 1991 national championship team before coaching the defensive line in 1992 and linebackers from 1993-97. In 1998, he accepted a position with the Miami Dolphins as a defensive assistant coach (1998-99) before becoming Dolphins linebackers coach in 2000.

In 2001, Shannon returned to The U as the Hurricanes' defensive coordinator, a role he held for six seasons before his promotion to head coach in 2007. In his four seasons (2007-10) as head coach, he led the Hurricanes to 28 wins and three bowl game appearances.  

Shannon was a four-year letterman at linebacker for the University of Miami and starter on Miami's 1987 national championship team. He was selected by the Cowboys in the 11th round of the 1989 draft and became the first rookie to start at outside linebacker for Dallas since 1963.

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