Miami is set to hire Houston offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shannon Dawson to the same position, according to multiple reports. Dawson would be replacing Josh Gattis, who was let go after just one season with the Hurricanes.
Dawson is a longtime assistant under Dana Holgorsen during stints at both West Virginia and Houston. He worked as offensive coordinator with the Mountaineers from 2012-14 and returned to the role from 2020-22 with the Cougars. Holgorsen also coached Dawson as a player at Division II Wingate University.
Under Dawson's watch, Houston posted a top-25 offense and the No. 16 scoring offense at more than 36 points per game. Quarterback Clayton Tune threw for 4,074 yards and 40 touchdowns in his final season, while wide receiver Nathaniel Dell developed into an NFL Draft gem with more than 2,700 yards receiving and 29 touchdowns over the past two years.
While Dawson comes from Holgorsen's branch of the Air Raid tree, his offenses have still featured the running game prominently. In 2021, running back Alton McCaskill nearly cleared the 1,000-yard rushing mark as a freshman and added 16 touchdowns. Four different players rushed for at least 350 yards in 2022 with McCaskill out for the season.
Dawson is tasked with repairing an offense that disappointed mightily in Mario Cristobal's first season. The Hurricanes ranked No. 97 nationally in scoring offense at just 23.6 points per game. Dawson's primary job will be to develop quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, whose passer rating dropped 27 points after switching from Rhett Lashlee to Gattis. The Hurricanes failed to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007.