Football Coach David Shaw
After serving as Stanford’s offensive coordinator for four seasons from 2007-10, David Shaw was appointed the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football on January 13, 2011, becoming the 34th head coach in Stanford history.
A 1994 Stanford graduate, he is the fifth alum to hold the position of head football coach, joining Charles Fickert (1901), Carl Clemans (1902), Chuck Taylor (1951-57) and Paul Wiggin (1980-83).
“David Shaw is exactly the right person to lead our football program at this time,” said Stanford’s Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby. “David has the experience, intellect, coaching skills and organizational abilities to be a tremendous head coach. He understands and embraces the combination of world class academics and world class athletics that is required at Stanford.
“David has made a substantial contribution to the recent success of our program and our team has great confidence in him. I could not be more excited to work with David and to assist him and his staff in leading our football program to high achievement in the years ahead.”
Stanford University President John Hennessy stated, “David Shaw has been a large part of the Stanford football program’s success over the past four years, and he has all of the experience and qualities to continue the momentum into the future. He is a Stanford graduate and a long-time member of our Stanford family who has personally been part of our scholar-athlete tradition. He understands our values. He also has a wealth of experience outside of the university, and broad respect among both those in his profession and on campus. I am excited about the prospects for Stanford football under his leadership.”
Memorable First Season
In Shaw’s first season as head coach in 2011, the Cardinal posted an 11-2 record and made its second consecutive BCS Bowl appearance, falling to Oklahoma State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Stanford won its first nine games of the season to extend its winning streak to 17 before falling to No. 6 Oregon.
He became just the ninth major college head coach in history to post 11 or more wins in his first season and the first since Chris Peterson (13-0) of Boise State and Bret Bielema (12-1) of Wisconsin accomplished the feat in the 2006 season.
For his efforts, he was named the Pac-12 Conference’s Coach of the Year, becoming just the third head coach in Stanford history to earn the award, following Bill Walsh (1977) and Tyrone Willingham (1995 and ’99). He was also named Regional Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association of America (AFCA).
The Cardinal was ranked in the Top 10 of both major polls for all 16 weeks of the season, peaking at No. 3 in the AP poll and No. 2 in the USA Today Coaches poll on Nov. 6. Stanford’s final ranking of No. 7 concluded a stretch in which the Cardinal held down a spot in the Top 10 of the AP poll for a school-record 22 straight weeks dating back to the 2010 season.
Stanford’s 11 victories in 2011 came by an average of 27.4 points while eight were in wire-to-wire fashion. The Cardinal posted a 3-2 record against ranked teams, defeating No. 22 Washington, No. 20 USC and No. 22 Notre Dame, while falling only to No. 6 Oregon and No. 3 Oklahoma State.
Under Shaw’s direction, Stanford continued its reputation of fielding one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the nation. Behind Heisman Trophy finalist Andrew Luck, the Cardinal combined a pinpoint passing attack with one of the Pac-12’s top ground attacks to average 43.2 points a game, which ranked second in the conference and seventh nationally. Stanford’s final point total of 561 established a new single-season scoring record, breaking the previous mark of 524 set in 2010 by 37 points.
The Cardinal’s deep running attack averaged 210.6 yards per game, a figure that ranked second in the Pac-12 Conference and 18th nationally. Its final rushing total of 2,738 yards ranked as the third-best single-season mark in school history.
Stanford’s defense was ranked either first or second in the Pac-12 in six defensive categories, including rushing defense (1st; 84.4), third-down conversion defense (1st; 31.1), scoring defense (2nd; 21.9), total defense (2nd; 337.6), sacks-per-game (2nd; 3.00) and opponent first downs (2nd; 17.5)..
Five Stanford players – quarterback Andrew Luck, right guard David DeCastro, left tackle Jonathan Martin, tight end Coby Fleener and outside linebacker Chase Thomas — received All-America honors in 2011.
Luck was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s National Player of the Year along with receiving the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top player. He finished second in the balloting for the Heisman Trophy and was named the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the Year for a second straight season.
DeCastro was a unanimous All-America selection, earning spots on the Walter Camp, AFCA, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America and Sporting News All-America squads. Martin landed spots on the Walter Camp and AFCA squads, while Fleener and Thomas were named All-Americans by Sporting News.
A total of 21 Stanford players earned all-conference recognition in 2011, including six players who earned first team honors; a total second only to USC’s seven. Twelve Stanford players landed spots on the Pac-12’s All-Academic team, including first team selections Andrew Luck and Brent Etiz. Luck was also named the Capital One Academic All-America of the Year by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
Continuity a Key to Success
Prior to his appointment as head coach, Shaw served as Stanford’s offensive coordinator for four seasons, playing an instrumental role in the resurgence of the Stanford program which established school scoring records in 2009 and `10.
Stanford was the ninth-highest scoring team in the nation in 2010, averaging 40.31 points a game. The Cardinal scored a school-record 524 points in 13 games, a point total that surpassed the previous record of 461, established by the 2009 team. During Shaw’s tenure as offensive coordinator, the Cardinal scored 40 or more points in 11 games from 2007-10.
Stanford’s balanced offensive attack amassed a school-record 6,142 yards during the 2010 season, averaging 213.8 on the ground and 258.7 yards through the air. The Cardinal finished second in the Pac-10 and 17th nationally in rushing average and amassed the second-highest rushing total (2,779 yards) in school history.
In addition, Shaw’s play calling ability in the red zone helped Stanford convert on a national-best 57.6 percent of its scoring opportunities inside the 20-yard line.
Shaw tutored five running backs – Stepfan Taylor, Anthony Wilkerson, Tyler Gaffney, Usua Amanam and Jeremy Stewart – that combined to rush for 2,063 yards in 13 games, an average of 158.6 yards a game, offsetting Gerhart’s 143.9 yards per game average from previous season. Taylor’s final rushing total of 1,137 yards was the second highest total in school history, trailing only Gerhart’s senior total of 1,871.
A Well-Rounded Resume
Prior to his appointment as offensive coordinator at Stanford, Shaw served as the wide receivers and passing game coordinator at the University of San Diego during the 2006 season, where he helped guide the nation’s top Division I-AA offense that paced the Toreros to the Pioneer League championship and NCAA Division I-AA Mid-Major national title.
The Toreros led all NCAA Division I-AA teams in passing offense (293.3 ypg), total offense (494.25) and scoring offense (42.83). Quarterback Josh Johnson was one of four offensive All-Americans on the team and led all NCAA Division I-AA quarterbacks in passing efficiency (169.0 quarterback rating), touchdown passes (34, co-leader), points responsible for (24.33) and total offense (336.7), while throwing for 3,320 yards to also lead the country and running for another 721. He added 11 rushing touchdowns and even caught one TD pass.
Shaw’s coaching resume also includes nine years of NFL experience with the Philadelphia Eagles (1997), Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-05).
Shaw’s most recent coaching job in the NFL with Baltimore included a stint as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach from 2002-04 before working solely with the wide receivers in 2005. His tenure included a 2003 campaign that reaped an AFC North title and a 10-6 regular season record. Derrick Mason set a new franchise record with 86 receptions under Shaw’s tutelage in 2005 when he also posted the third-biggest season to date in terms of receiving yards with 1,073. Mark Clayton set a franchise rookie record for receptions in 2005 when he caught 44 balls for 471 yards.
After three seasons of quality control with the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2000, Shaw moved into the role of quarterbacks coach in 2001 as the Raiders won a second straight AFC West title and finished the regular season with a 10-6 mark. Quarterback Rich Gannon made the NFL Pro Bowl for the second straight season and ended up as the game’s MVP. Gannon had the third-most prolific campaign of his 16-year pro career during the 2001 regular season, throwing for 3,828 yards on 361-of-549 passing (65.8%).
Shaw began his NFL coaching career as the quality control coach with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1997.
He launched his coaching career at Western Washington, where he coached the outside linebackers in 1995 and the tight ends in 1996.
Roots on The Farm
A four-year letterwinner at Stanford from 1991-94 as a receiver, Shaw was a member of Stanford’s 1991 Aloha Bowl team coached by Dennis Green that finished the season with an 8-4 mark and was the third-highest scoring team in school history. He was also on the Cardinal’s 1992 Blockbuster Bowl-winning squad coached by Bill Walsh that had a 10-3 overall mark. Shaw finished his Stanford career with 57 catches for 664 yards and five touchdowns.
He also competed in a varsity track meet and a varsity basketball game while at Stanford before graduating in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology.
A Family Affair
David’s father, Willie, had two separate coaching stints at Stanford (1974-76; 1989-91) during his 33-year coaching career, which also included time with the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams.
Born in San Diego, Calif., David and his wife Kori are the parents of three children, Keegan, Carter and Gavin.