Stanford University promoted offensive coordinator David Shaw to head coach today, replacing Jim Harbaugh, who announced last Friday that he would leave Stanford to coach the San Francisco 49ers.
Shaw, who was seen as the player’s choice to succeed Harbaugh, will have the task of maintaining the recent growth of the football program. Stanford football had its best finish in school history this year, ending the season with a 12-1 record, earning the fourth spot in the BCS and AP rankings, and beating Virginia Tech 40-12 in the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl.
“David has made a substantial contribution to the recent success of our program and our team has great confidence in him,” athletic director Bob Bowlsby said today in a statement. “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.”
Shaw, a 1994 Stanford alumni and former football player, joined the Cardinal coaching staff in 2007 as wide receivers’ coach and offensive coordinator. Last season Shaw coached running backs and ran the Cardinal offense along with Greg Roman, who was also rumored to be a candidate for the position. Shaw didn’t hide his excitement about coaching is alma mater at his introductory press conference this afternoon.
“Since the day I started coach, this is the job I wanted,” Shaw said. “This is finally the day.”
No word yet on whether Shaw will keep Roman or defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and he would not address that issue at the press conference. Both Roman and Fangio played key roles in the Cardinal’s success this year, but both have also been rumored to be in line for position’s on Harbaugh’s 49ers staff. Fangio is also being courted by the Dallas Cowboys and has 24 years of NFL coaching experience with the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and Baltimore Ravens.
Harbaugh coached the Cardinal for four years before moving to the NFL. For his part, Shaw claims to be at Stanford for the long haul.
“I came into this process wanting this to be my last coaching interview,” Shaw said. “I want to be in the 25 and up with (women’s basketball coach) Tara VanDerveer and (former men’s tennis coach) Dick Gould.”
Updated at 2:01 pm Thursday, Jan. 13