Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - December 21, 2012

Shaw's new contract: 'I'm a Stanford man'

by Rick Eymer

Stanford football coach David Shaw will not be bolting to the NFL any time soon, as long as he honors the new long-term contract extension he has agreed to and that officially was announced Wednesday.

"We're in the process of doing something special here and we're not done," Shaw said. "We're never going to stop growing or stop building."

Shaw also reiterated that this is the job he's wanted all along, despite his NFL coaching experience, and his father's (Willie Shaw) NFL experience.

"I want to be the coach until my kids graduate from here and I have a 2-year-old," Shaw said. "This is not a stop-gap job for me. I love it here at Stanford. I'm a Stanford man, My family loves it here and my wife loves it here."

Stanford Athletic Director Bernard Muir instigated the contract extension even though Shaw had two years remaining on his last contract.

"The credit goes to President John Hennessy and others who understand his value," Muir said. "We recognize what a leader he is in the community and across the campus. He's a leader in every way and we want that relationship for many years to come."

Shaw is completing his second year as Stanford's head coach and is 22-4 since being hired Jan. 13, 2011. He served the previous four years as the Cardinal offensive coordinator.

"David Shaw has led the football program to great success," Hennessy said. "He embodies the goal we have for our scholar-athletes — success in the classroom and on the field. We are pleased that he will lead our football program for years to come."

Under Shaw's leadership, the Cardinal has enjoyed unprecedented success.

Stanford is one of just four teams in the nation from BCS conferences to compile 34 or more wins over the past three seasons along with Oregon (35), LSU (34) and Alabama (34). The Cardinal .872 winning percentage since 2010 is tied for third-best among FBS teams during that stretch.

Stanford's three straight 11-win seasons are unprecedented in school history. Stanford had never won 11 games prior to 2010 and had reached 10 wins only three times previously (1926, 1942 and 1992).

"This is a great environment and it's not going to be the same place in five years," Shaw said. "This places constantly evolves. The athletic director was proactive and insistent on getting it done. Everybody was on board."

Shaw guided the 11-2 Cardinal this season to its first Pac-12 Championship in 13 years and a berth in the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO. This marks the third consecutive BCS bowl for Stanford, a feat claimed by just seven other schools.

On the heels of the 2012 Fiesta Bowl and 2011 Orange Bowl, the Cardinal has achieved the rare distinction of playing in three different BCS bowls in three straight years, matched only Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Oregon in the Bowl Championship Series era of college football.

This is the unprecedented fourth straight year for Stanford to play in a bowl game, starting with the New Year's Eve 2009 Brut Sun Bowl. The last time Stanford won eight games in four consecutive seasons came under the guidance of Glenn "Pop" Warner in 1926-30.

The Cardinal ranked No. 6 in the final BCS standings this season, following back-to-back No. 4 final rankings in 2010 and 2011.

In recognition of his efforts, Shaw has been named a finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year Award. This is the second straight year for Shaw to be named a finalist for the award. This week, Shaw finished third in the balloting for the Associated Press Coach of the Year.

The 2012 season has seen particularly remarkable success under Shaw's direction. The Cardinal was well known for losing once-in-a-generation quarterback Andrew Luck to graduation and subsequent selection as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, part of an unprecedented four Stanford seniors drafted among the top 42 picks. A year earlier, four-year head coach Jim Harbaugh accepted the same position with the San Francisco 49ers.

Shaw reloaded and launched the Cardinal through a glass ceiling, winning the 2012 Pac-12 Championship while playing against a consensus top-five schedule in the country as measured by the BCS computers (including Jeff Sagarin's No. 1 strength of schedule). Stanford leads the nation this season with five wins against ranked opponents, the lowest coming against the 17th-ranked team in the country.

"Each interaction with him has been wonderful," Muir said. "He's enlightening and engaging. That's one reason why young people get excited about playing for him. I'm glad to be part of it."

For the first time in school history, Shaw's Cardinal defeated the Associated Press' No. 1 and No. 2 teams — at Oregon on Nov. 17 and vs. USC on Sept. 15, respectively. No other school has matched that triumph in the regular season since Miami in 2000.

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