Cardinal corner: Pritchard takes control of the offense


Tavita Pritchard, who engineered one of the greatest upsets in college football history in his starting debut at quarterback, has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator by Cardinal coach David Shaw, it was announced Tuesday.

"Tavita and I have had a strong connection since he was a player," Shaw said. "He not only understands our offense, but he has helped us expand it over the years and has done a great job training our quarterbacks."

Carolina Sculti/USA Diving
Pritchard is in his eighth season on the Cardinal coaching staff and fourth as quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. Pritchard will continue to oversee quarterbacks and wide receivers.

"I would like to thank Coach Shaw for his trust, and the incredible opportunity to lead the Stanford offense," Pritchard said. "Ever since I set foot on campus as a high school junior recruit, I fell in love with this place. And over the past 13 years, it's become my home. I met my wife in class here as an undergrad, and our son was born at Stanford Hospital. It has been an honor to be a student, teammate and coach within this program, and I'm excited to continue the journey as a Stanford Cardinal and attack my new role."

Among Pritchard's current pupils is Cardinal sophomore K.J. Costello, the nation's leader in passing rating on deep passes (18 of 35 for 505 yards and six touchdowns without an interception for a 136.6 rating). Costello has made six career starts (4-2), four of which have come against AP-ranked opponents. Costello became the seventh straight Stanford quarterback to win his starting debut, a 34-24 victory over Arizona State on Sept. 30.

In 2013, his first season as an assistant coach, Pritchard worked with the running backs. He was also a defensive assistant for two years after serving as a volunteer assistant in 2010.

Pritchard instructed Hogan, a fifth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, during his monumental final season in a Cardinal uniform. Hogan led the Cardinal to the 2015 Pac-12 title and a Rose Bowl crown. Hogan appeared in more than 50 contests and posted a school-best 36-10 record as a starter.

He ranks first in career total offense (10,634), second in completion percentage (.659) and passing efficiency (154.6), and third in passing yards (9,385) and passing touchdowns (75). His 171.0 passing efficiency clip in 2015 was the best single-season mark ever by a Cardinal signal caller. Hogan also set school records for career rushing yards (1,249) and touchdowns (15) by a quarterback.

As the running backs coach in 2013, Pritchard nurtured Tyler Gaffney to second team All-Pac-12 honors. Gaffney was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.

A four-year letterwinner for the Cardinal from 2006-09, Pritchard appeared in 31 career games and made 20 starts, throwing for 2,865 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Pritchard made his first career start against USC on Oct. 6, 2007, and engineered an epic 24-23 upset of the second-ranked Trojans in the Los Angeles Coliseum when the Cardinal was a 41-point underdog. His 10-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Mark Bradford on fourth down with 0:49 left in the game secured his spot in Stanford football lore.

Pritchard started all 12 games as a junior in 2008 and threw for 1,633 yards and 10 touchdowns.

A native of Tacoma, Pritchard earned a communication degree from Stanford. He resides on Stanford's campus with his wife, Caroline, and son, Afi.

Women's diving

Stanford incoming freshman Caroline Sculti won the women's synchronized 3-meter at the USA Diving Winter National Championships on Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C.

Sculti, competing with the Marlins Swim Club, and her synchro partner finished with a cumulative score of 534.50 points to claim the title.

"It's really nice to end on a good note," Sculti said. "We trained together really hard before this. It's been a long week with ups and downs, but it's good ending the meet and diving like this, having everything pay off."

Sculti also teamed with future teammate Daria Lenz in the event. The pair, part of Stanford's incoming recruiting class, finished third with 502.89 points.

Earlier at the Winter championships, Sculti also finished seventh on the 1-meter (448.0) and 10th on the 3-meter (735.95).

In addition, Lenz earned bronze on the 1-meter. She was third after the preliminaries with a score of 227.65, and earned her spot on the podium with a final tally of 463.80. She nearly earned another medal on the platform with a fifth-place finish of 453.80.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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