Stanford coach David Shaw resigned after 12 seasons at his alma mater.
Shaw announced his decision to step down, effective immediately, after Saturday night’s 36-25 loss to BYU in Stanford’s season finale.
“I prayed about it, and I thought about it,” Shaw said. With each hour it seemed more and more firmly established in my head. The phrase that kept coming to me was: ‘It’s about time.’
Shaw, 50, said he had not considered quitting until earlier this week and said he had no desire to coach another team at this point.
He said, “I’m not exhausted.” “I’m healthy; I feel good. But 16 years is a long time… 16 years of running a program, 16 years of being in charge of everything and everybody getting you.”
Shaw steps down as the winningest coach in Stanford history with 96 career victories. His resignation comes after consecutive seasons of 3-9 and a stretch since 2019 in which the Cardinals went 14-28.
Stanford is 3-16 in Pac-12 play the past two seasons, including back-to-back losses to rival California.
“A lot of people out there think this program is broken. That’s what our record says,” said Shaw, who finished with a 96-54 record at Stanford. “But I look at the ingredients. I look at the people here, the support I hear comes from our athletic director, from our university president, the people behind the scenes. We’re not far away.”
“I want to thank David for his tremendous contributions to Stanford,” athletic director Bernard Muir said in a statement. “David represented Stanford football, both as a player and coach, with unwavering grace, humility, and integrity. He cared deeply for each student-athlete in his program while helping them strive to reach their full academic and athletic potential. Forever remaining a valued member of the Stanford football family and an indelible part integral to the show’s storied history. I hope Cardinals fans everywhere will join me in thanking David and his family for their extraordinary years of service and wishing them all the best in their next chapter.”
Shaw, who played senior receivers for the Cardinals from 1991 to 1994, has been part of the coaching staff at Stanford since 2007. He first started as offensive coordinator for four seasons before being promoted to the head coaching job in 2011 after Jim Harbaugh left the Union. American football.
It didn’t take long for Shaw to succeed. During his first four seasons, he led Stanford to three Rose Bowls, including two victories, as well as three Pac-12 titles—and four Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards—during that span.
Shaw expressed on Saturday how difficult the new college football landscape, with its NIL and gate transfers, will be for Stanford, but did not admit that was the reason for his departure.
“Stanford historically doesn’t change quickly,” he said. “We are methodical… It was tough but it was tough for everyone.”
Shaw said the transfer portal would “be very attractive” to current Stanford players upon his departure. When asked if he thought Stanford could return to the level it was in when he first took the job, Shaw answered yes.
“Growth,” Shaw replied when asked what it would take for Stanford to recover. “It won’t be instant.”
The school has stated that it will immediately begin a national search to find a new coach.
Information from the Associated Press is used in this report.
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