Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Texans candidate watch: David Shaw
By Tania Ganguli
Anyone who follows college football has heard that "I'm not leaving, I love it here, I swear" refrain from coaches who then bolt for a different job months, weeks or even days later.
It's best to be skeptical when a coach says that. But it's also important to consider what factors might have an impact on said coach.
When John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote that Stanford coach David Shaw would be a candidate for the Texans, Jon Wilner, who covers Stanford for the San Jose Mercury News, tweeted: "Saw news reports that Stanford HC David Shaw is on Texans' short list: No chance. 1 minute spent on Shaw is 1 minute wasted."
Shaw might leave Stanford one day, but those who cover him don't see that happening now.
Here's why: Unlike his predecessor, Jim Harbaugh, Shaw went to Stanford and wants to win a national title there. Given the teams he's fielded, it's not unreasonable to think he could do it, especially with a four-team playoff. He wants to raise his kids in Palo Alto. And the total power he has at Stanford is something he absolutely would not get in the NFL, which he rebuffed last year.
Can the Texans try? Sure. And Shaw does fit Bob McNair's wish list of a coach with NFL experience and head-coaching experience.
So let's get to know Shaw's history a bit better:
- Former player? Receiver at Stanford
- Coaching debut: 1995, as Western Washington's outside-linebackers coach
- NFL coaching debut: 1997, as Philadelphia Eagles' quality-control coach
- Significant stop: The job that got Shaw back to Stanford was with the University of San Diego, where he was the wide-receivers coach and passing-game coordinator. USD led all Division I-AA schools in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense. Shaw spent most of his NFL time with the Baltimore Ravens. He coached quarterbacks and receivers from 2002 to 2004 and just receivers in 2005.
- Head-coaching experience: Shaw spent four seasons as Harbaugh's offensive coordinator at Stanford before Harbaugh's departure for the NFL paved the way for Shaw to take over in 2011. (At Stanford they call his position the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football.) Stanford has gone to a BCS bowl game in all three seasons Shaw has been the head coach, including this season, in which the Cardinal will play in the Rose Bowl. Stanford is 34-6 under Shaw and is 7-0 this year against top-25 teams.
- How did it end? It hasn't yet.