Stanford coach David Shaw, who has run the program since Jim Harbaugh left to become head coach of the 49ers, has stepped down. The announcement came on Saturday night.
“After many prayers and multiple discussions with my wife, one phrase keeps coming to me,” Shaw said in a press release announcing the move. “It’s time. There are not sufficient words to describe the love and gratitude I feel for my family, all of my former and current players, my staff, this administration and the entire Stanford family.”
Shaw, 50, spent nine years as an assistant coach in the NFL, with the Eagles, Raiders, and Ravens. He teamed up with Harbaugh at the University of San Diego in 2006 and followed Harbaugh to Stanford in 2007.
Stanford initially thrived under Shaw, going to three straight BCS bowl games and winning one Rose Bowl. But the program is 14-28 over the last four years, including 3-16 in the Pac-12 conference over the past two seasons.
“I’m not burnt out by any stretch of the imagination,” Shaw said during his postgame press conference. “I’m healthy and feel good. But at the same time, 16 years is a long time — 12 as a head coach, 16 here. I’m so proud of our accomplishments, so proud of our student-athletes, so proud of the guys that have gone on and done other things in the NFL and outside of the NFL in different walks of life. But like I said, the phrase just kept coming back to me that gave me peace, which was, ‘It’s time.’”
Shaw will have options. He’s done TV work with NFL Network. He could return to the NFL, as an assistant or perhaps as a head coach. He could reunite with Harbaugh if he makes the leap back to the NFL after this season.
Another press conference is set for Monday. At that time, Shaw likely will be asked about his future plans.
Shaw has spent his entire adult life in football. He has plenty of years left. He’ll likely end up somewhere, contributing in a significant way. And if, as he says, he’s not burned out, there’s no reason to take a step back and take a year off.