After sixteen seasons at Stanford – twelve as the head coach – David Shaw announced his resignation on Saturday. Shaw went 96-54 as head coach at his alma mater from 2011-22, reaching eight bowl games (five wins) and winning five Pac-12 North division titles.
“After many prayers and multiple discussions with my wife, one phrase keeps coming to me – it’s time,” Shaw said in a statement. “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. Thank you all.”
Shaw was elevated to head coach in 2011 after Jim Harbaugh left for the San Francisco 49ers’ job and was able to keep things rolling for most of the next decade. The Cardinal went to three Rose Bowls and a Fiesta Bowl in Shaw’s first five years and only won less than 9 games once in his first eight.
The problem’s started in 2019, with a step back to 4-8 that Shaw and company never really bounced back from. Stanford went 4-2 in the COVID-shortened 2020 season but just wrapped up their second-straight 3-9 season to miss a bowl for the fourth year in a row. Recruiting has fallen off a bit and the turn out for home games has been abysmal, with huge swaths of empty seats being very noticeable during TV broadcasts.
Despite the downturn, Shaw leaves as the winningest coach in program history and his tenure has drawn considerable praise from many in the Stanford and the larger college football communities.
Stanford should be able to attract a solid replacement, but there is uncertainty in the future of the Pac-12 and where the school stands as re-alignment continues to change the landscape of college football. We will have our first list of potential candidates on Monday.
credit to Stanford Athletics for the image