David Shaw resigns at Stanford after BYU loss

NCAA Football

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PALO ALTO, CA - NOVEMBER 26:  Head Coach David Shaw of the Stanford Cardinal waits to enter the stadium before an NCAA college football game against the BYU Cougars on November 26, 2022 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
David Shaw resigned as Stanford’s coach on Saturday night after the team’s season-ending loss to BYU. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)

Stanford coach David Shaw stepped down after the Cardinal lost 35-26 to BYU on Saturday night.

The loss dropped Stanford to 3-9 in 2022.

“After many prayers and multiple discussions with my wife, one phrase keeps coming to me – it’s time,” Shaw said in a Stanford 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.”

Stanford has gone 3-9 in each of the last two seasons. Outside of a 4-2 campaign in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Stanford hasn’t had a winning season since going 9-4 in 2018.

“I would like to thank David for his immense contributions to Stanford,” Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said in a statement. “David has represented Stanford football, as both a player and a coach, with unwavering grace, humility and integrity. He has cared tremendously for each and every student-athlete in his program while helping them pursue their full academic and athletic potential. David will forever remain a valued member of the Stanford football family and an integral part of the storied history of the program.”

Stanford said Shaw and Muir would discuss the decision in a Monday news conference.

Shaw, 50, was one of the longest-tenured coaches in college football. He replaced Jim Harbaugh after the 2010 season and immediately continued the success Harbaugh had with the team. Stanford won at least 10 games in five of Shaw’s six seasons and went to three Rose Bowls and a Fiesta Bowl in that span.

But Stanford hasn’t won 10 games in a season since 2016 or gone to a bowl game since 2018 as the program has slowly slid to the bottom of the Pac-12.

Can Stanford become one of the top teams in the Pac-12 again with a new coach? It’s a fair question given the current climate of college football. Stanford’s success with Shaw and Harbaugh came before players were able to transfer more freely and graduate transfers had become more common. The easiest way to rebuild a Power Five program is through transfers, and Stanford famously has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the country.

Before coming to Stanford with Harbaugh in 2007 and working as the Cardinal’s offensive coordinator for four seasons, Shaw worked for him at San Diego in 2006 and was an assistant for three NFL teams before beginning his college football career. If Shaw is done coaching, it’s easy to see him doing television work in the future. He’s been a regular presence during the NFL Network’s NFL draft coverage over the past decade.

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