‘It’s time for me to step aside.’ Stanford coach David Shaw resigns after 12 seasons

Stanford coach David Shaw stands near the sideline.
Stanford coach David Shaw announced his resignation following the Cardinal’s loss to BYU on Saturday.
(Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

Stanford coach David Shaw resigned Saturday night after finishing his 12th season at his alma mater with a 36-25 loss to BYU that dropped the Cardinal to 3-9.

Shaw, 50, led Stanford to five double-digit win seasons, with three Pac-12 titles and Rose Bowl appearances in his first six years as head coach. He finished as the winningest coach in program history with a 96-54 record and was considered one of the most respected coaches in country.

Shaw arrived unusually late to his postgame news conference and said his decision came only in the last few days.


In accounting for four touchdowns in USC’s 38-27 victory over Notre Dame, Caleb Williams made a convincing case that he should win the Heisman Trophy.

Nov. 26, 2022

“It’s been great. It’s been a great run,” he said. “But it’s time for me to step aside. It’s time for the next group to come in.”

The falloff in recent years has been drastic. The Cardinal are 14-28 over the last four seasons as the program has struggled to keep up in a rapidly changing college football landscape with players transferring more freely and earning money for name, image and likeness.

Stanford is 3-16 in Pac-12 play the last two seasons, including consecutive losses to rival California.

“We’re not that far away,” Shaw said.

Shaw, a California native who played receiver for Stanford in the early 1990s, replaced Jim Harbaugh as head coach in 2011. He had been offensive coordinator for Harbaugh from 2007-10.

Quarterback Caleb Williams’ Heisman Trophy bid got a big boost and USC kept its College Football Playoff dreams alive with a 38-27 win over Notre Dame.

Nov. 26, 2022

Shaw spent nine seasons as an NFL assistant before joining Harbaugh’s staff at the University of San Diego and then following him to Stanford.

He was part of a remarkable program turnaround under Harbaugh and then under his leadership Stanford became the premier program in the Pac-12 with a physical style dubbed Intellectual Brutality.


As the program declined, Shaw has remained steadfastly loyal to his assistant coaches. The staff has had few changes lately, with Shaw repeatedly saying he felt firing assistants was pushing the blame for the team’s failures from himself to others.

Stanford is a private school that does not disclose contract terms with its coaches so it is unclear how many years Shaw had left on his deal.

He said he had no plans to pursue another job.

“I’m not burned out by any stretch of the imagination,” Shaw said. “I’m kind of anti-employment right now.”

Caleb Williams dazzled on the ground and through the air, making a strong case to win the Heisman Trophy during USC’s victory over Notre Dame.

Nov. 26, 2022