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Stanford hires David Shaw as coach
He was promoted Thursday to replace Harbaugh and maintain the Cardinal’s place as a national contender following their most successful season in decades.
“We’ve got a good football team, a team that’s tough, physical and eager to pick up where we left off,” Shaw said during his introductory news conference. “Our schemes are going to be the same. We’re going to be very similar. We’re going to be aggressive on defense. We’re going to be aggressive on offense.”
“His contribution to the current state of affairs of our football program is immeasurable,” athletic director Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “It has been an interesting and exciting fall. This is, in my estimation, the most logical step we can take. This speaks volumes about Stanford and the experience student-athletes have.”
The Cardinal improved each season under Harbaugh, making a bowl game in his third year and going 12-1 this past season, capped by a 40-12 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl. That helped Stanford finish fourth in the final AP poll, its best ranking since the unbeaten 1940 team finished No. 2.
The Orange Bowl trophy was on display for Shaw’s formal introduction, a day before some 20 recruits will be on campus for visits.
Expectations will be high again next season following last week’s decision by Heisman Trophy runner-up and Orange Bowl MVP quarterback Andrew Luck to return for another season.
“We’ve got a pretty good quarterback you might have heard of,” Shaw said.
Luck set school records for TD passes (32), completion percentage (70.7 percent) and passing efficiency (170.2) this season. With him at quarterback, the Cardinal are expected to be highly ranked again next season.
“As far as what Stanford needs, we’re not going to miss a beat,” cornerback Michael Thomas said. “He knows Stanford. He knows the system. The offense will be the same and he said he will run the same defense. We knew coach Shaw would be a great head coach. We’re ready for the next chapter.”
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