David Shaw suddenly steps down as Stanford’s head coach following loss to BYU

David Shaw guided Stanford football to 96 wins, including five in bowl games and a victory in the Rose Bowl, and on Sunday his tenure with the Cardinal came to an end.

Shaw stepped down as head coach following the team’s 36-25 loss to BYU. The loss meant another 3-9 season for Stanford and third losing season in four years. Stanford was 4-2 in six games during the pandemic-impacted 2020 season.

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Stanford head coach David Shaw during the game against California in Berkeley, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

He said his decision was made in the last few days.

“A week ago, 10 days ago, I was gung-ho to be the person to lead us there, and over the last few days I realized it was time,” Shaw said. “It was time for me to step aside, time for the next group to come in, and hopefully whoever they hire next wins more games than I do. That would be awesome.”

Shaw took over for Jim Harbaugh ahead of the 2011 season. Harbaugh bolted Stanford for the NFL. He oversaw Andrew Luck’s final season with Stanford and all of Kevin Hogan’s collegiate career.

Stanford head coach David Shaw stands near the sideline during the BYU game in Stanford, California, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.

Stanford head coach David Shaw stands near the sideline during the BYU game in Stanford, California, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022.
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

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“There are a lot of people that think this program is down. That’s what our record says,” Shaw said. “But I look at the components. I look at the people here, the support that I’m hearing coming from our athletic director, from our university president, the people that are behind the scenes. We’re not that far away.”

He wraps up his career with a 96-54 record. He’s the winningest football coach in Stanford history.

He said he has no plans to pursue other coaching jobs.

Stanford head coach David Shaw watches warmups before the California game in Berkeley, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.

Stanford head coach David Shaw watches warmups before the California game in Berkeley, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022.
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

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“I’m not burnt out by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. “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.’”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.