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Former Stanford head coach David Shaw interviews for Denver Broncos job

It wasn’t too much of a surprise that David Shaw resigned as the Stanford Cardinal head coach following an ugly three-win 2022 season.

Shaw had been Stanford’s head man since all the way back in 2011. After initial success, his teams fell on hard times recently. That included going a combined 6-18 over the past two seasons. Simply put, the marriage was destined to come to an end.

We would also be foolish to ignore the fact that Shaw has shown interest in returning to the NFL after stints in multiple cities as an assistant earlier in his career.

With that said, Wednesday night’s report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter indicating that Shaw has already interviewed for the Denver Broncos’ head coach opening did come out of left field.

Shaw, 50, has not necessarily been linked to openings since resigning from Stanford back in late November. At the very least, there wasn’t talk about a potential head coaching interview.

Denver fired former head coach Nathaniel Hackett just 15 games into his tenure following a humiliating loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas. It has been linked to the likes of Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh, among others.

Related: Potential David Shaw NFL landing spots

David Shaw’s vast connections with the Denver Broncos

david shaw, stanford cardinal
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

As we noted above, this comes as somewhat of a surprise without delving further into Shaw’s connection with the Broncos’ brass.

New Broncos minority owner Condoleezza Rice, the United States former Secretary of State, is a former Stanford provost. She has had a huge relationship with the Cardinal football program and is currently a professor in Palo Alto. As for Broncos co-owner Greg Penner, he’s a graduate of Stanford.

  • David Shaw coaching record: 96-54, .640 winning percentage, five bowl wins

Shaw posted a 64-17 record in his first 81 games as Stanford’s head coach once he took over for Jim Harbaugh back in 2011. That included two Rose Bowl wins.

While the Cardinal have fallen on hard times recently, there’s little questioning his ability as a head coach.

Prior to making a transition to college under Harbaugh in Palo Alto, Shaw served as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles (1997), then-Oakland Raiders (1998-2001) and Baltimore Ravens (2002-05).

His candidacy for the Broncos job is interesting in that Harbaugh is also on their radar. Perhaps, this could be Denver’s way of making a set of home run hires. That is to say, bringing in David Shaw to be the offensive coordinator under Harbaugh. It’s the same dynamic we saw with Stanford from 2007-10.