David Shaw reportedly interviewed for the Denver Broncos’ vacant head coaching job Wednesday, less than two months after resigning as Stanford’s head coach following another disappointing season.
The Denver Post confirmed the 50-year-old Shaw spoke with Broncos officials in a bid to replace Nathaniel Hackett, whom Denver fired after just one disastrous season that ended with a last-place finish at 5-12.
Source confirms former Stanford coach David Shaw interviewed for #Broncos job today. Penners and Rice have strong Stanford ties. Also, Shaw worked for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford before taking over the program. #Denver7
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) January 12, 2023
Shaw, who ended his 12-year run at Stanford following a second straight 3-9 finish immediately after a season-ending loss to BYU, joins an impressive list of coaches connected to the Broncos job. Longtime Saints coach Sean Payton is considered the Denver’s top candidate, with former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh also reportedly heavily in the mix. Harbaugh interviewed with the Broncos on Monday.
Both Shaw and former Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell, 67, interviewed with the Broncos on Wednesday.
While Shaw said he had no immediate plans to coach when he revealed he was stepping down at Stanford on Nov. 26, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Shaw is looking to return to the NFL. Before joining Stanford, Shaw was an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens from 1997-2005.
Shaw last coached in the NFL as the Ravens receivers coach in 2005, but his success at Stanford made him a target of NFL teams for years. Shaw’s teams went 96-54 (.640) in his 12 years there. He is the Pac-12’s only four-time coach of the year and Shaw’s 65 conference wins are tied for fifth most in conference history.
But after finishing in the Top 10 in four of his first five seasons and winning at least nine games in seven of his first eight seasons, the Cardinal went 14-28 in the past four years – the team’s first losing seasons since 2007.
Shaw was replaced at Stanford by former Cal quarterback and Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor.
There’s some speculation that perhaps the Broncos see Shaw as part of a package to lure Harbaugh from Michigan back to the NFL. Shaw was once Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator at Stanford. Could Shaw return to the NFL as Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator?
Shaw certainly has plenty of ties already to the Broncos ownership group. Part owner and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice runs the Hoover Institute at Stanford. CEO Greg Penner and his wife, Carrie Walton-Penner, are both graduates of Stanford.
Shaw, Harbaugh and Caldwell all interviewed this week, as did Broncos first-year defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, who was a 49ers assistant 10 years ago.
Four more candidates will speak to the Broncos hierarchy next week, according to the Denver Post. Payton, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris and Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn are all scheduled to interview.