“Having a Program, Not a Group of Players”

Linked below is a fantastic interview with Stanford’s head football coach David Shaw printed by USA Today back in 2014. Shaw is among my favorite football coaches to study (along with Chris Petersen, Bill Belichick, Urban Meyer, Mark Dantonio, Nick Saban and Tom Herman). There’s really good stuff from Shaw in this interview on the locker room after Stanford’s Rose Bowl loss, what having a program means, being honest with your players, instilling a physicality with your team, and insight into climbing the ladder of the coaching profession.

In the locker room after the game I was disappointed. My biggest disappointment was for the outgoing seniors. I wanted them to be two-time Rose Bowl champions. But what I said to the team was, “We’re not going to complain about being two-time Pac-12 champions either. We’re not going to apologize for losing in our second Rose Bowl in a row. We’re not going to apologize for being an 11-plus-win team the last few years.” So yes, was I disappointed? Absolutely. But it’s really nothing to hang your head about, nothing to have a hangover about over an offseason. Because to me that overshadows the phenomenal things that did happen during the year.



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