DENVER — In November, David Shaw announced his resignation from Stanford, but not from coaching.
His tenure, so glorious for years, ended in disappointment. Could there be a reset in the NFL as the top boss or an assistant?
A source confirmed that Shaw interviewed for the Broncos coaching job on Wednesday. It was first reported by ESPN.
Shaw brings a strong resume as a former NFL assistant and longtime boss at Stanford, where he posted 11 wins in four of his first five seasons and won two Rose Bowls.
Shaw represents the team's fourth interview in three days. He follows Michigan's Jim Harbaugh (virtually on Monday), internal candidate Ejiro Evero (Tuesday in person) and former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell (Wednesday in person).
Shaw, 50, once generated NFL buzz, but that has cooled after he went 14-28 in his final four college seasons.
However, Shaw brings an interesting connection. CEO Greg Penner, who is spearheading this search, and Carrie Walton-Penner went to Stanford for part of their academic careers, and Condoleezza Rice teaches there. Shaw also worked under Harbaugh at the University of San Diego and served as his offensive coordinator at Stanford before replacing him when Harbaugh jumped to the 49ers.
Shaw, like Harbaugh, employed a physical style on both sides of the ball. If Shaw does not land the Broncos job, could he join Harbaugh in Denver?
Harbaugh, Sean Payton and Dan Quinn, who are expected to be interviewed next week, are considered the favorites with a slight nudge to Harbaugh early in this process. However, the search remains fluid and includes planned interviews with the Rams' Raheem Morris and San Francisco's DeMeco Ryans.
Penner made it clear he wants a coach who creates accountability, discipline and establishes an offensive identity. Harbaugh checks those boxes. As does Shaw, though he has not enjoyed Harbaugh's most recent run of success and has never been an NFL head coach. Shaw worked as an assistant in the NFL for the Eagles, Raiders and Ravens before returning to the college ranks.
Denver represents an opportunity and a challenge. The ownership group has unmatched resources, but the Broncos have missed the playoffs seven consecutive seasons, the second-longest streak to the Jets, and have not had a winning record since 2016 as they seek their fifth head coach since Super Bowl 50.