Broncos hire former Stanford coach David Shaw as senior personnel executive in front office

Parker Gabriel, The Denver Post on

Published in Football

DENVER — The Broncos are bolstering their front office with a long-time college coach.

Denver general manager George Paton hired former Stanford head coach David Shaw to a senior position in the team’s personnel department, the team announced Thursday.

Shaw and the Broncos finalized the position Wednesday after keeping in touch about a potential position for several months this offseason, a league source said. Shaw’s role will be mostly remote, though he’ll spend time with the team during training camp and may attend some games. He won’t have an official gameday role or permanently relocate to Colorado from the Bay Area in California, however.

Shaw, 51, has experience coaching in both college and the NFL. Most recently, he served as Stanford’s head coach from 2011-22 during a 16-year stretch he spent at the school. Before that, Shaw spent time as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens.

After the Broncos fired coach Nathaniel Hackett late in 2022, Shaw was among the group of coaches who interviewed for the head coaching job that eventually went to Sean Payton.

Shaw interviewed with the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee this winter and when those jobs went to other people — another former Stanford coach, Jim Harbaugh, got the Chargers job — he started exploring other ways to get into the NFL in a formal way.


Shaw and Paton were familiar, but Shaw also has connections elsewhere in Denver’s organization. He and Payton were both on Philadelphia’s staff in 1997, Shaw as a quality control coach and Payton as the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach. Plus Shaw’s many years at Stanford connected him with Broncos owners Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner, each of whom have degrees from the university, and limited shareholder and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the director of the Hoover Institute at Stanford.

Shaw was named the Pac-12 coach of the year four times during his tenure at Stanford and led the Cardinal to three conference championships. He won 10-plus games there in five of his first six years in charge, but resigned in 2022 after back-to-back 3-9 campaigns.

Now, he’s making a bit of a career change and getting into scouting for the Broncos. Shaw, of course, has extensive experience evaluating both professional and college players. During his 12 years as Stanford’s head coach, Shaw and his staff had six first-round NFL draft picks and 42 draft selections overall.

The Broncos have now made a pair of high-profile additions to the personnel department this offseason by adding Shaw and vice president of player personnel Cody Rager, a longtime scout in New Orleans while Payton was the coach there.

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