ESPN.com Insider Ryan Magee looks at some of the college coaches who are most coveted by the NFL, and it's not surprising that Stanford coach David Shaw is high on his list.
Shaw has won big at Stanford, has NFL experience and worked with Jim Harbaugh, who's been successful with the San Francisco 49ers.
To many, what gives Shaw the edge over [Texas A&M coach Kevin] Sumlin is his prior NFL experience. He played at Stanford for Dennis Green and Bill Walsh and spent nearly a decade in the NFL as quarterbacks coach with the Eagles, Raiders and Ravens. Pair that with his Harbaugh tutelage and the meteoric rise of former pupil Andrew Luck and you see where he might be attractive to those who work behind the shield.
Last month, former Washington Redskins general manager Charley Casserly spelled out the importance of NFL experience to the team's website: "I think if he’s been a pro assistant and understands the pro game, and therefore has connections within the league to hire a staff -- which is crucial -- and understands how to build an organization in the NFL to include the draft, salary cap, dealing with ownership, those are all things you want."
But the NFL might just have to continue pining for Shaw. He has repeatedly said he loves coaching at Stanford, his alma mater, and could envision it being his last job. While a lot of coaches say stuff like that, Shaw seems to do so with a bit more sincerity. For one, he's already had plenty of A-list opportunities to leave -- at the college and NFL level -- which he has politely declined.
Not so coincidentally, [Washington's NFL team] tried to woo Shaw to replace Mike Shanahan only to be politely rebuffed with a reminder from Shaw’s representatives that he is perfectly happy at his alma mater.
Of course, you never say never. It's difficult for coaches to stay in one place for decades. More often than not, one side of the marriage between coach and institution sours on the arrangement. There are no sure things.
But when you talk to Shaw and those who know him well, it seems that his marriage with Stanford remains strong and mutually gratifying with no reason to believe that will change in the near future.