Broncos Appoint Ex-Stanford Coach David Shaw to Front Office

Broncos' latest hire stirs debate in the NFL

by Zain ul Abedin
Broncos Appoint Ex-Stanford Coach David Shaw to Front Office
© Chris Gardner/ Getty Images

David Shaw, former head coach at Stanford, has shifted his trajectory from being a possible head coach to a front-line officer of the Denver Broncos. At the beginning of the year 2023, Shaw was among the candidates for the head coaching position of the Broncos.

However, as reported by Mike Klis of 9News. Shaw has now been hired as a senior personnel executive by Denver Broncos General Manager George Paton, a new role for him in his career. Shaw is 51 years old and he has coaching experiences of more than a quarter of a century, both at the NFL and college level.

This new position with the Broncos draws upon this well of understanding and allows him to impact the team’s decision-making process profoundly. Shaw has other affiliations with the Broncos besides professional ones. Condoleezza Rice, the limited partner of the Broncos and the former provost of Stanford University, where Shaw served his term, worked with him earlier.

This relationship was instrumental in his recruiting activities at the Institution as it showcased his capacity to put together influential networks.

Shaw's Controversial Hire

Shaw was hired by Paton, and the move has sparked some controversy due to the fact that Payton, the present head coach of the Broncos, did not have a say in the recruitment process.

Klis, who previously called Shaw a possible "sleeper" for head coach himself, now wonders about the future. Possibly, Shaw can be prepared for the position of Payton’s successor. Has there been a time when Shaw acted as an interim head coach if the need was to be met in the middle of a season? One more concern is that Shaw might be close to important decision-makers during games, thus potentially compromising important decisions.

However, if Shaw is spotted with Rice or the Broncos’ main owner, Greg Penner, his presence may dictate decisions on coaches. This scenario is not entirely unrealistic, given that football coaches, including Payton, fear those who may question their actions and influence the owners of the teams.

Thus, Payton will be critical in Shaw’s performance as he settles in a new position. The two met with the Eagles in 1997, and keeping a united front will be key given that Paton, for instance, initiated Shaw’s hiring without Payton’s input.

This contributes not only to discussions about who might be a leader in the future but also about how the affiliations inside the team may change.