Criteria #2: Create a Culture
Establishing a culture within an organization is a term often bandied about, but rarely executed correctly. Everybody wants a situation like the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers, but are more likely to end up like the Browns.
When it comes to building a strong culture, it starts with a vision. Stanford has been long regarded as a prestigious University, one with high standards for their athletes. That aspect of their culture has always been there. However, they didn’t become a perennial powerhouse on the turf until Shaw took the lead.
In his time at Stanford, he became the winningest coach in school history (96-54, with a 5-3 bowl record), three PAC-12 Championships, and was the PAC-12 Coach of the Year four times. Now, the detractors will say that Jim Harbaugh played a large role in that success.
Sure, he was the guy that spearheaded the program turnaround, but College Football is a fickle game. With recruiting being paramount (especially now with the NIL situation), many of Harbaugh’s recruits were out of Palo Alto not long after he left. You can’t rest on a coaches recruiting class for more than a few years.
It was Shaw who kept the program afloat and elevated it to another level. You cannot discount his ability to identify, recruit, and coach talent
To that point, Stanford has produced 43 Draft picks since he took over. An average of 4 players per draft may not be a large number, compared to SEC schools, but Stanford was never going to compete with that kind of recruiting.
For a program that had 3 winning seasons in the decade before his regime, I’d say that it’s a good indicator of how well Shaw had established a culture. One with consistency, toughness, and competitiveness.
As for an offense, let’s look at how his offensive “identity” is what the Broncos could be looking for.