Stanford, Shaw agree to 'long-term' extension


Stanford, Shaw agree to 'long-term' extension

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Any speculation David Shaw could be the latest Stanford coach to jump to the NFL is over - at least for now.

Shaw agreed to a ``long-term contract extension'' Wednesday that will keep him with his alma mater beyond the two years left on his remaining deal. Terms of the contract, including the years, were not announced by the school.

New athletic director Bernard Muir said the ``agreement provides added stability and reassurance that David will be at the helm to secure our football program's long-term sustained success.''

``I feel blessed to work every day with an outstanding staff and coach the best group of young men in America,'' Shaw said, ``and I am excited to lead the Stanford football program for many years to come.''

Shaw has won back-to-back Pac-12 Coach of the Year awards since taking over for Jim Harbaugh, who left for the San Francisco 49ers after starting Stanford's resurgence. The Cardinal finished 11-2 last season after a loss in the Fiesta Bowl and won the conference title this year for the first time since 1999.

No. 8 Stanford (11-2) will play in the Rose Bowl against Big Ten winner Wisconsin (8-5) on Jan. 1.

The Cardinal have won at least 11 games each of the past three years. The program had won 10 games only three times before (1992, 1940 and 1926).

Stanford also is the only school to be in the Top 10 of The Associated Press poll and U.S. News & World Report's academic rankings the past three years, something Shaw and his coaches have used to separate themselves on the recruiting trail.

``David Shaw has led the football program to great success,'' Stanford President John Hennessy said. ``He embodies the goal we have for our scholar-athletes - success in the classroom and on the field. We are pleased that he will lead our football program for years to come.''

Shaw's second season has perhaps been even more impressive than his first.

Shaw helped Stanford overcome the departure of No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck, seamlessly made a midseason quarterback change from Josh Nunes to redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan and overtook Oregon to win the league's North Division crown. After beating UCLA 27-24 in the Pac-12 title game Nov. 30, Shaw has taken the Cardinal to a place Harbaugh and even late the Hall of Famer Bill Walsh never could: the Rose Bowl.

Shaw had been an assistant in the NFL for Philadelphia, Oakland and Baltimore before joining Harbaugh as an assistant at the University of San Diego. He joined Harbaugh at Stanford in 2007 and coached receivers and running backs while also serving as offensive coordinator for four years.

Shaw often credits coaching mentors Jon Gruden, Brian Billick, Ray Rhodes, Dennis Green, Tyrone Willingham, Harbaugh and Walsh, among others. Nobody, though, has had a greater impact on his life and career than his father, Willie, a retired NFL and college assistant who had two stints as a Stanford position coach and was a finalist for the Cardinal head coaching job in 1992 before Walsh decided to return at the last minute.

All of 40 years old, Shaw has shown the ability to bond with players in ways even Harbaugh couldn't, understanding as he does the intricacies of a rigorous academics university that practically raised him: as a coach's son, student, player, assistant coach, husband and father - he even proposed to his wife, Kori, outside of Stanford's Memorial Church, then convinced her to wait more than a year ``because it takes that long to get married in the Stanford church.''

Shaw finished his Stanford career with 57 catches for 664 yards and five touchdowns. He also competed in a track meet and basketball game while at Stanford before graduating in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in sociology.

Born in San Diego, Shaw and his wife are the parents of three children - Keegan, Carter and Gavin. Asked Dec. 4 about the possibility of the NFL ever luring him away, Shaw said, ``You never say never, of course, but I love it here. My wife loves it here. Our kids love it here.''

``I've yet to find a better job,'' Shaw said, ``than right here at Stanford.''

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Nationals pay tribute to John Altobelli, another victim in Sunday's helicopter crash

Nationals pay tribute to John Altobelli, another victim in Sunday's helicopter crash

The sports world was shaken on Sunday after hearing the news that legendary NBA player Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash earlier that morning.

As the somber evening wore on, more information came out regarding the victims of the tragedy. One of the passengers on the helicopter was longtime Orange Coast College and Cape Cod League manager John Altobelli.

Altobelli's daughter was a teammate of Bryant's daughter, Gianna, and the helicopter was traveling to one of their youth basketball games. Altobelli's wife, Keri, was also on board. There were no survivors.

On Monday, the Nationals Twitter account shared their condolences for Altobelli and his family.

The Nationals were one of the multiple teams to share their sympathy for the Altobelli family. Both New York Mets outfielder Jeff McNeil and Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge played under Altobelli in the Cape Cod League.

Orange Coast was expected to begin its season on Tuesday.

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Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Dwayne Haskins reflects on bond with Kobe Bryant from pre-draft workouts

Terrible news hit America on Sunday when word came out that basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. 

A tragic event for a man and a player that made an impact far beyond basketball. Bryant was known for many things, but more than any, it might have been his competitive spirit. A five-time NBA champion and an 18-time All-Star, Bryant's play was defined by a fluid game and an unstoppable spirit. 

For Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, he got to see some of Bryant's spirit up close. Last year, before the NFL Draft, Haskins trained at Bryant's gym in Los Angeles, and their encounters made an impression on the signal-caller. 

"He's definitely a guy that brings a lot to the table as far as how he trains, how he prepares and what he expects out of his teammates. Very, very demanding," Haskins said of Bryant. "I want to be able to have that other tool, being able to have that edge that Kobe had. Of course, I play like that, but I'd be able to lead like that. That's why I studied Kobe."

Haskins is one of many young athletes that grew up watching Bryant, and for plenty, idolizing Bryant. 

After the news broke Sunday, Haskins reacted on Twitter.

Haskins said it well: RIP to a legend. Gone too soon. 

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