Warriors' new coach long on experience


POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The coaching paths of Gordon “;Gordy”; Shaw and Greg McMackin hadn't crossed until recently.

But their lengthy lists of contacts in the profession helped sell both on the idea of teaming up in Hawaii.

McMackin announced Shaw as the Warriors' new offensive line coach yesterday, adding a coach with more than three decades of experience to the UH staff.

“;He's been recommended to me by a lot of the top-name coaches in the business. ... He's got a very good name in the offensive-line world,”; McMackin said. “;We researched the country and I wanted to make sure we got a good one. He'll fit in with our staff.”;

Shaw returns to the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) level after one season as offensive coordinator at South Dakota. He spent the previous 14 years at Minnesota, where he coached on both sides of the ball but devoted most of his time coaching the Golden Gophers' offensive line.

McMackin said Shaw will have control of the offensive line, while Brian Smith, who coached the line last season, will be reassigned within the staff.

Just as McMackin consulted with other coaches when considering Shaw for the job, Shaw called some of his “;friends I have in the profession and they were telling me how good a coach and person (McMackin) is.”;

Shaw said he plans to arrive on campus early next week and get a first glimpse of the players he'll be coaching by studying tape of the Warriors during a recent visit to interview for the job.

His first impressions of Hawaii football were rooted quite a bit earlier. He was on the opposite sideline four times in his career, three times as an assistant at Wyoming in the early 1990s and again with Minnesota in 1997.

“;I really thought their players played really hard, and that's what I want to do, coach guys that are highly motivated,”; Shaw said.

McMackin began the search for a new offensive line coach after Alex Gerke, who coached the running backs and assisted with the offensive line last season, accepted a job at Utah State.

The Warriors surrendered an NCAA-record 59 sacks during a 7-7 campaign that ended with a loss to Notre Dame in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.

Along with solidifying the blocking schemes, McMackin said he hopes Shaw will also continue the development of Warriors senior John Estes. While at Minnesota, Shaw coached Greg Eslinger, who won the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation's top center, and Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) in 2005.

Shaw said he's a stickler for fundamentals and will take a back-to-basics approach to blocking when he begins working with the Warriors.

Shaw began his career as a graduate assistant at Cal Poly in 1977 and coached the defensive lines at Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and Northern Arizona before moving to offense at Northern Colorado in 1985. He served as defensive coordinator at Idaho in 1989 before moving on to Wyoming, where he spent three seasons, and then to Minnesota.

Shaw's hiring leaves McMackin with one spot to fill on the staff, the vacancy left by special teams coordinator Ikaika Malloe's departure to become the defensive coordinator at Yale.