Feature story on OL coach Gordy Shaw

About how his toned-down style differs from the typical OL coach’s style, Gordy Shaw said:
“I never liked being de-humanized when I was a player by a coach. I had some coaches who coached that way. But that’s not me.” (HA)

About how Shaw motivates the players on the OL, OT Brett Leonard said:
“He’s the kind of guy who, as long as you do what he wants and don’t mess up too much, he’ll be your best friend. If you mess up, he’ll get on you, but right after that, he’ll take you back.” (HA)

About the four OL coaches their OL members have had in four years, Shaw said:
“I appreciate the coaching changes my fifth-year guys and my fourth-year guys have gone through. It’s not easy. I understood that situation. My antennas are up on that. As I told them last spring: ‘Over time, you’ll learn to respect me and who I am.’ They got my respect when I first got here.” (HA)

About how Shaw lets their players use some things they learned from past OL coaches, Leonard said:
“He lets players take bits and pieces of what they’ve learned from (previous coaches) and combine it with his (system) to come out with the best of all coaching styles.” (HA)

About how he’s not just a running-oriented OL coach even though he coached at Minnesota for 14 years, Shaw said:
“When I was at Wyoming and the first five years at Minnesota, we were a spread throw-it-around-the-ballpark type of a setup.” (HA)

About how OL love to run-block, Shaw said:
“Any offensive lineman loves to run-block. The truth be known, they’d rather run-block because it’s an attack rather than a retreat setup.” (HA)

HA Note: “Because the Warriors employ a shotgun passing offense, the linemen are being taught how to run-block off a two-point stance.”

Shaw said that to avoid tipping off running plays:
“we have to run-block in a stance we’re going to be in when we pass 80 percent of the time.” (HA)

HA Note: “The key to run blocking is a lower stance to gain leverage against a defender. As an instructional tool, Shaw brought in the “chute,” a jungle-gym-like structure featuring a platform that is about 5 feet from the ground. One of the drills is for the linemen to crouch under the platform, then hit the blocking pad at the other end.”

About the “chute” he introduced to their OL drills, Shaw said:
“I’ve always had one of those things. Because we play so much out of a two-point stance, if we’re going to become good run-blockers, we need something that is going to force us to lower our pad level as we come off the ball in an attack block. (The chute) does that.” (HA)

About how he wants to stay at UH for a long time, Shaw said:
“I’ve never had a bad job. Every place I’ve lived has always been the best place I’ve ever lived. I’ve lived my motto that I tell my players: ‘Only you can let yourself have a bad day. When you get up every morning, it’s up to you whether it’s going to be a good day or a bad day.’ ” (HA)

HA Note: “Shaw and his wife have three daughters, two of whom live on their own. The youngest daughter will be a senior in a Minnesota high school. After she graduates, she and Shaw’s wife will move to Hawai’i.”

About how his wife will enjoy living in Hawaii, Shaw said:
“This is going to be so wonderful for my wife. She was raised in San Diego, and I’ve had her in Minnesota for 17 years. That’s a drastic difference. She deserves (to live in Hawai’i) as much as I do.” (HA)



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