Western Oregon University’s Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Barbara Dearing announced Monday that long time NCAA Division I assistant coach and former Western Oregon University All-American Jim Shaw has been named the new Head Men’s Basketball Coach effective immediately.
“We concluded a nationwide search and had more high quality candidates for the position than any other time anyone can remember in school history,” said Dearing. “As the search committee deliberated throughout the process, Jim emerged as the top candidate. He brings tremendous coaching credentials and passion for Western Oregon as an alumnus and an All-American basketball player during his career as a Wolf.”
WOU President Mark Weiss added, “I’m proud of the accomplishments of our Western basketball student-athletes. Their hard work this year has made our program one that attracted candidates nationwide. I’m delighted that Coach Shaw returns to WOU to lead the team into an exciting future.”
Shaw brings over 25 years of experience at the NCAA Division I level, including a nine-year stint alongside former head coach Lorenzo Romar at the University of Washington from 2004-2013 where he helped lead the Huskies to five Pac-10 championships, five NCAA Tournament appearances, and three appearances in the Sweet 16.
“It is a very exciting time for me,” said Shaw. “Not many guys get to be a head coach at their alma mater and that makes it special. I’m really looking forward to getting started this week.”
Recently, Shaw spent the last two seasons alongside Randy Bennett at Saint Mary’s College in Northern California as a special assistant to the head coach during the 2013-14 season before becoming an assistant coach in 2014-15. With the Gaels, Shaw helped guide SMC to back-to-back 20-plus wins seasons as well as a pair of post season appearances.
Prior to Saint Mary’s, Shaw spent nine seasons (2004-2013) as an assistant coach at the University of Washington. During his time at Washington, the Huskies went a combined 208-100, which is the best nine-year record in school history, while also going 118-54 from 2009-2013 to mark the best five-year stretch in school history. He was pivotal in the Huskies’ run to their first Pac-10 Tournament championship in 2005 and first-ever No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament.
Before Washington, Shaw served the previous five seasons (1999-2004) at the University of Oklahoma on Kelvin Sampson’s staff. He helped the Sooners to a 131-37 record, three Big 12 Tournament titles, a Final Four appearance in 2002 and an Elite Eight berth in 2003.
From 1994 through 1999, Shaw served as assistant coach at the University of Portland where he helped the Pilots to a pair of 20-win campaigns and a 1996 NCAA Tournament berth, which was the school’s first in over 30 years.
Prior to arriving at Portland, Shaw worked two years as an assistant at Montana State under head coach Mick Durham. He helped the Bobcats to a 16-11 record during the 1993-94 season and a fourth place finish in the Big Sky Conference, their best in seven years. Three of Shaw’s recruits went on to earn All-Big Sky accolades.
As an assistant at Southern Utah for a season (1991-92) under head coach Neil Roberts, Shaw was instrumental in leading the team to a 20-8 record, the school’s best mark in its history as a Division I program.
Shaw coached at Oregon State during the 1990 and 1991 seasons alongside Jim Anderson, as the nationally-ranked 1990 Beaver team, which featured Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton, won the Pac-10 championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
After leaving Idaho State, Shaw was an assistant at nearby Chemeketa Community College where he helped lead the Chiefs to the school’s first-ever Northwest championship and a win-loss record of 52-12 over a two-year period. Shaw helped recruit the 1990-91 NWAACC Player of the Year that was part of the Chiefs’ perfect 33-0 team.
Shaw’s first assistant coaching assignment came in 1986-87 at Idaho State where he helped lead the Bengals to an impressive run to the Big Sky Tournament championship and the league’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth. That was ISU’s first NCAA appearance in 10 years.
“At each stop in his coaching journey he has won conference championships, taken teams into the NCAA post season numerous times, and has developed and mentored players both on and off the court,” commented Dearing. “He is a tireless recruiter and has a proven track record. He brings with him the energy to help our program achieve new heights.
“I appreciate the hard work and support of the search committee throughout this process, and we are excited Coach Shaw has come home to the WOU family and our ‘pack.’ Go Wolves!”
A 1985 graduate of Western Oregon State College, Shaw was an NAIA honorable mention All-American and district MVP runner-up as a senior. During his career with the Wolves, Shaw played for WOU Hall of Fame coach Jim Boutin and helped lead WOSC to a win-loss record of 72-20 over a three-year stretch.
After graduation from Western Oregon, Shaw earned his master’s degree in athletic administration from Idaho State in 1986.
When asked about his plans for the future, Shaw said, “I think that the thing that I strive for is consistency. There is an old saying that says ‘consistency never graduates’ and I want us to be able to build a program, lay a foundation, and have a tradition like some of the other schools in the league that you know are going to be good every year. I want us to be a team that has a sustainable program and can compete at the high level of the league each year.
“I also want to get connected with this year’s team; the returners especially since there are quite a few of them. Having the opportunity to start working with them is first and foremost. Beyond that, it’s all logistics; connecting with the campus, connecting with the administration, the community, the people around it. All those things are going to be important. By far the most important is just getting myself totally immersed with the players that are going to form the nucleus of next year’s team.”
A native of Chimacum, Wash., Shaw attended Chimacum High School where he was an all-state performer in both basketball and football.
In talking about returning to his alma mater as a head coach, Shaw said, “The state of Oregon is the state where I spent the majority of my adult years. As a student at Western Oregon and as a coach at Chemeketa, Portland, and Oregon State. Therefore it is a place that I always considered home as an adult and I think that there is always a draw to go back home. Therefore, the fact that Western came open at this time couldn’t have been better and it just was the perfect time in my mind to go back to Western and try and do something special.”