David Shaw will be Stanford's coach. Come hell or high water or Roses or Oranges or Tostitos.
Stanford announced today that it has signed Shaw to a long-term contract extension, assuring the architect of the 2013 Rose Bowl that he'll be heading up Cardinal football for a long time.
While there are no years and dollars yet associated with the contract (Stanford's a private school, so it doesn't have to show anyone the numbers), today's news should give peace of mind to Shaw and to every Cardinal fan who has participated in the program's recent greatness.
The guy who played under Dennis Green and Bill Walsh, worked his way through the NFL and returned to his alma mater with Jim Harbaugh will be the Cardinal's coach - no matter what.
"David has demonstrated great success as a leader within the Stanford community and as a mentor to scholar-athletes who wear the Cardinal uniform," Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir said in the official press release. "This agreement provides added stability and reassurance that David will be at the helm to secure our football program's long-term sustained success."
The second part of Muir's statement is the important part - because with every win on the Farm, David Shaw is becoming more valuable.
With every BCS bowl berth, every Pac-12 title, every budding NFL star and every top-tier recruiting class, the more it costs to keep him at Stanford - and the harder NFL teams will start knocking on his door.
That's because when Pete Carroll, Greg Schiano and Jim Harbaugh win games, it also makes David Shaw more valuable.
After a long period when guys like Steve Spurrier weren't winning at all, college coaches are proving that they can win in the NFL again - and that means that David Shaw's name has been mentioned a lot over the last few weeks as a potential NFL coaching candidate.
Shaw coached for eight years in the NFL, with stops in Oakland, Baltimore and Philadelphia. And with the Eagles, Chargers, Cardinals and other teams almost certain to look in other directions after this season, he's been the subject of plenty of speculative articles, message board threads and photoshops.
Not going to happen any time soon.
We all know what he's done with the Cardinal - how he's kept the program rolling after Toby and Harbaugh and Luck - and with NFL front offices wanting to bring in the best college coaches, he'll soon have the chance to move on to the top of the football world.
(And because of the Rooney Rule, the NFL's imperfect stipulation that any team hiring a new coach must interview at least one minority candidate, he'll probably have a chance to interview with a lot of different teams. While it's paved the way for minority coaches to lead teams, it also means that for years, coaches like Leslie Frazier and Ron Rivera were ignominously brought into other front offices, given interviews and then forced to watch head coaching jobs go to someone else. Eventually they were hired by Minnesota and Carolina, but not without plenty of questionable interviews beforehand.)
But today's news quells all of that Shaw-to-the-NFL talk and brings us back to his introductory press conference on January 13, 2011:
"Since the day I started coaching, this is the job I knew I wanted, and the day is finally there," he said, adding: "I wanted this to be my last head-coaching interview ever."
Does he still mean it?
Oh hell yes.
Sorry, NFL. The Cardinal has their man.