Buck Shaw

The Life and Sportsmanship of the Legendary Football Coach


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About the Book

Blocking for the Gipper, Lawrence “Buck” Shaw was one of Knute Rockne’s star players at Notre Dame during 1919 through 1921. However, it was his nearly four decades of college and pro coaching that earned him esteem. Viewed as a “player’s coach,” Shaw was talented at relating to young men and molding them into a winning team. His college teams won two Sugar bowls. Shaw’s successful coaching with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles also played an integral role in helping the NFL grow into a billion-dollar business. A contemporary of Vince Lombardi, Shaw’s Eagles won the NFL championship in the pre-Super Bowl era. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Shaw never received serious consideration for enshrinement at Canton for his professional career. This complete biography tells the colorful story of Shaw’s college and pro years, shedding light on Shaw’s over-looked achievements in the professional ranks, which saw him earn a higher winning percentage a half-dozen Hall of Fame coaches.

About the Author(s)

Kevin Carroll is a history teacher at Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also served as their head football coach for 30 years.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin Carroll
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 273
Bibliographic Info: 47 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8690-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4431-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 3
One. The Early Years 5
Two. Rockne’s Ramblers 10
Three. Carlinville and Getting into Coaching 21
Four. Trading Wolf Packs Twice 32
Five. The Apprentice Years at Santa Clara 44
Six. Buck Takes the Broncos’ Reins 62
Seven. Two Sugar Bowls 73
Eight. Santa Clara: A Football School 87
Nine. “Slip” Departs and the T Formation Arrives 96
Ten. Rumors and the War Years 108
Eleven. California Dreaming 120
Twelve. The Birth of the 49ers 127
Thirteen. The ­All-America Conference Years 138
Fourteen. The NFL: A New Beginning 150
Fifteen. Making a Dent in the NFL 160
Sixteen. ­Hi-Lo Country 172
Seventeen. Buck Joins the Air Force 187
Eighteen. Climbing into Air Force’s Football Cockpit 197
Nineteen. The Silver Fox Becomes an Eagle 212
Twenty. Winning the 1960 NFL Championship 226
­Twenty-One. Life After Football 239
Appendix: Shaw’s Career Head Coaching Record 245
Chapter Notes 247
Bibliography 253
Index 255

Book Reviews & Awards

• Winner, New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards

• “Well written excellently researched work…Mr. Carroll has once again done a fine job of covering the life and career of a relatively unknown former major coach, and this biography certainly would be a worthwhile addition to any football historian’s library.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch