When the newly appointed football coach met with his prospective players at a meeting last week, the turnout he saw was encouraging: 44 students, up from the two dozen that finished the football season with a 1-8 overall record last fall.
Its a good place to walk into right now, said Shaw, 35. Theyre hungry for change and hungry for something new.
Shaw, who is Timberline High Schools choir director, has had assistant coaching stints on the defensive side of the ball at three programs -- Timberline, Northwest Christian and, for the past two years, Olympia -- and was waiting for the right opportunity to land his first head coaching job.
And he believes Rainier is it.
Ive wanted to do this for a while, Shaw said. It was a matter of finding a place that fit me.
Shaw, a 1999 graduate of Pacific Lutheran University, will have some familiar faces on his staff, including longtime area coach Pete Fulton, former Northwest Christian assistant Jeremy Clark, former Yelm assistant Calvin Hicks and Kyle Stanley, the Rainier head boys basketball coach.
For Shaw, his first order of business begins Sunday when he starts the programs weight training program. In addition to being Timberlines choir director, he also teaches one class of weight training. But one aspect hes looking at changing is his players mental focus and changing the programs attitude. So far, so good.
If we do that, Shaw said, we start the process of winning.